I’m one of those annoying sports fans who thinks he knows enough about what’s going on to criticize the team. My team happens to be the NY Rangers, which probably gives me a bit more firepower than some, looking at the past few years.
We’ve developed this habit of starting the season strong, ending the season poorly, and then getting overwhelmed by someone in the playoffs. Every time. We’ve gotten as far as the Stanley Cup Final, most recently in 2014, but we went down like scrubs, 1 game to 4, against the LA Kings. We won it all most recently in 1994. That was after a (record long) 53 season drought.
We’re in a match-up right now against the Pittsburgh Penguins, who we should have wrecked yesterday when they had to trot out a rookie goaltender to play in his first ever playoff match-up against Henrik Lundqvist, our guy who is a future hall-of-famer. But alas, as the Rangers do every season, they can’t seem to find the “extra gear” that winning teams find when they reach the playoffs.
Sure, we are banged up in some areas, most notably being the broken hand of Ryan Mcdonagh, the team captain. But everyone has their injury problems, especially PIT, playing a rookie goaltender, so we should overcome like any other team. However, we have a huge problem with “star” players who actually play like crap.
The most obvious problem, I would say, is Rick Nash. Some may argue that Eric Staal is more worthless, and they would technically be correct, but Rick Nash is more damaging because he is allowed to play a ton of minutes, in the hope that he is going to accomplish all of this “scoring” that he is famous for doing (during some regular seasons).
By any average standard, Nash is still a decent player and could possibly be a really solid mid-level 2-way forward. However, he also has enough shooting ability to convince people that he is some kind of offensive powerhouse, and thus he ended up the captain of his previous team with a massive contract. However, the team (Columbus) was still trash, so Nash (who was the CAPTAIN) asked to be traded. Wow.
Now we have ole Rick, and he’s doing the same thing here that he did in CBJ, but worst. He’s not even scoring during the regular season as much as he was supposed to. And he CERTAINLY has been a major let-down in every playoff match-up that he has played since coming to NYR. He’s not getting any better. The common sports pundits love to give Nash all kinds of credit for working hard on the penalty kill, but this guy is getting paid over $7 million a year to SCORE POINTS.
Look at these ESPN stats from January:
Is this guy joking? In 9 games total, he scored in 4 games, for a total of 7 assists. What is he doing out there?
My uncle describes it best when he refers to Nash as “The Incredible Shrinking Nash” because that is what he does. He is nowhere to be found when the stakes and pressure are the highest. He just isn’t built for it. That’s why he fled from CBJ when they made him the franchise player and captain. And If we manage to squeeze a victory against the (always overrated) Penguins, we’ll be staring down the barrel of a gun called the Washington Capitals. I’ll conclude this with Rick’s stats from our meetings with them this season, so you can get an idea how I think that’s going to go for him.
We can do a lot better than this for over $7,500,000 a year.