There’s a power outage in New York.
The Rangers, who’ve scored just twice on their last 33 power play opportunities, head into tonight’s game in Winnipeg looking to spark a man advantage unit that sits 21st overall in the NHL and hasn’t scored on the road since Mar. 4.
“It’s not nearly good enough, without a doubt,” head coach Alain Vigneault told the New York Post, after Sunday’s 0-for-5 PP outing versus Washington. “We’re going to take a look at some tape and make the adjustments we need to make.”
On paper, the Rangers should be dynamic. Dan Boyle, though clearly not the player he once was, has made a career out of quarterbacking power play units and Keith Yandle, who arrived from Arizona at the trade deadline, leads all NHL defensemen in PP assists.
Rick Nash once led the league in power play markers (with 19, during the 2003-04 campaign) and Chris Kreider has emerged as a good net-front presence with the man advantage, leading the Rangers with seven PPG.
So… what gives?
The Rangers can be accused of not shooting the puck enough. They have the 11th-fewest shots on goal with the man advantage this season (323) and, in the aforementioned game against Washington, could only manage four shots on goal in over seven minutes of power play time.
There’s also this explanation, from Derek Stepan.
“I think we need to simplify when we get out there,” he said. “We need to make sure we make the right plays and shoot the puck when we get a chance.”
Whatever the case, the Rangers will need to figure this and fast. An anemic man advantage can prove costly during the Stanley Cup playoffs, like last year — in the final, the Rangers went just 2-for-22 against the Kings.