Monday, November 21, 2011

Bringing Up Zuccarello To Fix Power Play?

The New York Rangers struggles to generate on the power play are nothing new, but with a 12.9 percent efficiency and 27th place ranking in the league all ideas should be considered for fixing things.  This morning Larry Brooks at the New York Post offers up the idea of recalling Mats Zuccarello as part of the solution to the power play struggles.
Brooks broke down the amount of time the main players have had on the power play thus far this season and the number of goals they have been on the ice for.  The numbers are quite ugly, especially for those on the top unit.
Richards has been on the ice for six PPGs in 79:49 of man-advantage time. Michael Del Zotto has been on for seven in 76:06. Gaborik has been on for five in 67:24. Ryan Callahan has been on for seven in 67:14. Derek Stepan has been on for four in 53:42.
Brandon Dubinsky has been on for four in 43:35. Dan Girardi has been on for four in 41:16. Ruslan Fedotenko has been on for three in 16:40. Ryan McDonagh has been on for one in 13:42. Brian Boyle has been on for one in 14:21. Erik Christensen has been on for one (a five-on-three) in 21:02
The numbers are intended to establish the base for Brooks call on Zuccarello being the man to fix the dysfunction as because…
And a year ago, Mats Zuccarello was on the ice for 12 power play goals in 106:42, one per 8:53, a better rate than any player on the Rangers’ roster.
There is no question that the Rangers power play lacks a sense of creativity and Zuccarello has that kind of flash to his game, but he is not the solution to their power play woes.  The problem with the power play is the same as it has always been when they struggle; lack of movement. The team stands around on the outside and makes it easy for the defense to guard them.  Moving bodies causes puck movement which causes the defense to make decisions on whom to mark leading to mistakes and open men.  If the Rangers get better movement and maybe even a net front presence the power play will at least be more threatening.