Rangers Experiencing A Power Failure

Photo credit: Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports

Photo credit: Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports

It has been said in the past that special teams are key when it comes to winning games in the playoffs.

During the days of John Tortorella, the New York Rangers were historically known for having a horrendous power-play, yet great penalty-kill. When former Vancouver Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault was brought in, his offensive-mind was the key to unlocking the Rangers’ power-play woes. For a brief moment, so it seems, the play when New York was on the man advantage seemed to improve throughout this past regular season. The Rangers finished middle of the pack (15th) with a percentage of 18.2 in 2013-14, much better than any other Tortorella team, which averaged overall finishes in the 20’s.

Now, in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Rangers are experiencing flashbacks of those same problems which cost them in the dire moments of a hockey game.

They were good in the opening game against the Philadelphia Flyers, notching two on the power-play and that ultimately won them the game. But, since then the Rangers have not scored when playing with the extra man.

They have had 29 chances since that game, and have not converted on any of them.

Not to mention that three of them came within the opening minutes of last night’s game against the Penguins, and the Rangers did nothing to help themselves.

Their 8.1% on the powerplay is the lowest out of any team in the playoffs, and they were at 9.1% in last year’s tournament.

Vigneault has blamed himself for the troubles, but in my mind, the finger must be pointed at the players.

People can blame the coaches all they want, what it comes down to is the execution, and it simply isn’t there.

The top guys aren’t getting it done, when the puck is chipped into the zone, they have one guy giving chase and the others are standing around picking daisies, it seems like.

When they try to skate the puck in, they look confused and disheveled, and they are stood up at the blue line and the puck is cleared the other way.

Jeremy Roenick said it best last night during his rant about this failure of a powerplay, put the third and fourth line guys out there, give them a shot right now. At the end of the day, they are the ones who work the hardest and will give you the gritty effort you need with an extra man on the ice.

They also need to stop passing the puck around searching for the “pretty play”, keep it simple, put men in front of the net and fire away, you have to make the goaltender feel uncomfortable in his crease, and the only way to do that is by getting in his grill.

When you have a powerplay, you should be outworking the penalty killers, it shouldn’t be the other way around.

Whatever is causing the failure, the team better get things back online quickly because they will find themselves in a world full of trouble if they don’t.

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