Rick Nash won’t get to the playoffs this season, but he could very well win the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the league’s most prolific goal scorer.
With the Blue Jackets all but eliminated from the playoff race a month ago, Nash’s chase for the NHL goal lead has become the focal point for the club to rally around down the stretch.
“Jeez, we’re all trying,” Nash said. “It’s one of those things where I’m here, I might as well go for it.”
However, the 19-year-old left wing is surprised to be in the thick of the chase.
“I didn’t really expect it. I didn’t really think I would be this close this far in the season,” said Nash, the top overall pick in the 2002 draft. “Obviously, guys are going on streaks where they score two or three and then they go three or four games without. It’s kind of nice that Kovalchuk hasn’t run away with it and hasn’t scored in a while.”
Instead of working toward the defense of their Western Conference title, the Mighty Ducks are on the outside looking in at the playoffs. They were eliminated from postseason contention with a 3-2 loss at St. Louis on Thursday.