Richards & Nash: Different playoff histories, same goals


Headed to practice today and will have audio and reports (Twitter: @RangersReport) from there.

Meanwhile, here’s the story I wrote for The Journal News and about Rick Nash and Brad Richards looking forward to the post-season for different reasons, with completely different playoff histories.

By Rick Carpiniello

NEW YORK – Derek Stepan and Ryan Callahan, who now skate with Carl Hagelin on their left, have become the Rangers’ No. 1 line by merit and also by default.

But as the No. 6-seeded Rangers head into the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, where they will meet No. 3 Washington for the fourth time in five years (starting Thursday and Saturday in D.C.), the Rangers need a lot from others.

And two of those others, who have clicked lately, have playoff pasts that couldn’t  be more different. Brad Richards, who had a dreadful season but turned it around the last few weeks, has played 83 playoff games (27 goals, 77 points), won a Stanley Cup and a Conn Smythe Trophy.

Rick Nash has played four playoff games (one goal, three points), all of them losses with Columbus against Detroit in 2009.

The Rangers need offense from those two, who play with Mats Zuccarello on the other wing.

“It’s great,” Nash said after the Rangers’ season finale Saturday. “This is what you want to play in as a professional athlete – games that are meaningful, big games, playoff games and we’re there now.”

He’s not in Columbus anymore, though. He’s in the spotlight of New York.

“That’s what I signed up for,” he said. “That’s what it’s all about. There’s not a bigger stage and I think great athletes love the pressure. You look at guys around the league, when a lot of pressure’s on them they produce at even a better rate. I’m sure most guys in this room understand what it’s like to play in playoffs. I’ll find out fast.”

Somebody asked Nash as he walked out the door if he there was anything from his only other playoff series he could take with him into this one.

“No,” he said with a smile.

Richards is just glad for the late uptick in his game, and for the chance to start over in Game 1.

“Next time we play it’s going to be a lot different,” he said after the 4-0 win over the already-eliminated Devils.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen but it’s a relief to get in and, yeah, it’s a great time of year. I’m excited and ready to go. This is by far the best time to play hockey and I can’t wait.”


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  1. hey, just want to give a shout to CCCP for running the carped 4 life fantasy league this year… i’m honored to have received the lord carp cup!

  2. Lord carp cup? I gotta see this thing.

    and imagine if in that Game 6-7 scenario that ya boys were up 3-2 and lost Game 6 at MSG to force a Game 7 on the road. We’re gonna need a bigger ledge.

  3. Just based on Nash’s ability to score big goals in big spots during the year (remember the first half of the season when he scored 7 or 8 third period goals and a bunch of them were in tight games?) he will thrive in the playoffs.

  4. Fantasy Hockey sucks (because I lose at it every single year).

    No Rangers Hockey until Thursday!? Let’s hope they use that time well and Heal (Staal), heal (Clowe) and heal (Boyle).

  5. I love playoff time in hockey. Also, I’m pretty glad it isn’t starting until thursday. The condensed schedule was rough on me too!

  6. Good morning, boneheads! I’m sure Miami isn’t worried about games 6-7 being back-to-back. According to him, this series could be over by this Saturday with epic fail!

  7. carp, that’s all i can think about… imagine if by the grace of god this team is up 3-2 and loses a game 6 at home and then has to turn around and play a game 7 the next night in washington… this place is going to be ridiculous, you’ll have to set up a hotline

  8. eric,
    game 6 will be during the day since game 7 is a noon start. They cant play at night in a different city the night before. so we got 3 afternoon games out of 7. Welcome to the Butt man’s NHL

  9. Draxen – the schedule actually wasn’t condensed. The boys played 1 less game than last season over 99 days this season. They even had less back-to-backs. So while it was short, it wasn’t condensed.

    Not a correction. Just putting it out there because it shocked me. This season felt very quick and condensed. Turns out, it wasn’t. Maybe I’m just getting old.

  10. I won’t be near any ledges. This team has done nothing to make me think they will go far in the playoffs, so I will just sit back and enjoy them. Last year was far more stressful because of the increased expectations. I think they can make some noise, but lots of things have to move in a direction that is opposite of what they did in the regular season, and that usually doesn’t happen. They beat a bunch of non-playoff teams to get to this point. It took some luck to beat one of them (Carolina). So, I will just take it easy a hope for some surprises. However, I won’t be shocked if things go the way they did during the regular season. HOUSE MONEY!!

  11. oh man that big jpg of the lord carp cup is just outstanding… i might print it out and put it on my desk

  12. Stranger Nation on

    is Richards/Zucc/Nash the line now – ugh – do not likey

    Richards needs to be with pie-hat; together they are like TGO/Kurri, apart they are Christiansen/Dubi

  13. iWicky "Frag Out!!!" on

    I wanted that cup!!!!

    Next year you crazy Ukrainian!!!

    Time for dorsett to heal!

  14. I still can’t get over 3C’s long but laconic blow by blow of Neal/Prust. Impressive.

  15. Rob in Beantown on

    Is there a way to download a completed game without having its outcome spoiled? I would think not, right? I need some red eye entertainment for Thursday night

  16. Sioux-per-man on

    Morning Fella’s!!!

    Playoff hockey the best time of the year!!!

    Rangers win in 6 at home at MSG.

    It will take a total team effort, but we are a better team than when we played them and won 2-0-1.

    Key is for McDonagh vs Ovechkin, and Lundqvist vs Holtby. Has to be advantage Rangers.

  17. Rob in Beantown on

    I’m probably only kidding myself, I won’t be able to avoid checking the score anyway

  18. it appears the same boneheads who thought the rangers were garbage, not making the playoffs now have them meeting the pens in the conference finals, talk about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

  19. Stranger Nation on

    coos – can someone repost the bout review

    – this site is way too confusing to find it again

    watched in 3 times and curious what a fellow expert thought ;-)

  20. Sioux-per-man on

    3C – Nice Cup Cake Cup!

    I’m thinking of Carp’s stash from years back would give it that playoff feel. Make it old school.

    Where’s the link to put my picks in?

  21. CCCP: Can you repost for Stranger, et al? It would take me an hour. You can probably find it quickly.

  22. I’m the opposite, Tommy. Very positive during the regular season and now horrified in the playoffs.

  23. Sioux-per-man on

    Manny – horrified? for the playoffs? Why?

    Bleed Blue! We are in against the weakest division’s winner. To me it feels like we have the 3rd seat.

    Rangers have to be the odds favorite don’t they?

  24. hedberg

    you wrote this earlier towards me.

    game 6 will be during the day since game 7 is a noon start. They cant play at night in a different city the night before. so we got 3 afternoon games out of 7. Welcome to the Butt man’s NHL.

    HOW CAN GAME 7 BE A NOON START WHEN IT IS SCHEDULED FOR A MONDAY May 13th. since when does the nhl play afternoon hockey on a monday of a normal work week. think again. taylor swift is done sun may 12th.

    now it is likely that msg for game 6 would be afternoon because should it go to 7 games they will need to travel to dc for a game 7 monday night.

  25. should game 6 be sunday afternoon mothers day then i will need to sell my pair of tickets as my wife would divorce me for sure.

    the face value for my pair is $230 $115 per ticket. let me know anyone may be interested as we get closer.

  26. Sioux-per-man on

    I guess Washington is +1400 & Rangers are +1750.

    I just don’t feel Washington is the favorite against the Rangers in the 1’st round.

  27. Sioux-per-man on

    Tommy I wouldn’t bet on the Penguins this year, no return on your investment :)

    Who would you take Penguins at 3.55 to 1, or the rangers at 17.5 to 1?

  28. Gravy, You Know You Want Some Marty on

    Pre-playoff WBM(c)

    0) Boyle
    1) Richards
    2) MDZ
    3) Pyatt
    4) Clowe
    5) Stralman

  29. Sioux-per-man on

    The Caps have the best Power Play in the league with 26.8%, 44 power play goals.

    Simple keep Gilroy off the ice – and we shoul be good :)

  30. sorry eric,
    Thought it was 11th & 12th for games 6 & 7. But i would still imagine game six is in the afternoon, but not confirmed. i’m in for game 1 maybe 2 down here. a blue speck in a sea of Red

  31. Leetchhalloffame on

    Carp – Know the Rangers are like Belichik when it comes to injury info, but any clue if Staal might play at some point in the Washington series?

  32. Gravy, You Know You Want Some Marty on

    SPM…it’s the Whipping Boy Meter. It’s a gague of who the boneheads are bashing the most at any given time. Usually try to do it after each game.

    It’s copyrighted (copywrote?), but Carp doesn’t pay royalties. I didn’t read the fine print in the Terms of Service link below.

  33. Who is gonna be the first to raise the level of nastiness in this series? Chimera? With our faceoff, odd man rush and zone clearing problems, do we win the series this time around if the Caps play the same defensive style as last year?

  34. We need to take out Jason Chimera to start this series. He’s the guy that is going to kill us.

  35. The time of game 6 will be determined by what other (hockey) games are going on that day. They are not going to play multiple games at the same time slot just b/c it’s easier to travel.

    Not to mention that the Rangers will be taking the train to washington where they just need to walk around the corner…

  36. Doodie Machetto on


    When will the audio clips be iFriendly as promised prior to the blog makeover?

  37. Gravy, You Know You Want Some Marty on

    *gauge not gague. I’d imagine gague is what would result from watching a Rangers PP.

  38. Torts to Carp: “Carpie, we’ve forever kept our injury status a tightly held secret, but meet me in the tunnel at 4AM and I’ll tell you everything you want to know for the blog. Bring Woodward or Bernstein, your choice”

  39. Sioux-per-man on

    Goes to a good cause Coos. Some people are just going to leave with the “Prize” no matter what it cost.

    Best to get those people to the Party!!!

  40. @RE-POST@

    Brandon Prust wanted a piece of Chris Neil earlier after a big hit by Neil in the last game injured Brian Boyle and put him out of the lineup for this game. Neil ignores Prust at first but later on meets with him and they drop the gloves. Prust and Neil squareoff and then come together in close. Neil grabs Prust’s helmet but then after Prust misses a right, Neil lands a right that sends the helmet of Prust flying off his head. They get some space from each other and Neil misses two follow up rights before pushing Prust to the boards. Neil misses a right, then lands three lefts before missing another right. Prust gets off the boards and then misses a right. Neil misses a right and Prust misses two rights afterwards. Neil then throws three rights and lands two and pushes Prust to the boards again. They get back in close and wrestle. Neil lands a left and then Prust fails with an attempt to get Neil’s helmet off and throws two rights, landing one. Prust’s second try gets the helmet off Neil and they move away from the boards. Neil gets his elbow pad off and then the wrestling stops as they gain some space from each other again. They spin around and Prust misses two rights before Neil throws two rights and lands one. Prust then lands a right as Neil lands a right and then Neil misses a left before Prust misses a right. The spinning continues and Neil lands a right. Prust lands a right while moving back in close on Neil and they wrestle a little bit. The referees step in and end the fight there. Okay scrap between these two tough guys. Neil got the best of this one, he landed more and better punches for the clear win over Prust.!

  41. @NYDNRangers Not on ice today are injured forwards Ryane Clowe and Brian Boyle. Dorsett wearing yellow non-contact. Staal on ice as he’s been for a while

  42. Here, Sioux: @HLundqvist30 My new playoff bucket. My salute to 3 Swedish sport legends.. #Borg #Stenmark #Johansson Hope you guys like it.

  43. Stranger Nation on

    Gravy – Bucky Richards has moved higher on meter – would def have MDZ below Boyle who gets an injury pardon

    0 – MDZ
    1 – Hamr
    2 – Stralman
    3 – Em
    4 – Richards
    5 – Gabby (ceremonial ranking)

  44. Rob in Beantown on

    I actually dug the old one. How many hockey masks have reference to The Seventh Seal on them? That was awesome. The other side was a little gaudy, though

  45. Sioux-per-man on

    3C – Nice post on Pruster’s Fight.

    This is why we need Dorsett Healthly. Notice how the Rangers where down 3-2 to Ottawa, in the series, and down 1-0 in the Game. Rangers get the boost of energy from the fight, and go on to win the Game and the Series.

    Let’s Hope Dorsett brings this energy to the Rangers Bench. Beside we could always use another Captain on the 4th line :)

  46. I think Dorsett will be a major addition to our club… he can play hockey and does not take crap from anyone. He’s a tough guy who wore an “A” for CBJ… IMHO, that says a lot about him.

  47. besides ovechkin and backstrom the focus needs to be on chimera and brower. those role players in past have given us fits.

    carlson and green on the point are the reason they are number one in league on pp over 26%. Please no offensive zone hooking penlaties like we have seen lately.

  48. you remember when last year dale hunter would play jay beagle more then ovechkin in ice time. what a moron

  49. Sioux-per-man on

    I really like our Chances here Boys.

    Four full days of Rest for Hank.

    Four days to work on Special teams.

    I’m liking the Zucc-Richards-Nash line. They created alot of chances, and were a full line to watch.

    Cally-Step-Hags is looking to be the #1 line to put out against other teams top line. And they are scoring against them. This is going to be a key match up against the Caps. Notice how Ovechkin has 56 poits and is only a plus 2. Step +25, Cally +9, Hags +10.

    NHL teams that are playing solid defense, and are tough to play against, with a Solid Goalie, win Championships. Kings did it last year from the 8th spot. So it can be done.

  50. Sioux-per-man on

    I’m affraid of the Caps about as much as I’m affraid Wojtek Wolski is going to light up Hank!

    Forget’about it.

  51. Man. Wolski, Ward, Chimera. Ward and Chimera scare me. We always seem to get killed by 4th lines in the playoffs.

  52. It will be a interesting series, rangers/caps. I’m not sold on the rangers going anywhere in the playoffs. The rangers have been a inconsistent team all year. There last 5-10 games were against not so good teams playing for nothing so I’m not sold that all of a sudden the rangers are going to play amazing hockey and go deep into the playoffs and they are not the LA Kings, kings are a much more talented team than the rangers. I will have the wait and see approach.

  53. Considering Wolski has played 4 games in the past 40 or so days he will probably have about as big an impact on the series as me.

    Does Dorsett have an automatic spot when he is ready to play?

  54. Sioux-per-man on

    Can’t change mine.

    The Fighting Sioux Warrior best Hockey Logo Ever. It was voted on :) by all fans world wide.

  55. If I even hear Tom Poti’s name mentioned once in this series, I’m never watching hockey again. If he plays more than zero minutes, I’ll lose all faith in humanity

  56. I think if Haley or Kreider is on the 4th line the Dorsett gets an automatic position on that line when he’s ready.

  57. Same thing for me, Fat Guy, but slightly different:

    If I even hear -Tom Poti’s- *Roman Hamrlik’s* name mentioned once in this series, I’m never watching hockey again. If he plays more than zero minutes, I’ll lose all faith in humanity

  58. No, Real. Christian Thomas was called up with 9 other players from the Whale including Mcllrath, Borque, Miller and both goalies. It just means they want them around the team for the playoff atmosphere and some experience. Only Michael Haley is practicing with the team and making the trip.

  59. If the boys are without Clowe to bang with Ovie up front, the series will take on a new level of difficulty. There is a history of physicality between them, so Ovie would have to keep an eye peeled for shots across the bow

  60. I assume Kreider has to move up with Boyle and Clowe out. So Newbury and Haley will be our 4th line swappables. That’s my guess.

  61. if hamilik dresses end the series in 3. also holtby best play comes against the rangers. this will be extremly difficult.

    not a good thing that dorsett wasnt cleared for contact yet. he could make it back maybe late in series. i dont feel confident in boyle or clowe though for game one.

    staal is the x factor.

  62. Sioux-per-man on

    Manny -we couldn’t run a 4th line in the playoffs last year. This year we have the speed & size. Powe plays solid defense. Haley has speed and grit, put up alot of points for the Whale so he can score. Does he play well with Kreider or do the Rangers put in Dorsett or Boyle when healthy?

    I have no clue who is going to PLAYOFF ready. I would think the faster skater wins don’t you? So maybe Dorsett for defense and toughness?????

  63. i bet the lines we see today are what they go with game 1.

    nash richy zucc
    hags step cally
    kreider brassard pyatt
    asham newbury powe.

  64. Ha. Good point, Real. I was thinking that Kreider might feel more relaxed in the playoffs since he’s much more used to it.

  65. what’s the Over/Under on how many ridiculous Plato’s Retreat shirts Duguay breaks out during round one?

    Oooh La La Sassoon!

  66. Sioux-per-man on

    Eric you don’t want to see the Hamr come down on the Caps.

    Give him the game winning goals that knocks them out of the Playoffs :)

  67. still sticking with my pre season prediction

    hawks over bruins in 7 games on an overtime goal by michael rozival.

  68. Sioux-per-man on

    Carp – what are you thoughts on Staal?

    Do you think we will see him before this playoff season is over?

  69. Stranger Nation on

    Eric – those lines can work

    more Moore – cannot burn out Danny G and McD in the first few games

    yes, I am talking about FATIGUE!!!

  70. Sioux-per-man on

    Eric – how do you do it.

    I can’t even think about another team. Until the Rangers are out of it.

    Just can’t.

    Am I the only one with this problem?????

  71. Sioux-per-man on

    Eric – I would say those are the lines. With Steps line as the top line out against the Ovechkin line.

    Nash’s line with draw the top defensive pair.

    Brassard & Kreider will get the 3rd pair on Caps defence

    All advantage Rangers!!!

  72. The Rangers have an answer for everything except, even after all these years, Ovie at his best. No one has an answer for that, even if his treads are as bald as a balloon

  73. Why are they picking the first 14 draft picks out of a hat again?
    Rhetorical question. We all know the answer is “So Pittsburgh, NYI, Edmonton and Philly can get top 5 draft picks”…

  74. We have got to rough up Ovechkin. Need to get him off his game and focused on being hit and shoved. Problem is we *HAVE* to stay out of the box. Have to.

    How many games will HaGOONlin be suspended for this playoffs?

  75. Just watched Game 7 of the 94 Finals on Rangers in 60. Still gives me chills.

    Was there ever a better color commentator than JD?

    Richter was unbelievable and lucky! What a combination!

    Doug Lidster stepped up big time for the injured Beukeboom!

  76. lol @ Manny freaking about Hamr.

    There’s something to be said for playoff experience Manny!
    In fact, I wonder what Leetch and Glen Anderson are up to for the next couple months : /

  77. The Caps can really screw us in their building if they can get Ovechkin out against Eminger. He will take at least 1 penalty for every shift that that occurs.

  78. Eminger will be replaced by one person only: Marc Staal. Then we can have Staal / Girardi, McBust / Del Zaster, Moore / Stralman

  79. Manny in order for this roster without Clowe or Staal to “rough up” OV we’ll need the Shirt/Bill Pidto launcher locked and loaded for this series.

  80. howdy ILB! Have we now drawn the Caps more than the Red Wings drew the Avalanche from 96-2003?

  81. Stay out of the box

    Match or win the special teams play

    Defend aggressively in the neutral zone and at the defensive blue line

    Forecheck aggressively but smartly

    Hit the net with our point shots

  82. Sioux-per-man on

    I forgot all about Tomas Kundratek. Another Ranger prospect/Whale player. Looks to be in their top 6 on defense. Hmmm not sure if I’ve ever seen him play.

  83. Papa Bear is exactly correct

    The key to us winning this series is that we have to do everything well and not let them do anything well

  84. Sioux-per-man on

    Seriously. Rangers need to stay OUT of the penalty box.

    Huge. Advantage for the Caps here! Power Play goals is the only way they win this series.

    Run and Gun Caps won’t beat King Henrik in a 7 game series.

    All bets off if it gets to 7 games :(

  85. We should also try and be better than the Caps _off_ the ice as well. Maybe sleep better than them, eat better than them, go to higher class establishments. Really crucial.

  86. Looks like Ward and Laich will be out for Game 1.

    Other OFF Ice stuff: Invest better, look better, dress better, treat wives better, treat kids better, send kids to better colleges…

  87. FAO wicky

    So no trophy and/or Ulf Samuelsson autographed poutine receptacle for the Europansy who successfully defended his title in your goon league, going undefeated no less?

  88. If you ever question why we put ourselves through this craziness, watch the last 10 minutes of game 7, 1994 Stanley Cup Finals.

  89. @NYDNRangers: Derek Dorsett to News: “You can’t predict, but if everything keeps going the way it has, I hope to be ready sometime during this series.”

  90. And the bad news:

    @AGrossRecord: Marc Staal reports no new progress in adjusting to blurred vision but that doesn’t rule him out playing in playoffs at some point.

  91. Gravy, You Know You Want Some Marty on

    _Gravy – Bucky Richards has moved higher on meter – would def have MDZ below Boyle who gets an injury pardon_

    SN, Richards still gets beat on more than anybody on the current roster, but I agree with you. Also, Boyle is a permanent member, this #0 on the list. He was still getting bashed since he’s been on IR (ex. team scores more when he’s out, team seems faster, pass better, etc.)

  92. More bad news:

    @AGrossRecord: No Clowe update, more and more likely he’s dealing with concussion so you know how that timetable works.

  93. That elbow to the head is going to cost Clowe a LOT of money. Especially if the Rangers advance without him.

  94. When Staal somes back, he’ll have on a prescription visor so thick that he’ll look like the Hubble Telescope

  95. Now we know why Grandma Staal was so saddened when Marc came out of the closet to announce he was a defenseman instead of a forward like his bros

  96. I was thinking Staal would come back with serious depth perception issues. Like trying to body check Ovechkin and missing by 8 feet.

  97. If I walked in here with Muttonchops, I’d be fired on the spot, no questions asked

  98. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    I predict Rangers/Leafs or Rangers/Senators in Rd 2 as Boston and Montreal both lose….and hoping for islander upset…

  99. Stranger Nation on

    Gravy – sorry to question the master ;-p

    @AGrossRecord: No Clowe update, more and more likely he’s dealing with concussion so you know how that timetable works
    ah um – calling that a timetable is a bit of a misnomer as Ranger brass is not likely to allow any level of status so we will look to ‘practice’ TOI as leading indicator of injured players – MSG is a joke

  100. Doodie Machetto on

    stranger, I think Gross is referencing the return timetable for a concussion, which should always be no timetable because it is impossible to predict. It’s not like a knee injury. Be upset we have no update on Boyle. Or not, if you don’t want him in the lineup.

  101. I’ve really been troubled by the Officials. For some strange reason they seem to be quick to penalize Ranger players for actions that they consistently overlook when committed by opponents against Rangers………….maybe it’s just me, but I wonder if this is noted by anyone else.

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