-- The trade deadline has come and gone. Rick Nash
is still a Columbus Blue Jacket.
The Phoenix Coyotes
can't be any happier about that than Nash.
The Blue Jackets were unable to grant Nash's trade request, leaving him once again out of the playoff chase and in the familiar spoiler role in the Western Conference. Fighting for their first division title -- but needing points just to stay in a playoff spot -- the Coyotes face the Blue Jackets three times in the final 18 games of the season.
The standings would say that's a good thing. The scoreboard says otherwise.
Exactly 40 points behind the Pacific Division leaders, the NHL's worst team rode a vintage performance from their captain, who scored two early goals and manufactured the clinching tally by Derick Brassard
in a 5-2 win Saturday in Glendale.
He scored in the first period, schooling Ray Whitney
on the rush and beating one of the league's hottest goalies, Mike Smith
, cleanly to the far top corner for a shorthanded tally. He made it 2-0 in the second on another breakout, shrugging of a mauling from behind from Phoenix defenseman Chris Summers
before jamming the puck home.