Player of the Week – Nov. 22

The Hockey News player of the week for the period of Nov. 15-21 is Columbus Blue Jackets right winger, Rick Nash.

After starting slow with four points in his first nine games, Nash has come alive and is leading the Blue Jackets on a charge up the Western Conference standings.

The Blue Jackets went on a three-game road trip to California last week, the first match being against the surging Los Angeles Kings. Backed by a two-goal effort in 17:48 of ice time by Nash, the Blue Jackets won 5-3.

Two nights later in Anaheim, Columbus made it two in a row with a 4-3 victory. Nash added another goal to his total, scoring on his only shot on goal that game.

Finally, one night later in San Jose, the Blue Jackets shutout the high-powered Sharks attack for a 3-0 win. Nash recorded eight shots on goal in 17:34 of ice time and potted all three Columbus markers, including his fourth game-winning goal of the season.

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So far in 2010-11, Nash ranks in a tie atop the league with Dustin Byfuglien in game-winning goals with four. His 16points in 17 games doesn’t rank among the league’s elite, but much of that can be attributed to a slow start: Nash has points in each of his past eight games for a total of 12 in the span.

The Blue Jackets currently sit with a 12-6-0 record which places them sixth in the Western Conference. The team has yet to lose twice in a row this season and lines up against Nashville and the Islanders this week before finishing with a home-and-home against the Detroit Red Wings.