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Rick Nash rebounding from a disappointing season: ‘Nobody feels sorry for you’

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He’s definitely that solid veteran presence - who can score, too.

NHL: Boston Bruins at New York Rangers Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Last season was not a particularly great one by Rick Nash’s standards. Injuries played a role in his lacking year, seeing him hit just 36 points over 60 games: a career low for him, and definitely disappointing since that came after a season in which he scored a nice 69 points.

It’s early yet, but Nash looks very much to be on the mend. He’s at four goals and seven points through nine games now, good for a three-way tie to be fourth in team scoring after the first month of the season.

He had a fair bit to say about that, as well as the trade rumours that were surrounding him, in Elliot Friedman’s 30 Thoughts (#20, #21):

“You can dwell on the negatives for a long time if you want, but no one feels sorry for you. Last year was so tough. I couldn’t score and before I could find the rhythm, I got hurt. It’s like a cliche, but I felt I finally found my stride in Games 3 and 4 of the playoffs.” Pittsburgh eliminated the Rangers in 5 “and I worked as hard as I could all summer.”

Of course, Nash is 32 years old, and he’s in his 14th NHL season. He knows the routine of it all by this point, but it’s still great to see how mentally tough he is. It’s paying off so far, too.

He also had some praise for some of his younger teammates (#22):

“Kevin Hayes. He lost 20 pounds and looks a lot faster. I didn’t know a lot about Mika Zibanejad, but he’s got everything to be a first-line centre.”

These votes of confidence are both awesome and warranted; Hayes and Zibanejad are off to great starts of their seasons as well.