Blueprint for Rick Nash to Return to Superstar Form in 2013-14

September 5th, 2013 by Andrew Capitelli Leave a reply »

Rick Nash’s first season with the New York Rangers would be unfairly classified as a letdown. His 21 goals were the most by a Ranger and his 42 points were second only to center Derek Stepan. But it was Nash’s one goal and five points in 12 playoff games that’s left a bad taste in the mouths of New Yorkers.

Nash simply looked unprepared. During his nine years spent in Columbus, Nash only collected four games of playoff experience, and his inexperience was on full display this past spring.

There was just no edge to Nash’s game whatsoever. Zdeno Chara manhandled the 6’4”, 213-pound winger in the Eastern Conference Semifinal both physically and mentally. As a result, Nash began shying away from the puck and seemed reluctant to carry it into high-traffic areas when it found him.

Nash’s behavior was uncharacteristic of a premier, high-scoring forward with tremendous size. His disappearing act ended up being a major reason the Rangers were bounced by Chara and the Bruins in the second round.

But the optimism a new season brings should motivate a player of Nash’s caliber ...

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