When Rick Nash has played for the New York Rangers, he’s been as good as advertised: 12 points in 14 games, including 5 points in his last 4 games, playing at a plus-9.
Problem is that Nash hasn’t played since Feb. 17, missing three games in which the Rangers were 0-2-1 and scored three goals.
Potentially bigger problem: That the Rangers have been tremendously tight-lipped about what injury has kept Nash out.
Nash returned to the ice for the Rangers on Tuesday for a full practice. The answers about his condition didn't arrive, however.
Via Andrew Gross of the Bergen Record, on Nash today:
Nash doesn't think he'll be ready tonight. Has been skating since last week on his own. Won't specify his injury. Says it was a few things.The aforementioned Lucic hit on Nash:
I asked Nash directly if he had a concussion. He said he's not a doctor, he had a few issues. However, Nash does not deny at least one issue stemmed from Lucic hit in Boston.
One can understand the “issues” that could come from such a hit.
More to the point, from Katie Strang of ESPN NY:
Nash hesitated when asked whether he had a concussion: "Um, I'm not a doctor, so it's tough for me to analyze that."(If ever there was a time we needed you, Mark Recchi …)
So it appears it won’t be the “fatal blow” to the Rangers some feared. One assumes Nash is battling a few things – his lingering groin injury from the lockout and a bum shoulder, along with whatever stemmed from the Lucic hit.
But even a banged up Rick Nash will help this Rangers’ offense, which is 23rd in the NHL with 2.35 goals per game.