It’s at least worth noting that the Rangers had their greatest power play outburst in recent memory last season in Toronto, when they scored five power play goals in a 6-1 win last Dec. 29.
OK, so there really is no correlation between one season and the next, and I’ll be the first one to admit we’ve all been a little nitpicky when it comes to a team that has won four straight and is atop the league standings. But even then, almost everyone will agree the Rangers will need their power play to be better if they want to sustain their success.
So maybe tonight they’ll draw on some positive memories. And if not, it’s safe to say no one’s in a position to panic.
Update, 2:45 p.m.: I realize the need to single out a culprit when it comes to the Rangers’ power play, but I’m not sure Perry Pearn is your guy alone (see my previous post if you really want to start pointing fingers).
Yes, the assistant coach is the one directing the man-advantage, but there seems to be a misconception that there’s some magic scheme out there that has eluded the Rangers past few years. In fact, almost all power plays are structured the same around the league, but some teams are simply better at rotating the puck quickly, firing shots on net, and occasionally finding a seam through which a back door pass can get through.
Of course Pearn bears some responsibility for the power play’s shortcomings, but most of it falls on the players to follow through on the plan (Put it another way: it’s not like Pearn is sitting on the bench watching the Rangers struggle to get a shot off and thinking, Yes, this is exactly how I drew it up!). And if that’s the case, it’s really the head coach’s job to make sure the right personnel is on the ice, and to switch it up when things aren’t working.