Last night’s victory over the Montreal Canadiens embodied everything that the Rangers have been doing every game this year. They were physical, they were grinding along the boards, got primary scoring, got secondary scoring, had high quality goaltending, and great defense. The difference between last night’s game and the other games? Powerplay effectiveness.
We’ve been saying it here for a while, the powerplay was doing good things prior to last night’s game. They were moving the puck well, they were playing along the half boards instead of the blue line, but most importantly they were always moving. Stopping a static powerplay is easy, and the Rangers were making it easy on their opponents to stop them.
Last night’s game showed some promise that they were beginning to do the right thing on the powerplay. If there’s any time to make positive adjustments, now’s the time. There weren’t many flaws to the Rangers game heading into the month of April, and they appear to have corrected a major flaw.
You don’t need a superior powerplay to win the Stanley Cup –just ask the Bruins– but it certainly helps. The Rangers were already going in with the two key elements required to make a run: a hot goaltender and a solid defense. Add a decent powerplay and balanced scoring, and this team could make a run.