The New York Rangers' forward went the final 29 contests last year without a goal and mustered just one through the first 10 games of this season.
However, the speedy forward has notched five goals in the team's last four games. He's been playing like the best forward on the team and head coach John Tortorella is taking notice, saying he isn't surprised the team's achieved seven of eight possible points in the span.
“He creates a lot of havoc, ends up with a lot of puck control,” Tortorella said. “He’s beginning to play [well] defensively. He’s a big piece and he’s helped that line tremendously.”
“He’s one of the best players in the world, so it’s always going to help,” Hagelin said of Nash. “He’s so strong on the puck, you can see how other teams have so much respect for him, and then he can make plays.
“If someone else is getting more and more attention, you’re open more often, and, like I said, he makes good passes,” he added. “He’s one of the few guys who can beat his man one-on-one most of the time. Not many players can do that. You can just hide a bit on the ice, and try to disappear, and when he makes that move, [the defense] supposed to be on me goes over to him, and I’m wide open.”
He's played more confidently though the past two weeks of games and is a big reason why the Rangers are on a current tear through the league.
Whatever the reason for his recent surge, as long as he continues to grow as an NHLer, the Rangers will keep happy, and keep winning.Tags: Carl Hagelin, Derek Stepan, Hockey, John Tortorella, New York, New York Rangers, NHL, Rick Nash
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