Rangers' Nash won't rush back from injury
New York forward hopes to resume skating late next weekby David Satriano @davidsatriano / NHL.com Staff Writer
NEW YORK -- Rick Nash is frustrated he has not healed quicker from a bone bruise, but the New York Rangers forward said he will not rush back from the injury.
"It's not one of those injuries where you can play through the pain," Nash said Monday at the Javits Center in Manhattan promoting PLAYMOBIL's new line of NHL toys. "It's one of those injuries that if you play, it can get worse. Those are the scary ones. I have all my trust in the doctors."
Nash, who has missed the past nine games since injuring his left leg blocking a shot against the Carolina Hurricanes on Jan. 22, was ruled out for at least another week by coach Alain Vigneault on Saturday.
"You never want to be watching from the press box," Nash said. "It makes it so hard when you want to be out there helping your team. It's tough but I am happy they are doing well and that we are winning for sure.
"We tried to come back but it just didn't go good enough and got worse. I had the MRIs and everything is still there. It's still not healing the way we thought it would, so we are just going to take another week off and go from there." he said. "After eight days, I went back on the ice twice. I could tell something was wrong and tried again the next day and it got worse. It's something that's just going to take more time than we thought.
"Pain walking and the original injury is not healing the way we thought it would, so we are just going to treat it a bit more cautious. From the doctor's standpoint... coming back too early [wouldn't be good] so just taking our time with it."
Video: NYR@CAR: Nash leaves with apparent injury
Nash wouldn't put a timetable on his return but said if all goes well, he could be back on the ice late next week.
"We did the last scan on Friday and everything was still there so we wanted to wait a week," Nash said. "So we are going to do another scan this Friday and hopefully by next weekend I will be back on the ice if everything is positive."
Nash hasn't been able to be on the ice with his teammates for the past three weeks, but is happy with the way they have been playing without him. The Rangers are 6-2-1 without Nash, who has 12 goals and 33 points in 45 games this season. He has 390 goals in 907 NHL games.
Nash was most impressed with how well New York has played defensively in the absence of captain Ryan McDonagh, who has missed the past four games with a concussion. The Rangers have allowed seven goals during that stretch, including one with 9.7 seconds remaining in the 3-1 win against the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday.
"It's been great," Nash said. "I think early on in the season, we couldn't find our defensive game and it was hurting us. We were losing and letting in a lot of goals but lately we've gotten back to the way we were last year, playing defense first."
Following a trip to the Stanley Cup Final, where they were defeated in five games by the Los Angeles Kings in 2014, the Rangers lost in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final to the Tampa Bay Lightning last season, which still sticks with Nash.
New York, which won the Presidents' Trophy last season for having the best record in the League, is in second place in the Metropolitan Division, 14 points behind the Washington Capitals and four ahead of the New York Islanders.
"Last year was a crazy year where everything went right; I don't think we lost more than two in a row once," Nash said. "This year has been more of a grind, but I think it prepares you even better for the playoffs."
PLAYMOBIL launched a line of NHL figurines from each of the Original Six franchises in the fall. On Monday they announced an additional 12 NHL franchises will debut in the spring, and an NHL rivalry pack, Stanley Cup set, and a score clock with referees will debut in the fall. An NHL Advent calendar will come out in the winter.
"It's so cool. It helps the imagination and grows the game of hockey, what PLAYMOBIL does," Nash said. "I think it's huge for the game. ... I'm glad I didn't bring my son. We were going to bring him but he would have this whole [toy fair] trashed."