Written by Contributor John Schiesser
New York Rangers hockey is back on the sports map.
They are currently first in the Eastern Conference with only one true all-star. Henrik Lundqvist currently leads the NHL in shutouts and save percentage. Henrik Lundqvist is the only true all-star on this team. The Rangers are winning because of great goal tending and great team chemistry.
What is better?
Team chemistry or star players?
You’re seeing it now with Jeremy Lin, and the same goes for the Rangers, nothing beats team chemistry. Trading for Rick Nash will break that team chemistry the Rangers have built so far. Rick Nash is not a bad player by any stretch of the imagination, Nash can score at will and dominate games.
However the Rangers already have their goal scorer in Marion Gaborik. Coming into the season the big name the Rangers got was Brad Richards.
The big question was can Richards get Gaborik back on track?
Gaborik has responded with one of his better seasons in terms of scoring. In reality, Gaborik and Rick Nash are the same player. They are finesse players with one job, score goals. The Rangers are a physical hockey team that grinds out games, hence why Ryan Callahan is team captain.
The Rangers are winning because they have the right amount of grit sprinkled with the right amount of finesse in Marion Gaborik. If the Rangers trade for Rick Nash their getting too much finesse and lose part of their grind it out mentality.
Instead of having one finesse goal scorer they will have two. This will force the Rangers to change-up what they do best to make sure Nash gets involved. John Tortorella is a coach that stresses physical hockey. Gaborik is not a physical hockey player. However, the fact that he is the lone finesse goal scorer allows the rangers to still be a grind it out team.
Gaborik is just the right amount of finesse in an overall physical hockey team. Adding Rick Nash will add to much finesse thus upsetting the balance of the Rangers.
The Rangers are in first place for a reason.
Let’s not mess up what this team has done and try to change the identity of the Rangers as the playoffs are approaching. Let the Rangers keep grinding out games, that is New York Rangers hockey, and that’s the brand of hockey that will bring them the most success.
Where do I believe Rick Nash will land?
I believe he will ultimately stay in Columbus. Most of the contending teams this year are young teams who do not want to mortgage their future for a playoff push.
I do not see Nash moving because the Blue Jackets are asking for too much. Nash is a pure goal scorer which is great, but contending teams will not want to give up their top players young prospects for a playoff push.