by Patrick Hoffman on 02/07/13 at 08:06 AM ET
When it comes to winning in the National Hockey League, a team's performance on special teams plays an integral role in winning and losing hockey games.
For the New York Rangers, the power play has been a detriment to the hockey club. The team cannot seem to put the puck in the net, is too often looking for the perfect play and is failing at key times in a hockey game.
Tonight against the New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden, the Rangers will try and do everything they can to change that. At 3 for 35 with the man advantage and with a 4-5 record through nine games this season, the team simplay cannot afford not to have a power play that works.
When looking at the power play, it is easy to see why it is not working. For starters, the Blueshirts are not getting enough quality scoring chances. Too often, the team is looking for the perfect play with the perfect pass and more often than not, that will not lead to a power play goal.
Secondly, the team is way too stationary with the man advantage. The players are often standing around in one position waiting for the puck to come to them rather than going hard to the net to create traffic, screens and craziness for the opposing team's defense and goaltender.
Lastly, it is easy to see that the team lacks confidence on the power play. There is too much hesitation with the puck and not enough pucks towards the net, which is obviously the only way the team is going to be able to put the puck in the net.
As I keep mentioning, this is an extremely compact schedule where time is going to run out fast. If the Rangers are not able to figure out a way to get their power play going, they could end up being in big trouble come playoff time (if they get there).
Tonight would be a good opportunity to get the ball rolling not only with the man advantage, but with a winning effort as well.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.