The New York Rangers have the second-best Power Play in the NHL Wait what? Yes, you heard me. The Blueshirts are, after twelve games, ranked #2 overall in the NHL, for having the best Power Play. Wowza. Super Cool.
The stats say, as of November 08.2023, that the NYR Power Play is clippin’ at 34.1%. And please note that, over the 12 games they have played so far, the Rangers have scored 14 Goals. So, you can see by doing the math, they are averaging 1.16 Power Play goals per game or in essence, NYR is scoring One Power Play Goal Per Game.
One might even be so bold to mention that the New York Rangers Power Play is a “Goal-A-Game”, or GAG. But wait, I’ve heard of that before, but where?
Well, my friends, the last time the New York Rangers were talking about a Goal a Game, was during the late 1960’s to the early 1970’s, when the line of, Jean Ratelle, Captain Vic Hadfield, and Rod Gilbert, were lightin’ the lamp in the NHL.
These three amigos scored so many goals together, they were nicknamed” The GAG Line”, because they averaged over a goal a game, while playing together.
So, what makes the Rangers Power Play so effective?
First, it all starts with the personal. Anytime you can have Kreider, Panarin, Zibanejad, Trocheck, and Fox out there, you are golden from the start. They all have hands, which means, they all are high-skill players who can handle the puck. They can all make tape-to-tape passes, shoot, and score. All these players play with patience and have a very high hockey IQ, as well.
Second, it comes down to the set up, or the structure of the Power Play. You will notice the Rangers have Kreider #20 in front of the net, as well as off to the side, depending on where the puck is.
Zibanejad #93, is on the wing, near one of the faceoff circles, while Panarin#10, is near the other faceoff circle.
Fox #23, is the quarterback on the Point, he skates and moves the puck depending on where the openings are.
Trocheck #16, is also on D, however, he is also a bit of a floater, meaning he can roam into the slot, or push the rotation any way, or switch with a player at anytime.
Third, is the actual execution on the ice. It is one thing to draw x’s and o’s, telling players where to go and what to do. It is a whole other level, when the players actually do what was drawn on the board.
The Rangers look move the puck around the perimeter, maintaining puck possession with perfect passes, all the while looking for anyone who is open. Once the open man is located, the puck hits that person’s stick for a one-timer, no delay what-so-ever, (usually Zibanejad, Panarin, are the shooters).
The Rangers also look to have shots from the point. Anyone on this Power Play has the ability to shoot from the point position, even if they ended up there during a rotation. The main factor here is, any shots from the point, (usually from Fox #23) will travel toward the net, allowing Kreider #20 to attempt a tip it or there may even be a rebound, or a puck scramble, as a result of getting pucks to the net.
This is why the Rangers have been so successful to date on their Power Play. It has a simple set up, and the ability for the players to execute it, night in and night out.
9-2-1 = 19pts
1st – in the Metropolitan Division
2nd – in Eastern Conference
3rd -Tied Overall in NHL
As noted above, the New York Rangers have 9 wins to date. They have scored 39 Goals For. Of those, 14 are Power Play Goals. Ranger Power Play goals have factored in on 7 of the 9 NYR wins to date.
Meaning, after 12 games so far, the Goal-A-Game Power Play (GAG) is one of the main reasons why they are winning games and it’s what is keeping this team in First Place.
My View from the Cheap Seats
It is nice to watch a New York Ranger Power Play that is so calm n cool with the puck. I love how this group moves the puck around with such grace and ease, much like Ratelle, Hadfield and Gilbert did, back in the day.
My concern is, can the Rangers Power Play continue to perform at this amazing pace for the rest of the year? Can they grind it out during slumps or with injuries mounting to key players, can the replacements continue to play at this elite level.
Going forward, the team needs to start dominating more while on 5 on 5 and relying less on their Power Play to directly win them games.
Either way, the New York Rangers Power Play Makes Me Wanna GAG.
Quote of the Day:
“If you are going to rely on someone, it better be you.”