Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Rick Nash Jersey Card

After a 42-goal season in 2014-15 - a career high and the league's third-highest total - Rick Nash has fallen into familiar times this postseason, reduced to hoping for a favourable bounce to fix a 3.1 shooting percentage - an awful number for pretty much any NHLer, let alone a sniper of his caliber, and below even his career average of... 3.5.

Some articles written about him are downright mean:
During Game 1 of the New York Rangers’ series against the Washington Capitals, NBC analyst Mike Milbury said that Rick Nash was playing a “marshmallow soft” brand of hockey, which wasn’t exactly fair, considering that marshmallows are visible.
Through eight playoff games, Nash has one goal and four assists. Against the Capitals, he has one assist. In his last 33 playoff games with the Rangers, he had four goals. In his last 33 regular-season games with the Rangers, he had 14 goals.
I get it: he makes a lot of money, eats a lot of cap space, and is relied upon to score goals, which he does amazingly well in the regular season, but seldom in the playoffs. I'd be mad if he were on the team(s) I'm rooting for, sure, probably, but these are the same playoffs where Steven Stamkos was shut out for 8 games, where grinders outproduce stars, and where all 8 teams remaining in the second round have a legitimate shot at the Stanley Cup (ok, maybe not the Calgary Flames, but one can dream/hope).

And he's a big body with good speed who still gets covered like a sniper, so he's helping his team by occupying the defensive players and creating more space for his teammates. That probably won't get enough to quell his critics, but it'll make his coach and GM appreciate some of his play, at least.

This card is very similar to the one I featured last October, in that it shows him wearing the Rangers' white (now-away) uniform, but has two game-worn jersey swatches from a black uniform, likely from the Columbus Blue Jackets' alternate uniform from the 2003-07 era, the only one he's worn that has black on it:
It's from Upper Deck's 2013-14 Black Diamond set (card #NYR-RN of the Double Diamond Jerseys sub-set).

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