Friday, November 8, 2019

Rick Nash, Henrik Lundqvist & Chris Kreider Jersey Card

A guy who had a good run. A Hall of Fame goaltender who for a brief period (3-5 years) was the best at his profession on the planet. A guy who has a habit of running into goalies:
That's Rick Nash, Henrik Lundqvist and Chris Kreider on an all-New York Rangers jersey card, although the Nash swatch looks like it's from his Columbus Blue Jackets days. It's #PT3-NLK from Upper Deck's 2015-16 Premier set, Premier Teammates sub-set, and is numbered 79/99.

Nash was the NHL's first-overall draft pick in 2002, and despite a slew of injuries that took him from team captain and Rocket Richard Trophy winner elite player to depth checker, he still has a good chance of finishing first in career points of his class even if he never plays another game: his 805 points are nearly 200 more than his closest pursuer, Alexander Steen, who himself has slowed down to a 35-to-40-point pace at this point. Duncan Keith is probably the only Hall Of Famer of that draft year.

Lundqvist "only" has one Vezina Trophy to his name, but his dominance and consistency is something I never witnessed from any other goalie in my lifetime - and I saw almost every game of Patrick Roy's career, most of Martin Brodeur's and possibly half of Dominik Hasek's. Like Roy, he elevated his game under pressure, but not to the point of winning a Stanley Cup by himself. He needed all the might of Team Sweden to win Olympic gold in 2006.

Kreider is an asshole. He has the size, grit and overall talent to be on the same level as Blake Wheeler or Brad Marchand, but instead seems to rest on his laurels when the situation would require him to step up. He rarely scores less than 20 goals but has never reached the 30-goal plateau; he rarely gets fewer than 40 points but has never reached 55. His first two playoff goals were game-winners, but it seems like that's where he stopped putting any effort in.

He's delivered a ton of dirty hits to opposing players (those on Scottie Upshall and Elias Petterson come to mind), but even dirtier, he specializes in dangerous contacts with #1 goaltenders, among them Jaroslav Halak, Marc-André Fleury, Craig Anderson, and Carey Price.

He's the type of player I wouldn't mind never hearing of again, like Marchand.

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