The New York Rangers’ game at the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night will be the 16th Rick Nash has missed this season with an “upper body injury.”
But the star forward expects he’ll be back next week, against either the Boston Bruins on Tuesday or the Dallas Stars on Thursday:
"Hopefully, one of the games, for sure," Nash said after practicing at Bell Centre Saturday morning, "as long as there are no setbacks. Everything's been positive and I've been pushing it every day.”
At this point in his recovery, Nash said, it is a matter of conditioning and building his leg strength, because he is free of the headaches that plagued him since the high hit from San Jose defenseman Brad Stuart. "I'm feeling better than I thought I would," said Nash, who skated for the eight straight day. "I've only had two (full) practices with the team, plus the morning skates, I think I need a little more down-low work, 3 on 3 . . ."
Give the Rangers credit: Things looked bleak after Nash went down. But even though they're 24th in the league offensively, they’re 9-9-0 and fourth in the Metropolitan.
Getting Nash back – he was nearly a point per game player in John Tortorella last season – would obviously bolster the goal scoring and make their power play better than No. 16 in the league.
Nash said he hasn’t spoken to Stuart, who was suspended two games, but that it was “a hockey play” at the end of the day.