Rick Nash returned to the lineup for the first time in 17 games during Tuesday night's loss to the Boston Bruins. The New York Rangers winger is a key part of the lineup, but how well did he play against the Bruins?
Nash is one of the Blueshirts' most important players, and he will play a role in the team's success for the rest of the season.
It was only one game, but here is an evaluation of Nash's return to the Rangers' lineup.
Nash attempts a shot on goal.
Grade: B- | Key Stats: Five shots, zero points
Rick Nash was kept off the scoresheet in his return to the lineup. He took five shots on goal, but he looked a little tentative and slow on the ice. There were was one occasion in which Nash drove up the left wing, and he hesitated on a shot.
A Bruin defender was able to come across the slot, and his stick deflected Nash's attempted shot. Nash is a dominant scoring forward who uses his speed and size to his advantage, but he certainly looked a bit rusty.
Considering the circumstance, Nash had a solid game, but the Blueshirts will need more from him going forward.
Whenever a player returns from injury, there is bound to be an adjustment period, but Nash was pretty solid positionally against the Bruins. He had some turnovers early on that forced him to get back on defense, but for the most part, he saw the ice well.
He wasn't caught out of position, he didn't ditch his assignments, and he tried to get physical in battles along the board. For a player returning from a concussion, it was a good sign that he was engaged and willing to make a hit or take a hit.
Nash is an underrated defensive player who has killed penalties his entire career, and he has the potential to be a top shorthanded threat for the Rangers going forward.
Nash lined up with Brad Richards against the Bruins.
Grade: B | Key Stat: 17:55 T.O.I., 23 Shifts
Rick Nash played just under 18 minutes in his return to the lineup for the Rangers. He was able to play his normal minutes, but as noted by beat writer Jim Cerny, he looked slow early on and he missed a few shifts.
He got his game going in the second period, and it was highlighted by three shots. It was good to see Nash register a normal workload against one of the NHL's top teams, and it was encouraging to see him get stronger as the game continued.