Rick Nash isn't just a high-end talent in his own right. His size and skill set can also make life easier for his linemates. And through just two games with the Bruins, he already looks to be working wonders for David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk.
The rookie, in particular, looks like he's ramped up in the wake of Nash's arrival in Boston. Krejci is also reaping the benefits of having a big sniper to dish the puck to, but DeBrusk has also benefit from the attention Nash draws from defenders.
"Well, [Nash] clearly, he attacks defensemen. He’s a big man, so he backs people off," head coach Bruce Cassidy said after the Bruins' 4-3 overtime win over the Hurricanes. "So, it’s going to allow Jake some room to get to the net. I thought Jake had lots of juice tonight. He was really flying out there, made some plays, was on the puck, going to the net.
"He looked like a smaller version of Rick Nash tonight, to be honest with you, which will make Krech, obviously, better because he likes to bring people with him and find the guys with speed. He helped that line, I thought, a lot tonight. It looked good to me."
You can see DeBrusk's effect on the line in Nash's goal, his first as a Bruin. DeBrusk made the play possible when he whacked a breakout attempt off the stick of the Hurricanes' Justin Faulk and right to Krejci, who found a wide-open Nash down low behind both defenders.
Nash himself is feeling good about how the line is already starting to gel.
"Yeah, definitely some good chemistry there," said Nash. "I thought the first game we spent the whole game in the other team’s zone and tonight I thought two periods were good – second period we kind of turned it over a bit – but it’s been good and I feel like we can only get better."
Nash won't be left all alone in front of the net every night. But clearly, his new linemates are taking a liking to his presence.
-- By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].