Rangers’ Rick Nash ready to get it started


Here’s Josh Thomson, 26’s story about Rick Nash and his thoughts heading into the playoffs:

By Josh Thomson

GREENBURGH – When asked whether the playoffs have arrived too soon after the Olympics for players to properly recharge, Rick Nash laughed.

The Rangers’ winger waited most of his career to play on a consistent contender. He isn’t about to take a chance at the Cup for granted.

“Maybe guys who have won it before, but I’m as hungry as ever to get that championship,” said Nash, whose only other postseason experience before coming to New York was a 2009 first-round sweep. “So there’s no problem like that with me.”

Nash has every reason to enter Thursday night’s playoff opener against the Flyers motivated. Not only has he skated in just 16 playoff games in 11 NHL seasons, the 29-year old struggled through a dreadful first postseason in New York, scoring just one goal in 12 games.

“I think everyone should have a chip on their shoulder to perform, to get the job done,” Nash said. “Last year finished off not the way we wanted it to, so I think it’s important to go into the playoffs with that chip on us.”

Even this season Nash’s production fell short of expectations. He scored three fewer points than last season despite playing 21 more games. Still, he led the Rangers with 26 goals and will be counted on to provide offense after that 2013 disappearance.

Nash said those struggles taught him to remain consistent regardless of the results — or, in his case, in the absence of them.

“I don’t have many playoff games under me to take a lot of experiences from,” he said. “The first time it was four. Last time, it was going to Game 5 in the second round. Each time I can kind of take things from it. Last year it was staying with it when things aren’t going right.”

One advantage playing in the Rangers’ favor is goaltending. They learned Wednesday that backup goalie Ray Emery will start Game 1 for the Flyers rather than Nash’s former Columbus teammate Steve Mason, who is injured.

Emery finished the season just 9-12-2 and hasn’t started a postseason game in three years.

“Honestly, for us, it doesn’t really matter if it’s Mason or Emery,” said Derick Brassard, who returned to practice Wednesday after leaving Tuesday’s skate with a back injury. “They’re both really good goaltenders. Steve had a really good season, but I think Emery’s a goalie who has shown in the past that he can play in the playoffs.”

Twitter: @jthomson22

Photo by Getty Images.


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  1. “Maybe guys who have won it before, but I’m as hungry as ever to get that championship,” said Nash

    So … he’s as hungry as he was last year?

  2. Doodie Machetto on

    “Flyers coach Craig Berube is instructing his top line of Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell and Jake Voracek to dump the puck into the Rangers end, specifically Ryan McDonagh’s, to -see if they can keep McDonagh behind the net and free up some space to create scoring chances.- run him in the corner and hopefully reinjure his shoulder or give him some other injury.”

  3. Right, Doodie. I just really hope we aren’t too big/classy/the-other-thing to not join them on the low road. Can’t let a team hack you out of a series.

  4. If Nash has a great series than Philly has no shot at all. Would love to see he and St. Louis dominate from the get go.

  5. “That’s the really unfair part because we can’t even retaliate. If you rough up Emery or Mason you risk having some better no-name come up out of the AHL.”

    Even worse, if you rough up Emery, you risk him beating the Carcillo out of you.

  6. “They’re both really good goaltenders. Steve had a really good season, but I think Emery’s a goalie who has shown in the past that he can play in the playoffs.”

    I want someone to someday say, “Their first goalie sucks and their second goalie sucks even more than their first goalie.”

  7. Open with a laugher
    Win a tight one
    Win with convincing fashion 4-1 (ENG)

    We’re up 3-0. That’s how I want this to go.

  8. Sioux -Hat Trick- Get in the Game on

    Nash has another level to go to. We all seen it the last time he played in Columbus.

    Marty and Nash could dominate the Flyers if they get hot.

    I can see more than one short handed goal coming from them.

  9. Or “Yeah, we kinda wish Mason hadn’t gotten hurt, he’s awful. Emery atleast has a shot at stealing one from us.”

  10. Richie is a defensive liability. He MUST produce on face-offs and the PP or find him a seat up by the hot dog kiosk.

  11. Yup. Huge sign that says “CARP EATS FREE” because you have such a credit there already…

  12. Sioux -Hat Trick- Get in the Game on

    Emery has his name on the Cup :)
    Didn’t he win it as a backup playing for Chicago last year.

    So he has that working for him.

  13. Francesa went to the Knick game last night and says Rangers are VERY wary of the Flyers. Guess Carmelo told him.

  14. iWicky "Frag Out!!!" on

    I think Nash will be better than last year (not saying much).

    I also think dorsett has the skill set to play on the 3rd line

  15. Zebras will have their eyes out for Dorsett. lol. Watch the Philthies run us all night and beat on our guys after whistles, and Dors is given the 10 minutes for indignation.

  16. The only thing that I’m concerned about in reference to the flyers is there 3 dirty players, Simmonds, Hartnell and Rinaldo doing something dirty to injure a ranger player, other than that, not worried about the flyers. Rangers over the past few years have had there number.

  17. Francesa thinks the Rangers will have a tough time because they haven’t beat them since 1986.

    And the Flyers have a lot of those players on this team.

  18. Oh yea, also concerned that the typical stupid nhl and there refereeing will turn a blind eye, let the flyers asylum get away with nonsense and as soon as the rangers try to defend themselves will get called for a mind blowing ridiculous penalty. This is the WWE, I mean, the Mickey Mouse league, I mean the NHL.

  19. _The Phlyers players seriously DYED their playoff beards already._

    If you have a really cool idea like that (wank) and you’re nervous you won’t make it past the first round, you do it in the first round.

  20. @PLeonardNYDN In #NYR’s last loss to Philly at the Garden, 4-2, on Feb. 20, 2011, Dan Carcillo scored for the #Flyers #itsbeenthatlong

  21. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    I’d love to see McDunner knock Simmonds teeth out with one shot to the mouth.

  22. So Rinaldo’s suspension takeaway was that if he wants to target the head, he has to be on his tip-toes and not leave his feet. Great.

  23. I get why people want to play Carcillo, but that’s the type of reaction that plays into the Flyers’ hands. For those who mentioned Avery, he was at his best when he was getting the other team to *focus* on not playing hockey.

  24. Sioux -Hat Trick- Get in the Game on

    Carp they haven’t played since ’97 :)

    In the playoffs.

  25. Tonight got double overtime written all over it.

    If that’s the case I may not make it to game 2.

    First beer on me at the puck for those going.

    Have we figured out how to contain Simmonds yet?

  26. Sioux -Hat Trick- Get in the Game on

    It’s always a good game, but even the players have it in their heads that they can’t win at MSG. 8-0 is going to be 9-0. After Hank is done with them tonight.

  27. Sioux -Hat Trick- Get in the Game on

    Simmonds the one Flyer I would like to see as a Ranger.

    Not sure Eric, he seems to get a lot of time in front of Hank.

  28. I would like Carcillo in the lineup so much more if it didn’t give us 4 4th liners.

  29. That Simmonds slash really soured me and I love Couturier’s game, Sioux. Easily could be the choice as the 3rd line center on the ideal (non-all-star) roster.

  30. That’s the problem MD. It’s either Carcillo or Dorsett. Can’t see them taking out Boyle or Moore.

  31. I imagine they’ll take out Fast and cause one problem attempting to solve another.

  32. Rob in Beantown on

    Are you guys following Luongo’s epic live tweeting of him fixing his daughter’s toy?

  33. Ok so we’re not allowed to talk about Tortorella, Avery, Malik, etc but are perfectly fine with continuously crying about Prust (excellent set up for Tampa’s goal last night), Dubinsky, Anisimov and Callahan (did he play?). Got it!

    Larry Brooks @NYP_Brooksie

    (1/2) Scott Hartnell offered an interesting take on the impact of the Rangers’ change behind the bench from Tortorella to Vigneault:

    Larry Brooks @NYP_Brooksie

    (2/2) Hartnell: “The new coach gave Richards more freedom to do what he does best. It’s unfortunate what happened to him last year.”

    *It’s all Richards’ fault*

  34. Sioux -Hat Trick- Get in the Game on

    Unless Fast and Hags speed cause the Flyers issues, maybe Richie gets on the board tonight.

    I am curious what Fast can bring to the Rangers Playoff team, over Carcillo. If there was one series, it would be this on I would play Carcillo over Fast. So we shall see.

  35. Sioux -Hat Trick- Get in the Game on

    Nash, St. Louis, & Richards are still the big 3 on offense.

    But ZUCC was the point leader :)

    It still tickles me he pulled that off this year.

  36. Sioux -Hat Trick- Get in the Game on

    Looks a lot like the Bonehead picks!

    A lot of Boston, with a lot of Rangers (too be expected).

  37. Also, screw Hartnell. The Phlyers didn’t win a SINGLE GAME AGAINST THE RANGERS for like 1.5 seasons until Vigneault was coach.

  38. I imagine Hartnell naturally sympathizes with Richards as a fellow veteran with a contract that runs waaaaaaay too long.

  39. Vigneault also wasnt the one who sent out Olli Jokinen for a season deciding shootout against, who was it?. Oh ye, the FLYERS. Oh sorry was i not supposed to talk about Tortorella?

  40. Of course you guys are going to blame Richards for coasting back and costing the Rangers an odd man rush. That’s sooo you guys.

    Too soon?

  41. That Jokinen shootout attempt is about as close as I’ve come to full sports repression.

  42. Last year, Richards on pace for 61 points. Stinks. This year, Richards scores 51 points. Better.

  43. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Manny – I thought you wanted to talk about the *present*

    What did you think of Torts’ line juggling in game 1, yesterday?

  44. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Lev – give it a break. After torts win the cup -this year- -next year- -some year- never, you’ll see why he is so revered.

  45. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    I’m ready to drop the gloves and punch someone in the face and knock all their teeth out.

    #getting fired up
    #kick filthy azz

  46. MD, it was pretty close for me. That moment and when there were 6 snow angels on Henrique’s goal with Doc yelling with every last bit of wind in his lungs.

  47. Jokinen shootout resulted in a lot of stomping, screaming and burning followed by quiet time and inner anger.

  48. I felt pretty much just like McDonagh did after that Henrique goal. That SUCKED.

  49. Going to Sunday’s game!!!! Holy Hartnell! Haven’t been to a playoff game in eons….See ya Sunday Carp!!!

  50. Doodie Machetto on

    Gravy, if you remember, a lot of those points came late in the season and were just some of the most flukey bounces I have ever seen. His playoffs are a better indication of how he actually played last year.

  51. I agree, Doodie. He got like 12 points in the last 6 games, or something like that. It’s more like 1st half Richards was better, 2nd half Richards was the same as last year.

  52. Unable to repress Henrique, Lev. I can relive that one fully right now. Jokinen is in some weirdo Office Space calm place deep inside me.

  53. Guess Hartnell doesn’t remember the 55 games of way-too-long leash given to a guy who mailed in an entire season.

  54. Sioux -Hat Trick- Get in the Game on

    Carp – Hartnell clamoring for Richards to play with them next year. He will look good on the 4th line next to Vinny.

  55. Sioux -Hat Trick- Get in the Game on

    Our 4th line is going to be a big part of why this team goes farther than “Tort’s” team did last year.

    They play 10M per game, and can chip in a goal here and there. Will make our top 3 lines better in the 3rd period.

    Tort’s shortened the bench when he was behind, hurt the Rangers game late in the 3rd, and OT.

  56. BickelsPickle on

    I think that whole “black beard” thing is smart as it loosens the media a bit and detracts their hunger for ripping apart goalies

  57. Doodie Machetto on

    Colossus needs to get over there and straighten out Omega Red.

    I really shouldn’t joke about this, but it’s how I deal with tragedy.

  58. Doodie Machetto on

    Lowest icetime by a player that game was Hamrlik with just over 3:30.

    Ugh, Hamrlik.

  59. “I’d hit him if I’m out there,” Flyers right wing Wayne Simmonds said. “He’s a defenseman who is going to play a lot of minutes in this series. He played just below 25 minutes during the regular season so he will probably play closer to 30 minutes in the playoffs. You want to put pucks in his corner. You want to punish him physically. Anyone who is going to play that amount of time, if you start to punish them physically, they will wear down over time.”

    I hope McD catches Simmonds with a shoulder to his friggin noggin and rings his bell.

  60. Doodie Machetto on

    Miami, I thought this was just an exhibition because its not fair for professionals to compete with amateurs.

  61. Sioux -Hat Trick- Get in the Game on

    I didn’t realize Richie and Vinny go all the way back to high school & juniors. Now they are in the Stanley Cup Playoffs playing against each other. That’s a pretty good back story there.

    Carp you will have get a line or two out of Richards on how far they go back.

  62. You just wait for Simmonds to come phlying in and you protect yourself with elbows out.

  63. Doodie Machetto on

    If the Flyers win game 1, they are winning this series. The Rangers will not win a long series against the Flyers.

  64. Lev

    That flyer is a provocation. But the fact that it even exists is very scary. Just like the article said, use scapegoat (The Joos) to send a message to everyone else. Cheap tactic. I hate to see what is happening to Ukraine its good people (there are plenty of those)and I am very concerned how all of this will reflect on Odessa…just a sad sad situation.

  65. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Hammer and Caber – 2 of the best D men to have never been paired together..

  66. Miami Playoff Pimp on

    “Miami, I thought this was just an exhibition because its not fair for professionals to compete with amateurs.’

    It isn’t an exhibition?

  67. Rangers should also pound their D — especially Streit and Timonen. Callahan and Kreider should … oh, wait.

  68. On Francesa. It’s a catch 22 to me. On one hand I want him to talk hockey because there’s a lot more fans who care about hockey than he’ll admit. Much more than Manhattan basketball and he has those college coaches on all the time. But, on the other hand his total knowledge of hockey consists of, “Dog and I were there in ’94 during the playoffs” He’s an embarrassment when he talks hockey!! It’s painful to listen to. For someone who’s supposed to be a sports genius… Oh the best part of him trying to talk hockey with Pierre, is Pierre trying to teach him a thing or two about it, and Mike not even realizing/listening to what he’s saying :)

    I still say, the best way to stop the F’ers and their goon coach from pulling that crap is to score on the PP. You do that, it’s either going to stop, or it’s going to be a VERY short series.

  69. E3, we should start fights with random people in the street, a la Fight Club. The adrenaline is starting to pump.

  70. Sioux -Hat Trick- Get in the Game on

    *Carp* are the 2 & 3 in the west better than the Rangers right now?

    Hawk vs Blues – is going to be a great series.
    Kings vs Sharks – Gaborik on the top line with Kopitar.

    Rangers vs Flyers – will be good, I just think the Rangers to win is an easier pick than the other two series.

  71. Steve, I heard it too: “Who is the best player in the playoffs? Like who is you-ah LeBron.”

  72. Off tomorrow too, Gravy. Happy hour tonight then some more damage at home later.

    No *kids*

  73. I’m off tomorrow too … but I work from home usually and tomorrow we’re getting up early to take the kid into the city for her first trip. So its actually rougher for me. Wow, what a dedicated dad!

  74. Booby, then you have one up on me. Though, I think my wife has plans with the kids relatively early tomorrow to meet up with some friends.

  75. Carp
    let me know if you notice this
    and if it’s possible to get AV or players’ thought on it.

    i know Staal is REALLY guilty of this and sometimes Girardi and McD
    they’re behind the goal line with the puck
    and have time to move it
    but (seem to) wait for an opponent
    to be next to ’em before they do.
    a lot of times
    the D ends up getting crushed and/or
    the puck doesn’t always make it to a teammate
    and outta the zone.

    i know that a player has to “give up the body” at times during the game in order to make a play
    but it just seems ridiculous
    in general
    and stupid in particular
    when it comes to this Cup playoff series
    when the opponent is looking for ANY opportunity to put on the BIG Hurt.

    i’m hoping they decide and move the puck quicker and don’t leave themselves SO

  76. I’m not AV, but a lot of times the D men set up back there on a line change, then wait until the other players position themselves for a set breakout. Plus, you can get at least one forward out of position if you beat him with the pass.

  77. Sioux -Hat Trick- Get in the Game on

    Doodie – Mason was the better goalie all year. Emery should stick to cage fighting :)

  78. _That sounds fun, MD. Enjoy!_

    We get to hang out at the fire station (yay) and its close to one of the Doughnut Plants (yay) but my brother-in-law won’t let me slide down the pole (boo).

  79. Doodie Machetto on

    Emery has played in a Cup Final before. Mason probably hasn’t even played a Cup Final in a video game if he used himself in goal.

    Emery is a gamer. I’m much more concerned about him than Mason.

  80. Stranger Nation on

    You guys seem nervous. Relax. Deep breaths. No need to worry about the rough stuff with Norris and Stepson in the mix.

  81. Just picked up my vat o bourbon. Nervous presently but I should be a bit more even keeled by game time.

    Let’s Go Rangers!!!!

  82. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Housekeepers are here. I think I’ll sock the little one in the gut ala hartnell…

  83. Over for Richards who had more than twice the hits the Good One had over the course of the season.

    Yeah, blew my mind too.

  84. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Manny – I just made extra work for them…blood squirting everywhere…

    #beat up the maid is easy

  85. Game 3 is on Mrs. Gravy’s birthday, but we are going out to dinner on Saturday. So, when I go downstairs and ignore life, she’ll totally understand, right?

  86. It’s important for the Rangers to remember that they are “playing divorced guys!”

  87. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    One just called my daughter a little cutie….I thought she said Berube – so I just bashed her face in….

  88. “You know what’s hard work? Going through a divorce, she’s trying to get all my money now. She can half of it, I don’t give a [Cooke]. The other half, hard work, mine! Some guys on their team are [byfuglien] divorced. Three guys there, who’s [byfuglien] marriages are in the [byfuglien] toilet.”

  89. Sioux -Hat Trick- Get in the Game on

    *CARP* – with the Flyers in town, does that mean the ESB is orange tonight?

  90. At the puck place has some buzz. Was jus offered 70 tix to game 3 in Phil. Should I go?

  91. Sioux -Hat Trick- Get in the Game on

    This marriage is on hold, during hockey season!

    Every house should have this.

    It’s in our kitchen :)

  92. Bull dog line

    Congrats on winning my fantasy hockey league! Good job! Thanks for playing and dedication! See you next year!

  93. Rob in Beantown on

    _Game 3 is on Mrs. Gravy’s birthday, but we are going out to dinner on Saturday. So, when I go downstairs and ignore life, she’ll totally understand, right?_

    IT’S A TRAP!

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