Ramblings: The state of Rick Nash, Isles sinking, Couturier dishing and more.
Oh my goodness Rick Nash scored. That’s his first goal (and point) since returning from injury. He was scoreless in his previous five games. He has been limited since returning but can still be fairly effective, just perhaps not for fantasy purposes. I’m loathe to suggest that he is decaying the same way that Dany Heatley did because Nash’s skating ability still holds up. He can still be an imposing two-way force. It’s quite similar to what Eric Staal has become though Staal has notably lost a step.
I wonder how refreshed Nash will be going into next season because I can definitely see folks being down on him after what has been a rough year. It’s like we’ve all forgotten how great he was last season when he scored 42 goals. Some of that was high shooting percentage as Nash shot 13.8% but he’s a career 12.4% shooter, it’s not like he was crazy fortunate to put up that total.
Nash’s shooting percentage has cratered to just 7.4%. He seems like a good bet to bounce back, especially if he can get some better health on his side.
The downside with Nash is that he just doesn’t get the easy points needed to float a high point total consistently. He has been near useless on the power play with 34 PPP in four seasons with the Rangers and has been banished to the second PP unit, likely permanently. So if Nash is getting back to 60 points next season he’ll have to do it with about 50 points at even strength or shorthanded, which is on the cusp of elite scoring.
Derek Stepan ended a three-game scoreless drought with a power-play assist. He has really helped to drive that Rangers power play since returning from injury woes of his own. He is up to 18 points in 24 games since the All-Star break. Stepan is available in 52% of all Yahoo! leagues.
Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers got a little help holding the lead last night as well:
What is the ref doing there? It looks to me like he’s maybe trying to hold the net up but he’s done it in the worst way possible. Just lunacy throwing himself into the firing line like that. He doesn’t actually block any shot attempts, mind you. But his mere presence in the crease is mind boggling.
Al Montoya got the start for Florida so that