Just how unusual this opening season goal drought is for Rick Nash

Nash celebrated 1st goal of the year...technically (Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images

Nash celebrated 1st goal of the year…technically (Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images

Rick Nash is a fast starter. This is actually a fact. Last night he scored his first goal of the season even though not a single puck of his has crossed the goal line yet. Officially the goal will go down as the 700th point of his career and end a career record of 7 games without a goal to start the season.

The previous longest opening drought for Nash was in 2013-14 with the New York Rangers at 4 games. What makes this odd is that in 13 opening games in his career, Nash has scored in 5 of them for a total of 7 goals. Matter of fact, he had a goal by game two 9 times. So this long goal-less streak is extremely abnormal.

What’s scary is, Nash still hasn’t actually scored a goal this season either.

With an empty net, Nash was in on a breakaway when he was pulled from behind…that’s an automatic goal. So Rick Nash has one goal on the year and has never actually hit the back of the net with an ounce of vulcanized rubber.

Nash joked with reporters afterwards saying,”The way things were going that felt pretty standard.” For the big winger, his smile showed just how much relief it was. Maybe this is a sign that his luck is about to change and the dam is going to break.

It’s not like Nash doesn’t have long stretches without a goal in his career. In 2011-12 he went 7 games without a goal not once, but twice! One of those stretches he didn’t register a single point, yet finished with 30 goals. In 2009-10 he went 11 games without a goal. Yes, 11 GAMES! He finished that season with 33 goals. The year he scored 40 goals in 2008-09 he went 9 games without a tally!

So what usually happens after one of these long droughts? Well, in 2008-09 he scored in 5 straight and had 7 goals in 8 games after the goalless streak. In 2009-10 he notched 5 in 6 games and in 2011-12 he netted 3 goals in 4 games, all after long stretches without a marker.

Last year, his finest as a Ranger where he scored 42 times he had an 8 game drought without a goal. So the bottom line here is this: Rick Nash is going to be just fine. The only difference is this season, he got his big drought out of the way early…sort of.

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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