Mar 21, 2014; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers left wing Rick Nash (61) is escorted to the penalty box for roughing Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky [not pictured] during the second period of the game at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rob Leifheit-USA TODAY Sports

Correction: Columbus Blue Jackets Fans, Boo All You Want

Yesterday I wrote an article about how Columbus Blue Jackets fans should welcome former Captain Rick Nash back to Nationwide Arena. Up until last night, Nash had shown nothing but class and respect for his former team and city. When he faced his former team at Madison Square Garden nothing of notoriety really occurred. I honestly felt that there really wasn’t anything worth booing there.

Then Rick Nash turned into a total heel last night and made me regret yesterday’s post. Earlier in the game, Nash and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky mixed it up a little when Bobrovsky delivered a healthy jab of his stick that took the Rangers forward down, much to the delight of the crowd at Nationwide Arena.

Things really boiled over in the second period, when Nash had a breakaway chance that ended in a disallowed goal because he interfered with Bobrovsky on the play. Out of frustration, or because Bobrovsky pretended to hand Nash’s stick back to him, only to throw it down on the ice, Nash delivered a swift two handed punch to Bobrovsky’s face.

The linesmen jumped in to prevent the situation from getting out of control, but with that push, Blue Jackets nation completely turned on Rick Nash. He was loudly booed every time he touched the puck, and a lot of four letter words were sent his way via social media.

Getting under each other’s skin is a part of hockey, but when I saw Nash punch Bobrovsky, I knew there was no way I could justify Jackets fans not wanting to boo Nash. With that move he touched the goaltender and disrespected a fan favorite.

Things did not end with the Bobrovsky incident, as early in the third, Nash and Matt Calvert got tangled up, dropped the gloves and traded a few punches. Nash claims it was retaliation for Calvert cross checking him in the head and saying he was going to go after him. Calvert claims it was for the gutless move of attacking Bobrovsky and “having him pay for what he did”. [ SNY ]

I am not going to say what Nash did was disrespectful  / gutless, he was just playing his game. However, I think last night provided the closure Jackets fans needed. The tribute video in the first period will likely be the last gesture of goodwill from the Columbus Blue Jackets for awhile.

All in all it was an entertaining game and shows that while Pittsburgh may me the geographic rival of the Jackets, it will be the New York Rangers who will be the true emotional rival.

So, as I said on twitter last night, thanks for making me look like an a**hat on the internet Rick Nash. Jackets fans, the show isn’t over, it is just beginning. Boo to your heart’s content.

Tags: Columbus Blue Jackets Rick Nash

  • Pivot

    None of you realize that by booing Nash. You made him angry. He played harder and became the emotional leader on the team. Blue Jacket fans booed him on the first shift. As soon as he touched the puck. So to justify it after the incedents near the crease, is just childish. The fans in Columbus are loyal to their team and that’s fine. Nash plays for another team now and a division rival at that. I get it. However, Nash is not normally that type of player. The fans brought that out of him by booing him. He likely had friends & family at the game. The guy is human after all.
    In my personal opinion the Jacket fans brought out a crucial part of Nash’s game. They did the Rangers a favor by booing him.
    Finally, Nash again is human and Bob tripped him and poked him until his emotions ran over. Bob was asking for it and he got it by throwing Nash’s stick he said “what are you gonna do about it”. Nash obliged and hopefully he keeps up that sort of play for the rest of the regular season and into the playoffs. He completes the Rangers. He was the 1st star of that game without recording a point. Tho the goal that was disallowed. He was also forced into the goalie “Bob” by the 2 defenders that he had a step on. They didn’t allow him to stop and their weight pushed him into the net. I don’t see why that wasn’t a good goal. If the defense wants him to go into the goalie. He is goalie. He’s going into the goalie. The first shot was stopped but by them forcing Nash into the crease. The goalie clearly drops the puck and it goes in.

  • Pantheon

    You’re kidding, right? It was the Blue Jacket players that stepped over the line with Nash and Nash just decided he wasn’t going to take it. Good for Nash and a big “bad” for the Jackets/and their fans.

  • BB

    I am sick of hearing poor Rich Nash, the fans were horrible to him..etc…
    I stood and applauded during the video tribute to him. He meant a lot to this city and this team. I was there watched the game and seen what happened. Don’t tell me poor Rick Nash got picked on…ain’t buying it.