The New York Rangers could find inspiration from a famous Wayne Gretzky quote to solve their power play issues.
Wayne Gretzky once famously stated, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” These are words that should stick with the New York Rangers throughout the rest of the season.
The Blueshirts did a great job bouncing back from a three-game skid with two solid road wins against the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings. However, the Rangers still need to increase the amount of shots they take on goal, especially on the power play.
The Rangers have scored only three times on their past 20 power plays after Sunday’s win, including coming up empty on three opportunities in Detroit. A big reason why they’re struggling with the man-advantage is the lack of shots they’re getting on net.
If you watch the Rangers when they have an extra skater on ice, it is easy to notice the team spending too much time passing the puck around and looking for the perfect shot on goal. This was not only evident in the win against the Red Wings, but also during last Tuesday’s loss to the Dallas Stars.
While the team made a valiant effort turning a 7-3 deficit into a 7-6 game midway through the third period, they still missed out on several opportunities searching for the equalizer. After pulling goalie Magnus Hellberg in the final minute for an extra attacker on offense, the Rangers had multiple chances to get a clear shot on goal, but wasted too much time distributing the puck around looking for a golden scoring chance.
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Yes, the Rangers have players like Mats Zuccarello who are known for their passing ability and setting up the perfect shot. Yet, the problem with this strategy is it won’t tire out the opposing team’s goalie and the more time you waste passing the puck around, the more time you give the opposition’s defense to position themselves to block shots before they get to the net.
The more shots you manage to get on net, especially with a man-advantage, the more likely something gets in the net, even if Sean Avery isn’t there to wave his stick in this face of the opposing goalie. Sooner or later all the second-chance scoring opportunities will get the better of the opposing goalie. Also, using this strategy will eventually wear out defensemen on competing teams who will eventually burn out from constantly chasing down pucks.
While the overtime win on Sunday was impressive, the Blueshirts can’t expect to win every game 1-0. The more they take advantage of opportunities on the power play, the better a position the Rangers will be in heading down the stretch.