Found October 02, 2013 on
Blue Seat Blogs:
New York Rangers
Columbus Blue Jackets
Rick Nash is facing a huge amount of pressure. Starting Thursday
As the Rangers prepare to open their season on Thursday against the Phoenix Coyotes, they will do so missing two of their presumptive top six forwards and with their de facto top line center behind the eight ball thanks to Derek Stepan’s (partial) holdout. Throw in the continued struggles of the likes of Chris Kreider and the less than inspiring preseason of Brad Richards and the pressure on Rick Nash to lead an offense has never been greater.
Despite being part of a far more talented collective in New York, Nash wouldn’t even have faced this level of expectancy in Columbus where he was the lone elite talent. In New York this season, the Rangers’ burley power forward is expected to lead a contender’s offense for the first time and in a legitimate big sports market (sorry Ohio).
At the start of last year it was assumed Brad Richards was still a top line center. The excitement of Chris Kreider’s arrival was still very real and the Rangers of course still had a guy called Marian Gaborik. Fast forward a year and the Rangers begin the season without Ryan Callahan, Carl Hagelin, Richards is a shadow of his former self while Kreider begins his year out of the NHL spotlight.
Nash obviously has the overall game to thrive, even without a huge amount of help to start the season, but we saw last season how quickly negativity can surface when a star player such as Nash has a sustained period of unproductive play. Nash was lucky in that his underwhelming post season was slightly masked by the surprise playoff performance of Derick Brassard. No one anticipated Brassard as a clutch playoff performer before he all of a sudden strung multiple quality performances together for the Rangers.
Despite a solid first year on Broadway Nash will be expected to do more in his first full season in New York. Fair or not, anything less than a forty goal season will likely be considered mediocre return from a $7.8m star player in New York. Being completely healthy to start the season, the presence of a more offensively minded Head Coach and the assumed offensive zone focus that coincides with Alain Vigneault’s arrival – not to mention the assumed improvement of a powerplay that surely cannot get worse - and really, Nash has no excuses not to have a good season.
As he’ll have expected when he arrived in New York, expectations will be monumental for Rick Nash this year. The Rangers’ hopes of a successful season rest squarely on two players living up to their talent level this season. We can assume Henrik Lundqvist will hold up his end of the bargain – he’s done it in one of the league’s most fickle markets for almost a decade – it’s up to Nash, the clubs second most important player, to do his share. The entire league will be watching.
BEST OF MAXIM
from Andrew Gross of The Record,
This is about Rick Nash now and how much more production he can give the Rangers.
This is about Nash now, even if hockey is never about one player, because he’s the Rangers’ one, true, offensive superstar.
And this is about offense now for the Rangers because, heaven knows, it hasn’t been for a while at Madison Square Garden, where...
(Source: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images North America)
The Rangers are a very deep team this season, especially at forward. They are in a position where –when fully healthy– they have three scoring lines and a solid defensive fourth line. However there is one glaring weakness (on paper); the apparent lack of physicality and toughness on the roster. Even with a healthy Ryan Callahan...
As expected, the Rangers have made some formal roster moves to allow the roster to be at its current size. Captain Ryan Callahan has been placed on IR, where he must remain for seven days. Winger Carl Hagelin has been placed on LTIR, where he must remain for three weeks of ten games. Both moves are retroactive to September 30, meaning Cally will be able to return on October 6, in...
The past two years for the New York Rangers have been whimsically scripted. In 2011, a year after losing lamely to the Washington Capitals in the first round of the playoffs, little was expected of the Rangers entering the season. Save free agent acquisition Brad Richards, they were mostly the same team, which is to say Henrik Lundqvist and a lot of shot blockers. But the Rangers...
Darroll Powe is one of many options the Rangers have in Hartford
Though the Rangers certainly can’t replace core players like Ryan Callahan and Carl Hagelin flawlessly, the organization does have substantially more quality depth this year. Whereas last season New York was forced to call-up the likes of Kris Newbury, Benn Ferriero and Brandon Segal when AHL reinforcements were...
How will Zuccarello fare this season?
Today it all begins. The Rangers open their season today as the season, tone setting, nine game road trip gets under way tonight in Phoenix. Let’s jump straight into the first Musings of the new season.
It will be interesting to see how Derek Stepan starts tonight. Will he be a step behind, will the lack of reps and preseason games and training...
J.T. Miller will need to force his way into a permanent spot in New York (Seth Wenig/AP)
One question that has been brought up a lot recently is who the Rangers will waive or return to Hartford when Ryan Callahan and Carl Hagelin return to the lineup. Cally is aiming for a Monday return in LA, while Hagelin is currently on LTIR and will miss –at a minimum– the first ten games...
The Vezina Trophy is given to the National Hockey League’s most exceptional goaltender. Last year, Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets was awarded this coveted piece of hardware. Bobrovsky won the Vezina by putting up statistics including a 21-11-6 record, and career highs in both goals against average (GAA) at 2.00 and a .932 save percentage.
To make his way atop...
John Tortorella and Brad Richards won a Stanley Cup together with the Lightning but their time together with the Rangers ended with the star center benched.
Tortorella told TSN the deterioration of that relationship was the only regret he had from his time with the Rangers which ended in his firing at the end of last season.
“It kills me. It kills me” Tortorella now the coach...
First off Henrik Lundqvist said again there was nothing new to report in negotiations for a new contract extension with a potential deadline on the talks coming with the start of the season Thursday at Phoenix. Lundqvist said on Sunday the sides would talk at least once more before the team left for Arizona.
Rick Nash was back on the ice today after missing Sunday’s practice with...
Alain Vigneault already has “a Lincoln Tunnel story.”
Let’s just say it involves a wrong turn by a man living on the upper West Side of a new city.
“I’m embarrassed” Vigneault 52 said last week in his former home of Vancouver.
Living adjustments are normal although especially in the Big Apple. Vigneault’s bigger challenge in his first season as Rangers head coach...
We will do a team preview every day up until the season opener. Today we will cover the New York Rangers. Predicted to finish 2nd in the Metro Division. Check out our other previews here.
2012-13: 26-18-4-56 6th in the East. Lost in Conference Semi Finals 4-1 vs. Boston.
Key Additions: C Dominic Moore, LW Benoit Pouliot, D Justin Falk, D Aaron Johnson, D Danny Syvret...
We here at Blue Seat Blogs are proud to announce our partnership with NY Believe for the upcoming season. NY Believe (company Twitter here) is a New York sports apparel company run by two lovely ladies, Jenny/Rebel Princess and Stefanie, that specializes in sports apparel for all nine local sports teams. They already have some great options available for the Rangers, Mets,...
CBC with a feature on John Tortorella,