At one point this season, the New York Rangers had a top 10 power play in the league and were rolling, winning 13 of 14 games and climbing up the standings. Coming off of the all-star break however, the Rangers have dropped 2 in a row, knocking them down to the 8th spot, or 2nd wild card spot, in the Eastern Conference and their power play has struggled mightily, going 1 for their last 20+ and have fallen out of the top 10.
Eyes On Isles
When the Rangers won 13 out of 14, earlier this season, the Rangers power play was a force, and a lot of it had to do with Dan Boyle finally finding his game. However, Boyle’s play looked to have been just a fluke as once again he is struggling and proving to be a bust of an offseason signing.
While the Rangers struggling power play is not all Boyle’s fault, he does have to receive a lot of the blame since he is the supposed quarterback of it, and the power play runs through him.
Not enough movement, over passing, and remaining stagnant seems to be the new identity of this Rangers’ power play, kind of reminiscent of the John Tortorella days, but like I said above, Boyle should not take all of the blame for this. Believe it or not, some blame has to be placed on Rick Nash.
Rick Nash may lead the team with 28 goals but he actually could have more if he chose to shoot the puck more on the power play. Only 4 of Nash’s 28 goals have come with the man advantage, putting him 2nd on the team in power play goals only behind Martin St. Louis and his 5. He may be 2nd on the team in power play goals, but with the type of season that Nash is having, despite his recent struggles, you would just like him to be more selfish with the man advantage.
Besides Boyle, Nash, and all of the other skaters on the Rangers two power play units, another person, or persons, to blame are head coach Alain Vigneault and assistant coach Scott Arniel, who is in charge of the Rangers power play.
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I do not know why, but for some reason Vigneault and Arniel refuse to give defenseman Kevin Klein more ice time on the power play. He has shown all season that his slap shot is greatly improved and has 8 goals this season, yet we tend to see more of Dan Girardi, who is a defensive defenseman with literally no shot, on the power play more instead of Klein. I honestly just do not understand this and is why Vigneault and Arniel also have to shoulder a lot of the blame as well.
All in all, the Rangers coaching staff has to shuffle some things around on the power play because it has been dreadful lately. Not only is it bringing down the Rangers offense but is costing them wins and points as well.