What can we expect from Rick Nash in the playoffs after one of the worst regular seasons of his career?
It’s not like he’s known for stepping up in the postseason as it is, but he also usually doesn’t set the bar this low. He’s on route to set new career-lows with 15 goals and 36 points and while it’s that he’s been limited to 59 games due to a leg injury, this has still been a particularly bad season for him.
“I know I have to be better,” Nash told the New York post. “I’m happy with my defensive game, but the offense isn’t where I know it has to be.
“I know I have to score to help this team in the playoffs.”
The Rangers could certainly use the help after the mediocre showing they’ve put forward since the trade deadline. At this point they’re looking at entering the playoffs in the first Wild Card seed and while an argument could be made that positioning is preferable as it means facing the Florida Panthers in the first round rather than their formidable Metropolitan Division adversaries, it’s still never ideal to stagger into the postseason.
New York looked significantly stronger at this point last season when they went all the way to the Eastern Conference Final. Back then the Rangers were able to dismiss the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals in the first two rounds even as Nash was limited to two goals and seven points in 12 games over that span. This time around they might need more from him out of the gate and while there’s certainly reason to be pessimistic about his chances of delivering, if he does it will provide quite the silver lining to what would otherwise be seen as an almost exclusively dreary campaign.