If it hasn’t already been made crystal clear, without Rick Nash the New York Rangers offense falls rather flat. In Nash’s absence due to an “undisclosed injury”, the Rangers lost four games straight. They also scored a combined total of six goals in the same time frame.
Since his return, the Rangers are 2-0, and scored seven goals. That’s right, seven combined goals in two games.
As the saying goes, the numbers don’t lie.
Nash has two goals and two assists since returning, for a season total of five goals and 11 assists in 16 games played.
MSG commentator Dave Maloney used the word “catalyst” to describe Nash’s impact on the Rangers offense yesterday in a 3-2 shootout victory for the Rangers vs. the Buffalo Sabres.
Maloney also stated that the Rangers can’t solely base their offensive efforts every game around Nash, however.
“If the offense has to be Rick Nash, you will be Columbus. The offense has to revolve around Nash, he has to be the catalyst. The supporting cast is more than capable of supporting a catalyst. I think that is the difference in Nash in New York than in Columbus. Great players create space. He uses his space and he doesn’t need a lot of space to make things happen.”
Hopefully Nash remains healthy and can help catapult the Rangers into a deep postseason run. The Rangers goal-scoring struggles were well chronicled last season and was the smoking gun to their eventually collapse in the Eastern Conference Finals against the New Jersey Devils, losing four games to two.