Did the Islanders expose a chink in Rick Nash’s armor

Nash dejected after Islanders goal (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Nash dejected after Islanders goal (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

The Rangers best player was held to three shots on goal in a game that desperately needed his presence. He finished the game a -2 with a missed shot (hit the post) and another block. For those fancy stat enthusiasts, his possession number was a lowly 31.82% CF.

We can surely chalk it up to a bad game, an off night if you will for Nash and the Rangers. However, the Islanders were able to do something that you rarely see this season. They stood up Rick Nash and kept him from the high scoring areas.

How did they do it? They used their size and speed basically.

Apart from that first period sequence in which he and then Brassard hit posts, Rick Nash was not seen or heard from again. The Islanders simply shut him and the Rangers down. Time after time they stood the Rangers up in the neutral zone and around the blue-line.

More importantly, the Isles big forwards were standing up to him and bumping Nash at every turn. Is this the blueprint on how to beat the Rangers and shutdown Rick Nash? If so, we will find out almost immediately tonight.

The big bad Bruins are getting set to host Nash and the Blueshirts and you can bet they watched that game. Boston has the same size up front that the Islanders have, and the nasty edge to go with it too.

Nash got a heavy dose of players like Cal Clutterbuck and Kyle Okposo, so you can bet he will see tons of Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand tonight. Will the Bruins be able to repeat what the Islanders did, or will Rick Nash show us all that it was just an off night against the Islanders.

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at YardBarker, and MSN. Features have been linked on Sportsnet, NBC, TFP, NY POST, NEWSDAY and more.