- Mike Mazzeo, ESPN Staff Writer
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GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Rick Nash took more shots than anyone in the NHL during the playoffs. And an advanced metric called “Corsi,” which measures puck possession, showed him to be one of his team’s best forwards throughout the postseason.
New York Rangers
To this, most fans would say, “Umm... who cares. The guy is paid to score goals. How many did he score?”
Nash, who counts $7.8 million against the cap annually through 2017-18, scored three goals in 25 games for the New York Rangers during the 2013-14 playoffs.
The worst part? All three of those goals came during the Eastern Conference finals -- which, of course, means none of them came during the first two rounds or the Stanley Cup finals.
Disappointed? You bet he is.
“It was a struggle,” Nash said Monday. “It was frustrating. I wish I could’ve produced a lot more, but I didn’t get the job done that I definitely wanted to."
“It was probably one of the most frustrating times of my career during this playoff stretch, not being able to produce.”
Let’s take a look at some numbers from Nash to make sense of everything:
For his career during the regular season, Nash has scored 336 goals on 2,712 shots for a shooting percentage of 12.4.
During the 2013-14 regular season, Nash scored 26 goals on 258 shots for a shooting percentage of 10.1.
During the 2013-14 playoffs, however, Nash scored three goals on 83 shots for a shooting percent of just 3.6.
Add in the 2012-13 playoffs, when he scored one goal on 42 shots in 12 games for a 2.4 shooting percentage, and you get a highly-paid winger that has scored just four goals on 125 shots in 37 postseason games as a Ranger.
The chances have certainly been there, none more upsetting than right before the Los Angeles Kings won the whole thing. Nash fired toward an open net, but Kings defenseman Slava Voynov deflected the shot with his stick. Far less memorable? That 3-on-1 opportunity late in Game 1 when Nash had the puck on his tape and lost it.
Regardless, what’s done is done. No reason to dwell on it now.
Going forward, the Rangers are going to need their best forward to play like their best forward. It would certainly be nice if he could pot somewhere in the 30-to-40-goal neighborhood in 2014-15.
That’s going to be key with Nash now leading a forward corps that includes soon-to-be 39-year-old Martin St. Louis and a bunch of younger and talented kids -- the likes of which include Derek Stepan (23), Chris Kreider (23), Carl Hagelin (25), Mats Zuccarello (26), J.T. Miller (21) and Jesper Fast (22).
But really, Nash just needs to up his production in the playoffs.
Ryan McDonagh, as good as he is, can’t be the Rangers’ leading scorer in the postseason if they’re going to win it all one day.