In my estimation the hands down favorite to win the Gold medal in hockey at the Sochi, Russia Olympic games later this month is the team from Canada. They are as talented at every single position as any other squad and have depth that no other nation can boast. The New York Rangers have a single representative on team Canada, Rick Nash.
Nash is a pure goal scorer, one of many on the Canadian team, with a very impressive resume. The 29 year old 6’4″ power forward is a veteran in his 12th year in the NHL, in his 757 games played played he has notched 328 goals and 616 points for the Rangers and Columbus Blue Jackets. A consistent scoring threat Nash has tallied 40 or more times twice in his career and 30 or more seven different times, and could break 30 again this year, scoring 18 goals already for the Blueshirts.
Nash is a terrific player, obviously, but he is more adept as creating his own goals, rather than being a play maker for his teammates, as evidenced by the fact he has more career goals than assists. He is a lethal player on breakouts due to his size, speed and strength and with the added room in the Olympic game those characteristics will be on display even more so than in NHL play.
Nash will be surrounded by offensive talent on the Candian team, which will likely push him off first line duties, which is the norm for him during his entire NHL tenure. He will be expected to be a goal scoring threat for our neighbors to the North and even though he will not be on the “first line”, he will be playing with truly world class players regardless of who he becomes line-mates with. If I had to venture a guess I would think that Nash would be centered by either the Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews or New York Islanders captain John Tavares, two world class players and guys who are capable of being fantastic distributors of the puck.
This will be Nash’s third time playing for Canada at an Olympic games, scoring 2 goals and adding 4 helpers in 13 games played at the Olympic level.