Rangers’ Offense Has Gone Missing At the Wrong Time

Creator: Bill Kostroun

After scoring a combined ten goals in beating the New Jersey Devils by identical scores of 5-1 in both Games 1 and 2 of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff matchup, the entire New York Rangers offense has gone missing.

In fact, the team’s offense has been so bad that because of it, the Devils are now up 3-2 in the series heading into Game 6 at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, April 28th. Going into Game 6, the Devils outscored the Rangers by a combined score of 9-2, and while nine allowed is certainly not bad, the number seems insurmountable when your team cannot put the puck in the net.

For starters, the team’s best players are not playing like it. Guys like Mika Zibanejad (zero goals), Artemi Panarin (zero goals), Patrick Kane (one goal), Vincent Trocheck (one goal), Filip Chytil (one goal), and Vladimir Tarasenko (two goals) really are not putting the puck in the net with any kind of regularity, if at all, which is always troublesome whether it is the regular season or the postseason.

The fact that both Zibanejad and Panarin have yet to score a goal is a huge problem for the Rangers. In the regular season, these two combined for 68 goals and were always a threat to put the puck in the net when they had the puck on their respective sticks.

Fast forward to the playoffs, and they cannot buy a goal. Panarin has had trouble putting the puck on the net, while Zibanejad cannot convert on the golden opportunities that he has been given in this series.

Secondly, after being a major factor in the team’s victories in Games 1 and 2, the Rangers’ power play has been terrible. The team is currently (As of Friday, April 28th) in an 0-for-14 slump, and had they been able to convert on at least a few of these chances, the series could look a lot different. 

In Game 3, the Rangers were given five power plays, and they were not able to cash in on any of them. Combined, they only had six shots on goal during those power plays.

As every hockey fan knows, special teams are a huge factor in the playoffs. Well, after going 4-for-10 in the first two games, the Blueshirts cannot do anything on the power play, and it is hurting them in a big way.

Lastly, the team is generating enough quality scoring chances on Devils goaltender Akira Schmid. This is not to take away anything from Schmid, who has come in and given the Devils the goaltending that they lacked in Games 1 and 2 and has done everything and more that has been asked of him.

With that said, the Rangers are not getting to loose pucks in front of the net, are not generating enough shots from the slot, and are not creating enough traffic in front of Schmid. Since they are not doing any of these things, they are struggling to score goals.

Is it too late for the Rangers to turn on their offense? Of course not.

With that said, if the Rangers do not make the adjustments that need to be made on offense, on the power play, and on how they generate scoring opportunities, their year will come to a very disappointing end.

In this week's episode, we have on guest HockeyStatMiner to discuss NYR's Salary cap situation, potential moves and more.How to support us and our sponsors:Columbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITRThanks for listening! Please rate and review our show on your favorite listening platform. Check out our partner's website at www.insidetherink.com for all your latest hockey news.
  1. Guest HockeyStatMiner
  2. Many Directions, One Goal
  3. A Heartbreaking End, Offseason Begins
  4. Game 5 Recap : Guest Joe Fortunato
  5. Game 4 Recap : Breakout Breakdown

Patrick Hoffman

Patrick covers the NHL for Inside The Rink. He has previously covered the league for The Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave, WTP Sports, Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.

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