Thursday, April 21, 2011

Is McCabe's Name The Only Thing Keeping Him In The Lineup?

When Bryan McCabe was picked up in late February there was hope for the New York Rangers anemic power play.  Right now that hope is gone and the anemia has returned as bad, if not worse than it was before his arrival.  The team is 2-for-45 in their last 13 games and 1-for-18 in the four games of the series against the Washington Capitals. 

The main reason McCabe was brought into the team was to be a power play quarterback and fire shots from the point with the man advantage.  Problem is he has stopped shooting.  In four games in this series, McCabe has a total of four shots on goal. 

There is no doubt that the Capitals are playing him for the shot, but McCabe is also playing very tentatively in even looking at the net right now.  For the Rangers to have seven power play chances last night, McCabe to play 8:28 with the man advantage and not record a single shot on goal is pitiful.  McCabe does not have to shoot to score in order to be effective in the role, he just has to take the shots, hit the net and create rebound chances for his teammates.  Instead he has fallen into the same trap the rest of the team was in before he got here in looking for the perfect play rather than the simple one. 

Either McCabe has to fire at the net or he is essentially useless in the lineup.  If not for the name on the back of his jersey, then one would have to think that Bryan McCabe would be in jeopardy of being scratched for Game 5 on Saturday.  Problem is not all lineup decisions are based on the way guys are playing, so there just has to be hope that in the next two days McCabe remembers why he was brought here, forgets all the system stuff he has been told by this coaching staff and goes back to firing pucks at the net.  Otherwise the result will be that the power play, which is a 1-for-18 in the series will end up being the downfall of a series the Rangers easily could have come out on top of.