Rick Nash now week-to-week; Does this change the Rangers deadline approach?
Despite initial reports of being day-to-day, Rick Nash has now missed over three weeks, eight games, with a bone bruise sustained in the game against the Carolina Hurricanes. Nash took a nasty fall and crash into the boards, only to come back out on the ice and block a hard shot on the shin.
At this point, I’m finding it harder to believe that this is just a bone bruise. It could be a hairline fracture or a full-fledged fracture in one of the bones on his leg. The Rangers claim it isn’t a fracture, and just a deep bone bruise, which is a fracture to the innermost layer of bone. Whatever it is, the injury is making it hard for Nash to walk according to the Rangers.
Also, let’s get a few things clear. I’m sick and tired of the comments with people saying that the Rangers are better without him. They aren’t. He’s their most consistent forward, their most skilled forward, and their best forward. His absence is causing an imbalance on the lines, forcing both Tanner Glass and Dan Paille to play every night, which is effectively turning the Rangers into a three line team.
Also, Rick Nash is not soft. I know a lot of you only seem to care about “toughness” over finesse and skill, which is why Brandon Prust and Ryan Callahan were regarded as great Rangers while Marian Gaborik and Rick Nash were/are not. The fact is Nash and Gaborik are far better and more skilled and effective than Prust and Callahan ever were and ever will be.
Also, Rick Nash is not “soft” or a “wuss” in any means. He regularly attacks the net and battles in the tough areas and plays a “tough” game in that aspect. Also, a bone bruise isn’t just a bruise; nobody seems to understand that. It’s a fracturing of the inner layer of the bone, the spongy area, which creates irregular breaking points and makes it harder to heal. Before you bash him for not playing, educate yourself on what the injury actually is. Here is a great article explaining exactly that (LINK).
Now back to the point of the article, the latest news of the extent of Nash’s injury makes for an interesting dilemma that Jeff Gorton must deal with. If Nash will be out for an extended period of time, it likely affects the Rangers plan for the deadline. They’ll need a top six forward or scorer to take his place and create more of a balance in the lineup.
Last year, when Patrick Kane broke his collarbone, the Blackhawks placed him on LTIR, alleviating his cap hit and allowing them to make more deadline moves. The Rangers might have to do the same, placing Nash on LTIR to relieve themselves of his cap hit, and make a move for a goal scorer. In the playoffs, the salary cap is not in effect, so Nash returning then wouldn’t make a difference in terms of money issues.
The Rangers have been playing well lately, with a 5-2-1 record in their last eight games. They’ve collected points in five straight games, and they’re starting to create a bigger gap between themselves and the teams chasing them. In this Eastern Conference, the only teams that really pose a big threat to the Rangers, in my opinion, are the Washington Capitals and the Florida Panthers. Other than that, the rest of the teams have been really up and down, and even mediocre in some cases.
So the Rangers have a legitimate chance to make a run. Henrik Lundqvist is as good as any other goalie he goes up against, the Rangers are a good scoring team, with 2.9 goals per game being good enough for fifth in the league. But to really solidify their spot in the standings and get a good seed in the playoffs, they’ll need a good, proven goal scorer to help out while Nash is out of the lineup, and provide an extra spark in the playoffs.
It’ll be very interesting to see how Jeff Gorton handles things going forward, and how Nash’s injury and healing process pans out.
Posted on February 13, 2016, in Rangers Updates and tagged Andrew Ladd, Ladd trade rumors, Madison Square Garden, MSG, Nash injury, New York Rangers, New York Rangers blog, NHL Trade deadline, NHL Trade Rumors, NYR, Rangers, Rangers blog, Rick Nash, Rick Nash bone bruise, Rick Nash update. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.