Rick Nash is the poster boy of the latter-day Rangers -- a highly paid top-six forward who's scored 30-plus goals a number of times, but now regularly misses time to injury and disappoints on offense while receiving plaudits for his defense. He failed to reach both 70 games and 40 points for the third time in four seasons last year, and as Nash approaches his age-33 campaign, it's getting increasingly harder to visualize him regaining his old offensive glory. Nash's shooting has fallen off in both quality and quantity -- once a sniper who could fire pucks past unsuspecting goalies at will, he now has to score by finesse, which isn't an easy adjustment for a 6-foot-4 power winger. When healthy, Nash is still a respectable second-liner and an integral part of the Rangers' special-teams units, but he hasn't cracked double-digit power-play points since 2014-15. It's not unrealistic for him to rebound -- we've seen it before, after all -- but you can't pay for his name brand on draft day; rather, this is a situation where you're looking for a rebound on the cheap.
Nash (knee) was included in the team's lineup for Monday's preseason contest against the Islanders. The first overall pick from 2002 dealt with knee injuries on a couple of occasions last season and played through one during the playoffs. With Nash set to take on the Isles on Monday, his health no longer seems to be an issue. A 42-goal scorer just three seasons ago, Nash's game has fallen off quite a bit, but he should easily reach 20 goals again this year.
Nash was bothered by an apparent right knee injury in the postseason, the New York Post reports. The Rangers were knocked out of the playoffs by the Senators on Tuesday, and Nash reportedly had his knee 'heavily wrapped" after the game. "I don't want to use anything as a crutch or an excuse," said the alternate captain, who managed only two points and a 4.8 shooting percentage in the semifinal series. The power forward will turn 33 in June and remains on track to cash out the balance of an eight-year, $62.4 million contract before hitting the open market as an unrestricted free agent following the 2017-18 campaign.
Nash scored the game-winning goal in the second period of Tuesday's Game 4 against Montreal, adding a pair of PIM. With two goals and no assists through the first four games of this series, Nash is looking pretty much like he did in the regular season. His goal was a huge one, but he scored it by finesse, not with the power shot for which he was once known. Indeed, Nash has seen a serious decline from his days as an elite sniper, making him a scorer of only middling fantasy value at this point in his career.
Nash scored a highlight-reel goal during Friday's Game 2 loss to Montreal. The Rangers caught the Habs inattentive and moved the puck up ice quickly to Nash. He cruised into the offensive zone and unleashed a wrist shot with pinpoint accuracy off the far post and in. It was vintage Nash, and he'll need to continue to be a force for the Rangers to win this series. His six shots on net were another encouraging sign, and the high shot volume provides a respectable fantasy floor for daily contests.
Nash (undisclosed) will suit up for Sunday's regular-season finale against the Penguins. Sunday will serve as a final tune-up for Nash and the rest of the Rangers as they prep for their imminent playoff run. Nash will probably skate on New York's second line with Mika Zibanejad and Jimmy Vesey, and will look to pick up where he left off after potting five goals in his last seven games.
Rank Among Leaders
Last 7 Games
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