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Rick Nash is feeling the heat in Columbus

Nov 17, 2011, 2:58 PM EDT


Columbus forward Rick Nash told today he’s feeling the pressure of captaining the NHL’s worst team.

“When you win, everyone looks at leadership and thinks they have great leadership,” Nash said. “When you lose, leadership always gets questioned. I understand that’s what comes along with being a captain. This is definitely the toughest times I’ve faced being a captain.”

Not to pile on Nash or discredit his feelings, but the majority of his captaincy has been a tough time. Since inheriting the “C” from Adam Foote in Mar. 2008, the Nash-led BJs have gone 114-122-38.

To be brutally honest, I’m not even sure this current run of poor play is the worst he’s dealt with. Nash was around for the “three wins in 24 games” stretch that started in late Nov. 2009 and went into Jan. 2010, after all. That basically cost Ken Hitchcock his job.

So, the point?

Columbus’ problems really aren’t about Nash. It probably sucks being the captain of a horrible team, but much of the horribleness is out of his control. He should sit back, relax, maybe order a lime rickey.

Columbus has many issues, but Nash isn’t a pressing one (I guess you could make the case he’s a small issue, what with his minus-12 rating.)

Goaltending, though — now that’s a problem.

Tonight the Blue Jackets will face the red-hot Bruins at TD Garden with Curtis Sanford between the pipes. The B’s have won six straight, scoring 34 goals. Sanford, meanwhile, has played exactly 18:02 this season (stopping all three shots he faced!), missing extensive time with a groin injury.

To recap: Columbus goaltending this year has featured…

Steve Mason, who is 3-12-1 with a 3.63 GAA and .875 save percentage.

Allen York, a rookie sixth-round pick out of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Curtis Sanford, whose last NHL start was in Jan. 2009.

Also of note for tonight: Center Derick Brassard will draw back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch for the past two games. Brassard will play on the fourth line between Derek MacKenzie and Jared Boll, exactly where you want the sixth overall pick at the 2006 NHL Entry Draft to be playing.

  1. icelovinbrotha215 - Nov 17, 2011 at 3:21 PM

    Who is giving him heat? They must not be watching the games. Rick Nash is low on totem pole when it comes to the problems that CBJ has. Like Mr. Halford alluded to, goaltending may be the biggest problem. And let’s not forget about the ‘studs’ Jeff Carter and James Wisniewski.

  2. east96st - Nov 17, 2011 at 4:03 PM

    Actually, I feel pity for Rick. I’ve met him and he’s a good guy. He deserves better than this. Of course, so do all the fans and we don’t have Rick’s fat paycheck to make us feel better. Also, eventually, his misery will end. Hockey players can only play for so long. Ours will just keep on going until this team packs it up and destroys the hopes and dreams of another city that was foolish enough to think all the Jackets need is a “fresh start”. Again, ladies and gents, the President of the Columbus Blue Jackets was the financial advisor of the owner. That was his “hockey” resume. If you were a multi-millionaire and bought a hockey team, would you hire your stock broker to run the team? I didn’t think so.

  3. neelyisgod - Nov 17, 2011 at 5:18 PM

    Talks (rumors) have the BJ’s looking at Bruins back up Tuukka Rask to help solve their goaltending issues. The B’s have most of the cap space available to take on a lucrative contract, such as Nash’s,. And look at that Rask is scheduled in net tonight vs the BJ’s. Throw in Boychuk and the number just about work…

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Nov 17, 2011 at 5:31 PM

      That’s a nice dream you have, but this isn’t Toronto you’re trading with, I find it very hard to believe that a bad team would give up one of their only marketable stars for a guy who at the end of the day is a backup goalie currently. Yes he’s an upgrade to what they currently have, but they’re better off playing out the season, taking their lumps and signing someone in the offseason then dealing away the player that gives fans a reason to come to the games.

      Also there’s the matter that the Bruins have $3 million in cap space and Nash has a cap number of $7.8 million.

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