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Big three back together — Nash, Gaborik, and Richards on top line

Mar 18, 2013, 1:09 PM EST

Rick Nash and Marian Gaborik Getty Images

Seeking an end to a three-game losing streak, Rangers head coach John Tortorella has reunited Rick Nash, Brad Richards, and Marian Gaborik on a forward line for tonight’s home game versus Carolina.

The trio — which, by the way, combines for a cap hit of just under $22 million — was skating together at this morning’s practice.

More from the Daily News:

Gaborik, Richards and Nash combined for six goals and 10 assists in seven games together (excluding points scored off the line in those games). That stretch lasted from the Blueshirts’ third game of the season against the Bruins until the ninth game of their season at the Devils. Their production was inconsistent, but more importantly Tortorella was concerned about the lack of balance through the lineup and eventually broke up the trio.

“I don’t think we played long enough where we figured each other out,” Nash said. “As I said before, you look at some of the good lines and they’ve played together for years or months, whatever it might be. But I did think early on we were having some success and each game we were getting better.”

The Rangers have scored just two goals in their last three games, one by Derek Stepan, the other by Ryan Callahan.

The losing streak has seen New York fall out of a playoff position to 10th in the Eastern Conference, three points back of the eighth-place Hurricanes.

Related: Gaborik’s agent says, ‘He’s not the type of guy who would ask out’

  1. bcisleman - Mar 18, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    The Big Three? When I was in 8th grade, I learned that the Big Three were FDR, Churchill and Stalin. Nowadays I guess we have to settle for Nash, Gaborik and Richards.

    How are they the Big Three? Well their hype is certainly BIG. So is their cap hit. Let’s do a little side by side comparison, shall we?

    Their neighbors and rivals the NY Islanders boast a top line of Tavares, Moulson and Boyes who collectively have a cap hit of less than $10 million. They have 84 points to The Big Three’s 55. The lowest scorer among them, Brad Boyes, has 24 points or one more than the highest scorer of The Big Three, Rick Nash. He makes all of $1 million this year.

    Fact is that if the NYR didn’t have HL in net, they’d likely be competing with Florida for a shot at Seth Jones. He could make it The Big Four I guess!

    • islesjb - Mar 18, 2013 at 3:00 PM

      spot on

    • stakex - Mar 18, 2013 at 4:51 PM

      The Islanders have managed to crawl their way to 9th place, new heights they haven’t seen in years, and its caused all the Islander fans to crawl out of hibernation. Easy now… the Islanders are still going to miss the playoffs and have a top notch shot at Seth Jones.

      Let me make a couple counter points to what you said:

      1. Obviously they are talking about them as the Rangers big three… not the “Big Three” of the NHL. Though to that point, I would take them over the Islanders top three any day of the week despite the current production differences. The Islanders employ a more offensive attack then do the Rangers, which has allowed their top line to score more goals…. however:

      2. …the Islanders top three are a shockingly bad – 23 combined. The Rangers top three? +5. You can talk about Lundqvist being the reason all you want, but its a combination of things. The Ragners top players are far more defensivly responsible, they have a much better defense, and their system as a whole is geared for defense… not offense. All that leads to less scoring, but a much better goal differential.

      3. Boyes is making $1 million a year because hes played absolutely awful in his contract year last season. Hes shown flashesh of being a top player in the past, but wasn’t when he signed his current deal. If he keeps playing like he is, he will be making a lot more next season.

      4. Tavaras signed a deal thats probably lower then his value. He signed it after a couple solid, but not amazing seasons… only to go on and have a great year last season. If he had waited till the end of his entry level deal, he would be making a lot more money right now.

      —————————–

      So sure, the Islanders top three might be scoring more for a lesser price right now. However, there is a lot more to it then just that one stat…

      • bcisleman - Mar 18, 2013 at 5:42 PM

        What a bunch of BALONEY!!! JT is FAR better than ANY of the so-called Big Three at EVERY aspect of the game. Guaranteed if HL were an Islander, those +/- numbers would be reversed and then some. BTW, the “much better goal differential” is 6. Absolutely every bit of that is due to HL.

        I’ll admit that the Rangers have a better defense than the Isles and a much better goaltender. But any NYR who says he’d take his team’s top line over the Isles’ top line is either lying or a total homer.

        BTW get used to the current standings!!!

  2. jkay1818 - Mar 18, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    stakex, why did you do that? You just made bcislesman lose his boner. That was the most aroused and proud of himself he has been in a while.

  3. jkay1818 - Mar 18, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    in fact he was so proud of himself, he even logged on under his other islanders name and commented on his arousing first post.

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