Currently, the Rangers’ kill is ranked 10th in the NHL. There is nothing wrong with that. It is more than good enough to serve the team through the regular season. However, when the postseason comes around, would it be good enough to slow down some of the more deadly man advantages around the NHL? That’s a question the Rangers need to be asking themselves and perhaps considering some help to the killers.
New York is currently killing 80.6% of the penalties they take which is not awful at all. What it does mean is that the penalty kill cannot be depended on reliably to kill penalties in critical situations. Whether that is in the regular season or not, it does prove to be a situation that could be an Achilles heel for the roster. If they can improve on that, there shouldn’t be a situation where the Rangers are unwilling to get better.
Averaging 8.3 penalty infraction minutes per game, the Rangers’ 80% penalty kill is allowing roughly a powerplay goal every other game. That’s not bad, but it is also not exactly helpful. Obviously, there is more than enough on the penalty kill now to not warrant any fear in the performances short-handed, but if it could be better, why not indulge yourself at Christmas time?
If someone that doesn’t kill penalties could figure out how to fill in on one of the units and perhaps improve the unit, the Rangers could improve with some of the young players on the roster and find a solution to replace the elder statesmen on the units with some young blood. It’s a lot better in the long term and it could significantly improve the Blueshirts chances of figuring it out in the long term.
If they do opt to look elsewhere, they could go and pick up someone like Tyler Motte who the Rangers added from the Vancouver Canucks at the trade deadline last season to strengthen the bottom six and the penalty kills ahead of their deep playoff run to the Eastern Conference Finals. No one wants to see the penalty kill be the reason the Rangers do not win the Stanley Cup this season.