Riley Nash is a safe, sensible defensive forward through and through, with all the good and ill that comes with that.
As a shooter? He’s alright. Skater? Pretty decent. Good on the boards? You betcha. Where he shined of course was being part of the fourth line, a defensively minded line that actually managed to do what a good portion of fourth lines are supposed to do: Defend, stop the bleeding, throw a hit or two, get an offensive faceoff, get off the ice. Save for Bergeron himself there wasn’t a whole lot of players who could say they did this duty better. And of course when called upon he was usually one of the better passers on his line, which helped immensely towards getting teammate Dominic Moore setup for goals, when he wasn’t trying for his own.
The only real knock here was that while he and his line could sometimes take over games with an effort seemingly unmatched...he was still a defense guy first and foremost. His contributions were probably going to be noticeable once every ten games and that’s just fine. His duty was to protect Rask and stop the bleeding of shots, and he did that pretty dang well for 81 games.
If you were expecting more...why? He’s paid 900k to be a defensive player like Chris Kelly at a fraction of the cost. It’d have been nice to see more goal-scoring sure, but what made Nash so valuable in the first place was that he could keep the puck from getting to his goaltender for anywhere from 8 to 15 minutes a night.
Did what he was asked to do, and little else. A fine first season as a Bruin, I hope next year is even better for him as he helps bring the youth of Bruins hockey up to snuff.
Games Played: 81
Final Aggregate CF%: 52.05%
What do you think of Nash’s grade?
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