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Rick Nash reaches milestone fittingly: in a humiliating loss

Nov 10, 2011, 10:10 PM EDT

Rick Nash, Mike Komisarek AP

There’s only so many ways we can skin the “Seriously, when are Scott Howson and Scott Arniel going to get fired?” cat. (Seriously, though, what’s it going to take … a horrifying scandal?)

Thankfully, the Chicago Blackhawks’ 6-3 mashing of the Columbus Blue Jackets provided another story: Rick Nash scored his 500th point when he earned a primary assist on Mark Letestu‘s third period goal. If you ask me, this milestone is really a microcosm of Nash’s NHL career: great individual numbers obscured by team failures.

Then again, another stat seems just as fitting: Nash had a -3 rating in tonight’s game. That tough night pushes his 2011-12 total to -9.

I generally dislike plus/minus, but it tells Nash’s story in many ways: the team around him is falling apart, whether he’s scoring near a point-per-game rate or not. Gauging how much of it might be his fault – Nash is the big money captain, after all – is anyone’s guess.

It’s tough to feel bad for a guy scheduled to make $7.8 million per season through 2017-18, but his reaction to what looks like another dispiriting season might be the biggest concern in all of this (especially if the Blue Jackets embrace reality and cut ties with Steve Mason).

Let me paraphrase an old saying: “You can’t fire the team, so you fire the coach/GM.” That is an important thing to remember here; it’s easy and logical to say that Arniel and Howson need to go, but what then? What about Nash and the guys you want to keep around?

At some point, Nash will be able to beam with pride over amassing so many points. My guess is he’s pretty far from that now.

  1. east96st - Nov 11, 2011 at 8:38 AM

    They can and should dump Howson. But as long as Priest stays, it won’t change. Anyone who understands the dynamics behind the Jackets knows that Priest has the final word over everything. Howson doesn’t go to the little boys room until Priest says it’s okay. Priest has to be removed for this team to grow. The guy’s background is as an accountant and financial advisor to the McConnell family! I cannot believe how the site continues to ignore how woefully under-qualified this man is for the job! Where else in the NHL has someone bought a hockey team and decided to make their stockbroker President? Is it really a mystery why this team is horrible and the fans are staying away in droves? C’mon guys, this is a quality site! State the obvious. You do NOT want your stockbroker running your hockey team!

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