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New York Rangers Fan Club

The Fish Bowl
by Toby Ivey

Tuesday, October 23 2001


You`re Killing Me

Okay, who forgot to pay the Rangers power bill this month?  Weren't the Blueshirts supposed to have one of the best power plays in the league?  How can a Power Play that features Fleury, Lindros, Messier and Leetch be so ineffective?  And what happened to the penalty kill...just a few years ago New York lead the league in killing off penalties, now they can't go through a game without letting in a power play goal.  

Solve the special teams problems and perhaps you save the season.   This week we took a look and some of the things the Rangers can do to improve both the Power Play and the Penalty Kill in order to be successful.

Empowering the Power Play

  1. Put a defenseman on the point.  I think it's safe to say that the experiment with playing Theo Fleury at point is not working out.  Fleury, who is one of the better Rangers at moving the puck is not particularly effective at keeping the puck in the offensive zone...a key to success on the Power Play.  Let's instead go back to using Malakhov or Van Impe who've both shown a good shot from the point.
  2. New York needs to shoot more from the slot...if they can learn anything from their opposition, they should note how many power play goals have come against them when shot from out near the blueline, and in particular in the slot.  When you face directly onto goal you get more net to shoot at, and with some traffic in front you screen the goalie.  Even shots from the blueline would help, but again it requires traffic in front.
  3. Quicker passes help isolate defenders.  Too often in this early season, the Rangers have held the puck too long or have made poor passes on the power play.  If the puck's not moving, neither are the defenders and you don't get good opportunities.  You can't beat four stationary defenders who're parked in front of the net.
  4. Shoot the puck quicker.  No point trying to get the perfect shot, more one-timers and quick shots are in order to catch the defenseman and goalies moving.
  5. Go to the net!  The second power play is more prone to leaving the net unchallenged than the first, but if you're in front, good things will happen (as shown by Nedved in the game against the Devils).

Killing Time

  1. STOP TAKING DUMB PENALTIES.  Sorry for the shouting, but there's only two teams in the league who've given up more than the Rangers 49 (Canucks 52, Carolina 50).  With a poor penalty kill to start with, you can't afford to give the opposition too many chances.
  2. Protect the slot.  Seems like almost one opposition Power Play Goal a game comes from out near the blueline.  Certainly there have been deflections, but challenging the shooter gives them less angle to work with and hurries the play.
  3. Protect the crease.  And I don't mean stand there watching as someone take a shot, clear the opposition out of the crease so the goalie gets a better look at the shot...that means don't stand right in front of the goalie either d-men.
  4. Watch the clearing passes.  New York hasn't been good in this area for some time...

These suggestions are obviously just observations from a fan like yourself, but it's these basic tenets that the Rangers have implemented poorly that have lead to the poor start on special teams.  It is hoped that they resolve their issues soon, or this will once again be a very long season...

Statistics for the last 5 seasons

Season PP PK
2001-2002 11.4 73.5
2000-2001 17.9 78.5
1999-2000 16.9 83.2
1998-1999 20.4 85.7
1997-1998 17.7 85.4

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August 19th, 2021

Earlier this year the Rangers won by a margin of nine goals as they beat the Flyers 9-0. How many times has the margin been bigger?

Answer...
  STANDINGS
  Team GP W L OT Pts  
  Panthers 5 5 0 0 10  
  Rangers 6 4 1 1 9  
  Hurricanes 4 4 0 0 8  
  Penguins 5 3 0 2 8  
  Sabres 5 3 1 1 7  
  Red Wings 6 3 2 1 7  
  Capitals 5 3 0 2 8  
  Islanders 6 3 2 1 7  
  Bruins 4 3 1 0 6  
  Devils 4 3 1 0 6  
  Blue Jackets 5 3 2 0 6  
  Flyers 4 2 1 1 5  
  Lightning 5 2 2 1 5  
  Maple Leafs 6 2 3 1 5  
  Senators 5 2 3 0 4  
  Canadiens 6 1 5 0 2  
FULL STANDINGS
  RANDOM RANGER

JIM NEILSON
(1962-1974)
  Born: Nov 28 - 1940  
  Position: Defense  
  Games Played: 810  
  Goals: 60  
  Assists: 238  
  Points: 298  
  Penalty Minutes: 760  

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