The criteria for getting an assist in the NHL is pretty clear: you have to have touched the puck directly before your teammate scored a goal.
So even though Kevin Hayes was a catalyst for Rick Nash’s goal against the Carolina Hurricanes, he didn’t get an assist for it. As far as the official scoresheet is concerned, it was a solo effort by Nash.
That’s actually worthy of mentioning in and of itself, because according to the Elias Sports Bureau, that was the 40th unassisted goal of his career, and his 15th with the Rangers.
Nash has scored 403 goals throughout his NHL career, so having 40 unassisted ones actually does sound like quite a fair amount - that’s almost 10% of his career!
But it’s special for another reason:
Nash has the third-highest unassisted goal total among active NHL players, behind Marian Hossa (45) and Jaromir Jagr (42).
Probably worth considering: Hossa is 37 years old. Jagr is 44. Hossa has played 1,259 games; Jagr, 1,652.
Nash is only 32 years old and has only played 946 games - and yet he’s right behind these two in terms of scoring unassisted goals. That’s pretty incredible, and even though Nash does play with some pretty good linemates, there are probably going to be more on the horizon.