Monday, February 16, 2009

Scotty's Solutions Pt. 1

“I take full responsibility for where this team is right now. That’s incumbent with the position. My job is to correct this, get us wining, get us feeing better about ourselves. I look to be a solution. It’s as simple as that.” -- Tom Renney, 2/15/09

It is getting quite tiresome seeing the many failings of this team so how about we try to step into Renney's role and find some ways to win? For part 1, let's address the biggest issue, the power play.

The man advantage has only proven to give an advantage to opposing teams this season so it is time to shake it up. There is no way to impart a new philosophy than adding new people so here are the two units I recommend:
Unit 1

Unit 2
The biggest change from the current philosophy is that both units use a talent forward at the point. Let's face it, they are no more defensive liabilities than Rozy or Redden currently are and they actually add a scoring threat. Not to mention that it is much easier to quarterback a power play from up high then it is on the halfboards (unless you are a monster like Jagr was).

Unit 1 Details: Earlier in the season Zherdev proved that he knows how to backcheck when he wants to and let's face it, he is the slickest stickhandler on the team. Having him up high would draw the penalty killers up high, leaving more room for the forwards to swarm around the paint and cause chaos. Drury has shown a willingness to pay the price in front and Prucha has never shied away from crashing the crease. We have yet to see what the Korpedo can do, but I would love to find out. Aside from being the unit's defensive conscience, Staal would be the safety valve if Z can't get the puck down low, especially with that heavy shot he has - he just would need to use it more often.

Unit 2 Details: I've been pushing for Orr on a power play unit since Christmastime. Let the big man loose and see what he can do - he is definitely an improvement on Voros. Dubi is Dubi; he is still learning what his size is capable of and he has pretty good hands. Sjostrom is relentless, fast and can help defensive coverage if Naslund was to slide in from the point. Naslund has lost a step but he still is a saavy player and has shown that he is money in the high slot. It might be easier for him to get there cycling from the point then from down low. And Mara has been the steadiest presence on the blueline in all three zones so if his stupid fight with Asham hasn't cost him his season, he should keep a spot on the power play.

Key Omissions: Gomez, Callahan, Rozy and Redden. Gomez carries the puck across the neutral zone like no other but his little curl and dump garbage is a joke. He doesn't have the size, strength or shot of Jagr so his attempts to QB the power play from down low have been a complete failure. Cally is spectacular off of the rush ... once settled into the zone, notsomuch. Besides, keeping him on the bench would keep him energized to keep the opposition unsettled once they reach even strength. There is a good defenseman trapped inside Rozy. The Czech has shown flashes of it every now and again and he just needs to get the confidence back to be a top D all of the time. As for Redden, well, he doesn't belong in the NHL anymore, much less sitting on the point turning the puck over on a power play unit.

So what do you guys think?


Anonymous said...

Sounds good to me. Anything to get Redden off the ice!

Canyon of Blueshirts said...

cally deserves power play time. rozy should be on the point over staal. its interesting putting zherdev on the point but i think he'd be better suited on the boards to create from that spot.

Anonymous said...

its eric give it up there is no solution. they all suck.

Anonymous said...

yeah i like the units, though i think that callahan should be on the powerplay more, because i have seen calahan do good when put on the powerplay and when he tries to get a deflection or a rebound in.

Anonymous said...

The problem with the pp is as much about the competitive level of the personnel than anything. All the opposition has to to is line up 3 across the top and confront the puck carrier and it gets turned over with the Rangers.

If the Rangers try to dump it in, they never get it back. It wouldn't matter who you had out there, with the current 'compete' level of the rangers, it won't work.

Putting Zherdev at the point isn't a great idea because the guy constantly overhandles the puck and doesn't respond well to physical confrontation--why would you want him coughing the puck up on the pp in the most dangerous spot on the ice?

The pp is all about angles and if/when the Rangers DO get set up, they don't use the width of the ice properly. The are all too close together and their positioning (depending on if they are left or right shots) is all screwed up.

People always think that pp'ers have to move around in order to create seems, but if they are positioned properly and use the points properly, it will drag the pk'ers out and the seams will open up. If you don't have a bonafide qb from the point, you just have to run it from the half wall.

Zherdev being a right shot down there is perfect because he SHOULD be able drag that high forward down to him which then then should have another guy on the same side goal line as him where he can tap the puck down to, or he can go back up to the point and since that high forward is now out of position, it should open up the one-timer.

Zherdev is good enough to man-the pp from the half wall, they just don't have the players positioned properly to create as many options as they could have (opposition back off of him too because he is dangerous with the puck).

It is all about the one timer on the pp and the speed of the pass is what scores the goal. You have to get the goalie moving and spread out--the Rangers move the puck too slowly and the goalie has all day to get reset.

PP'ers also have to be content and patient to pass it around and wear the pk'ers down a little bit. They have to realize that when they shoot it on the net, they aren't shooting to score, they are shooting to put the puck in a position where they can get a rebound, OR get the puck back so they can move it some more and tire everyone out.

Pk'ers on other teams are typically the most competitve and smartest players on the other teams. You now want to put three of your 'lightest' players in vulnerable positions?

The pp has potential to be a lot better than it is, but if the entries, set up, and winning face offs doesn't improve it won't matter who you have where. That team is just too soft and not mean enough to get the puck back. Until that changes, nothing else even has a chance.