Rick Nash is big, long, and skilled. He's a physical freak, for sure. But he's also pretty humble about it.
The Bruins' big trade deadline acquisition popped in his second game with his new team, and his best highlight wasn't even his first-period goal. Defensively, he made perhaps the save of the year. The B's were lucky to have Nash on the ice and near the net in that moment.
But ask Nash himself, and he'll say he was lucky to even make the play.
"Yeah, it was a bit strange to be skating backwards over the blue line and playing like a defenseman," Nash told reporters about his highlight-reel stop in the first period, when he swept the puck away from the goal line at the very last second. "It’s definitely hard, but I just saw the puck kind of trickling in and I wasn’t sure right away if it did cross the line or not, but I got pretty lucky that it didn’t."
WATCH: Rick Nash Save Against Hurricanes
The play preserved a scoreless tie at the time. Unfortunately, the Hurricanes opened the scoring just 43 seconds later - but clearly it could have been even worse if not for the Nash save.
Not to rip Ryan Spooner now that he's in a Rangers uniform, but Spooner simply doesn't make that play. Weirdly enough, this is why the Bruins upgraded from him to Nash. Spooner doesn't have this kind of size, reach, or defensive awareness. Nash proved on that play that he's not only still a force physically, but has turned into a reliable two-way winger as well.
He looks to be a great fit for new linemates David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk so far. Hopefully he can keep it going down the stretch and through the playoffs - at both ends of the ice.
-- 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].