Found January 14, 2013 on
Blue Seat Blogs:
Hockey will be back soon and finally we can start talking about the systems and strategies of this great game we all know and love. One of the most critical – and contested – aspects of the Rangers system in 2012 was their power play.
For the sake of brevity, I will just say that last year’s mediocre power play was not due to coaching decisions or their umbrella formation (seen above). The problem was a lack of execution based on limited personnel. Penalty killers could key in on one guy and knew the others either wouldn’t sense open ice (hockey IQ) or put a quality shot on net.
So how can Nash help the Rangers improve?
1) Zone Entries
The Rangers were subpar at crossing the blueline with the puck. This was because Richards was the only guy who was comfortable handling rubber through penalty killer traffic. Nash gives them another option, which will help spread coverage.
2) The cycle
Cycling the puck is a start. Cycling players is what creates defensive miscues. The purpose of any power play is to exploit open ice. Cally is good at setting screens, but not finding real estate for one-timers. Nash can be that guy. He can set the screen and move up to receive forehand shots. Nash can also play along the walls and use his frame to protect the puck ala Jagr in his heyday. Lots of possibilities there.
Ultimately, I think Nash plays left wing just as well as right wing, so I see him rotating between the slot and either wing depending on who else is out on the ice. His handedness almost doesn’t matter because he’s just as good playing the off wing.
3) The points
The Rangers were subpar at keeping the puck in the zone. Part of this can be blamed on our pointmen, but part of the problem was our pointmen often didn’t find anyone to dish to. With Nash drawing coverage down low, it will also open up ice for MDZ, Richards, etc. to walk the line and find a better shooting lane. Ideally you’d like to see a right handed shot at the point, but Girardi isn’t that guy, so I think you’ll still see a Richards/MDZ combo up high.
Obviously it is going to take a few weeks for the Rangers to come together and all get on the same page. After all, there are a few new faces and several different power play formations that are used in the NHL, which you can read more about in my series of posts here.
BEST OF MAXIM
According to Andrew Gross, the Rangers opened camp with a condensed roster. Here’s what has been reported.
Brad Richards, Rick Nash, Marian Gaborik, Ryan Callahan, Derek Stepan, Carl Hagelin, Brian Boyle, Taylor Pyatt, Chris Kreider, Jeff Halpern, Mike Rupp, Arron Asham
Marc Staal, Ryan McDonagh, Anton Stralman, Dan Girardi, Michael Del Zotto, Steve Eminger...
Per Bob McKenzie, the Rangers have agreed to terms with RFA defenseman Michael Del Zotto. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but Del Zotto will be in camp today. MDZ was priority number one for the Rangers in their “preseason” agenda.
We will post more updates as they become available.
A depth forward could be on the radar for the Rangers.
Looking over the Rangers training camp roster, one thing that really stands out is the lack of depth, particularly on offense. Right now, the following has been reported as Torts’ early line combos.
Carl Hagelin – Brad Richards – Rick Nash
Marian Gaborik – Derek Stepan – Ryan Callahan
Waivers Rangers: Sean Collins, Michael Haley, Chad Kolarik, Kris Newbury, Logan Pyett, Brendon Segal, Mike Vernace, Tommy Grant.
— Renaud Lavoie (@RenLavoieRDS) January 15, 2013
Kolarik leads Whale with 15 goals and tied for team lead in points with 29.
...scratching my head at Kolarik being on that list. I was originally surprised when he wasn't in training camp...
Larry Brooks at the New York Post reports that despite Marian Gaborik scoring 41 goals on right wing last year, his natural position, John Tortorella will be moving his Solvakian sniper to left wing in camp.
Here's Gaborik on the move...
“Torts [coach John Tortorella] told me that’s where he’d like to see me, so I’m going to prepare and practice at left wing,...
Katie Strang at ESPN.com reports that the NHLPA is reviewing the developing situation between Wade Redden and Rangers in which the Blueshirts will sit the veteran defenseman for the remainder of the season to ensure he is not injured and jeopardize their ability to buy him out this summer.
The Rangers have also been in contact with the league. The Canadiens have deployed the...
New York Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto has agreed to a new contract with the team, according to a TSN report. Del Zotto would become the first restricted free agent to sign under new Collective Bargaining Agreement, which went into effect Saturday. The 22-year-old was selected 20th overall in the 2008 Draft by the Rangers.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
This is the organization Rangers fans have dreamed of for generations — one that is rich in blue-blooded, blue-collar laborers who come to work with a single-minded sense of purpose that honors the season ticket-holders who pay the very expensive freight.
In New York, we expect our top athletes to make top dollar. All we expect in return...
These are the exact words that can be used to describe New York Rangers' defenseman Michael Del Zotto's new two-year deal with the club.
There is no doubting Del Zotto's offensive skills. Last season, Del Zotto was fifth on the team in the regular season with 41 points (10 goals and 31 assists) while adding another 10 (2 goals and 8 assists) in 20 postseason games....
Michael Del Zotto has agreed to tentative terms with NYR and is expected in camp today tho aspects of contract are still being worked on.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) January 13, 2013
No terms have been released.
...had to assume this would get done this morning. Tough to comment without knowing the terms, but I can say that I'm glad to see Del Zotto back. Despite...
If you were to ask people who they felt would be the first two amnesty buyouts under the NHL's new CBA, they probably would have said Wade Redden and Scott Gomez. Apparently lots of folks have ESP, or at the very least have been alive and conscious the past couple of years, because who will be the first two guys bought out? Why, Redden and Gomez, of course!
The New York Rangers signed defenseman Matt Gilroy to a one-year contract, and the New York Post reported the deal is worth $650,000. He provides depth for the Rangers after getting three goals and 17 assists in 67 games last season, which he split between Tampa Bay and Ottawa. Gilroy has been playing this season in the AHL with the Rangers' affiliate in Hartford, Conn.
As mentioned yesterday, both Wade Redden and Scott Gomez are widely expected to be bought out at the end of this season. Both players are being told to go home, sit, and get paid for it -- the NHL's teams can't buyout injured players. While this is a smart strategy for the New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens, the NHLPA is taking issue with two of their players being told...