by Patrick Hoffman on 05/11/12 at 10:00 AM ET
As everyone knows, goals are at a minimum in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
With the exception of the first round between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers, there have been many low scoring games in this postseason. This is due to tighter defenses, players diving all over the place to block shots and great goaltending.
While these things have certainly been a factor for the New York Rangers, they are not the only reason why the team’s offense has been very quiet in their second round series with the Washington Capitals.
For starters, the Rangers are not getting any secondary scoring. Guys like Ruslan Fedotenko, Brian Boyle, Brandon Prust, Derek Stepan, John Mitchell, Carl Hagelin, Mike Rupp, and others have all been stymied and have not been able to put the puck in the net.
This is a problem because it ends up putting a ton of pressure on the likes of Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik, and Ryan Callahan to put the puck in the net. While it is right to expect them to be able to put the puck in the net because of what they accomplished in the regular season or in past postseasons, that does not mean that they can come through whenever the team needs them to.
Secondly, the Rangers have not found a way to get into good scoring positions. The Capitals have taken a page out of the Blueshirts’ playbook and have done a terrific job in getting in shooting lanes, breaking up passes and blocking a ton of shots. In fact, the Capitals have blocked more shots than the Rangers in this series, which is surprising considering how good the Rangers were at just that in the regular season.
Lastly, they have not been able to get Capitals’ netminder Braden Holtby out of position too much. Holtby is a goaltender who likes to keep things simple, is not flashy and while he can have trouble controlling rebounds, he is good at swallowing up pucks.
Simply put, the Rangers’ offense needs to wake up. If the offense is not able to get going and start doing what it needs to do to put the puck in the net, the team could be in trouble come Game 7 tomorrow night at Madison Square Garden.
Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, brad+richards, braden+holtby, brandon+prust, brian+boyle, carl+hagelin, derek+stepan, john+mitchell, marian+gaborik, mike+rupp, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins, ruslan+fedotenko, ryan+callahan
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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.