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Nash doing everything but scoring; Vigneault feels his forward will be rewarded

Jun 13, 2014, 12:30 AM EDT

2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Two Getty Images

In the mind of Alain Vigneault, Rick Nash has done many positive things for the New York Rangers in these Stanley Cup playoffs.

He just hasn’t been scoring, which has been an issue in the two previous times the 29-year-old Nash was in the post-season.

“I mean, he’s doing everything that I think you want from a player. He’s going to the tough areas. He’s shooting the puck. He’s going hard on the forecheck. He’s being physical. He’s creating turnovers,” Vigneault, the Rangers’ head coach, told reporters on Thursday, the day after his team staved off a sweep in the Stanley Cup Final against the L.A. Kings.

“You know, all I can say right now is I got to believe by playing the way he is right now, he will get rewarded. I’m hoping that’s going to be tomorrow.”

The Rangers, down 3-1 in the series, need three more wins in order to win their first championship since 1994.

Nash’s struggles to score in the post-season go beyond this year; he had two goals in a combined 16 playoff games prior to this spring. The tale of his post-season woes has been interesting, especially again this year.

Some examples of the ever-evolving story line:

April 26: Rangers hope for more goals from Rick Nash

May 6: Rick Nash has yet to don his boy boy pants

May 7: Video: Slumping Rick Nash booed by Rangers fans

May 11: Nash on playoff-long goal drought: ‘The chances are there’

May 16: ‘Overdue’ Nash getting chances, says AV

May 17: Video: Rick Nash finally scores a playoff goal in 2014

May 19: Video: St. Louis, Nash score again

May 20: PHT Morning Skate: Rick Nash has reason to smile more

June 4: Rick Nash getting things done in other ways for Rangers

June 7: Nash says he has to finish chances, cut turnovers in Game 2

  1. stakex - Jun 13, 2014 at 1:20 AM

    Nash might be doing a lot of good things, but he’s really only paid to do one…. and that’s the one thing he isn’t doing. No matter how good he might be playing aside from scoring goals, its simply unacceptable for your star goal scorer to have only three goals in 24 playoff games (A pace of about 10 goals for a full season).

    If the Rangers want to make a legit run at winning this series, or even making it interesting, they need Nash to step up and start finding the net.

    • hawkeedawg - Jun 13, 2014 at 1:47 AM

      Just throwing this out there, the Rangers that are paid to score will do so on Friday, Hank is brilliant again and back to NYC we go.

      I still think Kings will win the cup, but this series is far from over. In the unlikely event it goes seven, I will take the Rangers, no way a team wins all 4 game 7’s to win the cup. The Kings will have set an NHL record for most games played (to win cup) in a four round, 7 game series so they aren’t really dominating anywhere.

    • rpiotr01 - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:01 AM

      Agree completely. They went to the ECF in 2012 with a core group of guys who checked hard at both ends of the ice, but ultimately fell in the playoffs because they couldn’t score enough goals consistently. The Rangers blew up that core specifically to get Nash, a proven goal scorer. To put that another way, they specifically traded guys who ‘did everything but score’ for a guy who could actually score. And that guy isn’t scoring when they need him to.

      I won’t question Nash’s work ethic or attitude because god knows he’s brought it in the playoffs but as you say, he’s paid what he’s paid to find the back of the net.

    • peymax1693 - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:56 AM

      I know this goes without saying, but Nash’s lack of production is even more painful to take because the person he was traded for, Gaborik, has been simply outstanding.

      • kreidsandslim - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:17 AM

        He wasn’t traded for Gaborik…
        The Rangers gave up Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov, defense prospect Tim Erixon and a first-round draft pick.

        Trading Gaborik got Brassard, Moore and Dorsett.

      • 19to77 - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:24 PM

        Depressing stat of the day – Dubinsky and Anisimov combined for 9 points in 6 games against Pittsburgh. Nash has 10 points in 24.

      • kreidsandslim - Jun 13, 2014 at 1:02 PM

        19to77: Uplifting stat of the day – Columbus lost to Pitt, NYR beat Pitt.


      • peymax1693 - Jun 13, 2014 at 2:44 PM


        Jesus, do I feel stupid. Thanks for setting me straight.

    • MichS - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:57 PM

      I like Step, but maybe Nash just needs a legit #1 C?

  2. jaybyrd99 - Jun 13, 2014 at 7:02 AM

    They’re now expecting this checking forward to score goals too ? Next they’ll be telling that Carcillo has scored 1 less goal in 1/2 (or less) the amount of games !

  3. papajack1259 - Jun 13, 2014 at 7:31 AM

    Nash was brought in to score.

  4. 19to77 - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:32 AM

    He’s one of the most snakebitten players I’ve ever seen in these playoffs. It’s not like he’s avoiding tough areas – he’s made a number of power moves right to the goal and just beaten by the goalie. And he’s not passing where he should be shooting because he leads the Rangers in shots. Hell, put him on the first PP unit instead of Richards and see if that sparks some good fortune. It can’t be any worse than Richards’ infinite turnovers

  5. billiam55 - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:43 AM

    how about putting him on the pp? instead of brad richards?

  6. barkar942 - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:03 PM

    Have any of you noticed how many defenders are on Nash when he gets the puck during the playoffs? Very rare that he is one on one with the other team. He is double, triple and quadruple teamed. Does make it difficult to control the puck.
    During the regular season playing lesser teams is normally when he shines because they don’t have the defensive players to control him.
    And is it just me, or does he fall down a lot on his own when he tries to stop or turn? He seems to lose his edge a lot.

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