Originally posted on NY Rangers Blog  |  Last updated 4/2/13
The biggest concern for this team has been and will continue to be goals. And of course that is justified. If the Rangers continue to put up goose eggs then a win is virtually impossible and everything else is irrelevant.  That's a strange introduction to an article which will "make the case" for a guy who hasn't registered a single point in 28 games this season. But I bring the scoring up because it's just been so problematic and persistent that everything else has taken a back seat; for instance, the penalty kill. The penalty kill has been a huge part of the Rangers' identity even as far back as the Renney days. The Rangers' PK has been among the top 10 in the league six out of the last seven years, with the Rangers finishing 12th in that other year. Last year it was the 5th best in the NHL. Among everything else going wrong, this season hasn't been so kind to the Rangers' PK, which is tied for 17th in the league with an 81% success rate.    Prior to last night, the Rangers had given up three goals on five total powerplay opportunities in games against Philadelphia, Ottawa, and Montreal. In those three games, Darroll Powe was a healthy scratch. Last night, Darroll Powe was reinserted into the lineup after Kris Newbury was sent down. All five Winnipeg Jets powerplays came up empty. After Winnipeg took the 2-1 lead the Rangers took three penalties. And after Callahan tied it Zuccarello added two more in the second period.The Rangers have shown absolutely nothing that gives belief that they have the ability to mount successful comebacks; it's not too farfetched to claim that the game would have been decided if Winnipeg converted one of those first few powerplays to make it a 3-1 game. Even a late goal to make it 3-2 Winnipeg going into the third period would have forced the Rangers to play catchup. The four goals are what is most important about last night, but if the Rangers don't kill off all of those penalties  it's an entirely different game. Darroll Powe played nearly five minutes on the penalty kill. More than Ryan Callahan. More than Derek Stepan. Only Brian Boyle had more PK icetime. Safe to say that Powe was a big part of killing those off. Of course, that is an incredibly small sample size and is, in itself, indicative of nothing. Darroll Powe has been in and out of the lineup for the Rangers for a number of reasons; healthy scratches, an injury, and not even being on the team at one point. So let's look at how the penalty kill fares with and without Darroll Powe in the lineup:       Successful PK's Total PK's Success Rate With Powe   54 63 85.71% Without Powe   36 49 73.47% (Not included is 2/17 against Washington, in which Powe did not complete the game due to injury) The worst penalty kill in the NHL season is the Florida Panthers, with a 74.1% rate of sucess. In other words, the Rangers' penalty kill sans Darroll Powe is statistically the worst in the NHL. Meanwhile, the 85.7% rate of success with Powe in the lineup would put the Rangers tied for fourth in the NHL. That is an absolutely staggering difference. There is of course going to be some coincidence and randomness in the data, but the sample size is certainly big enough to map out patterns and indicate something. Lundqvist is and will continue to be the most important person on the penalty kill, but it's hard to argue with the evidence; having one of the best or one of the worst penalty kill's in the NHL has been, at least statistically, largely dependent on whether Darroll Powe was in the lineup.  The downside is that Powe is a very limited player. Zero points in 28 games is pretty miserable doesn't, at face value, do anything to help a team struggling to score goals. But consider this: the Rangers have entered the third period trailing in 17 games this season and have only won three of those games. Recently, the Rangers have given themselves early deficits and have been forced to play catchup. A nightmare situation for a team that isn't scoring very easily. At the very least, preventing goals keeps the Rangers in the game and doesn't allow the other team to clog up the neutral zone. And it is also worth mentioning that more PK minutes for Powe means fewer PK minutes for Callahan and Hagelin, meaning they have a bit more in the tank for those shifts where the team is trying to generate offense. It's clear that trying to find offense from our bottom-six is more or less a lost cause. So Tortorella might as well use the spot for someone who can contribute in a different way. Powe is decent enough on the forecheck, hits, and blocks shots. But most important is his major contributions to the penalty kill, which helps to keep the game at balance and prevent the score from getting out of hand. Should the Rangers make any additions on offense in these final hours before Wednesday's trading deadline then someone is going to be the odd man out. It would be shortsighted to make Darroll Powe that man.   Follow Me On Twitter: @Herman_NYRBlog Email Me: AdamNYRBlog@gmail.com
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Top five takeaways from this year's NBA Summer League

NCAA rules that hanging out with hip-hop star Drake is violation

WATCH: Justin Bieber arm wrestle Sixers center Joel Embiid

RUMOR: Celtics sign Green, Zeller and two others to contract deals

Kevin Durant Thunder jerseys going for less than 50 cents in OKC

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Why are Saints holding out on contract talks with Drew Brees?

Jay Gruden gives out primo parking spots to hard-working players

Report: Colts' Jones suspended four games for PED use

Report: Royals have interest in Nick Markakis

Ezekiel Elliott domestic violence 911 call released

Manu Ginobili talks interest in 76ers before sticking with Spurs

Aussie Rules Football player accidentally kicks, breaks own leg

Former Arkansas football assistant trolls Bobby Petrino on social media

Could Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw's injury hinder trade talks?

Spurs strike a new deal with NBA stalwart Manu Ginobli

George makes return to Team USA following leg injury

Why the Clippers shouldn't break up their big three

White Sox pay homage to Bo Jackson’s bat-breaking skills with bobblehead

Orioles affiliate pay tribute to David Bowie on their jerseys

Report: Rangers pushing trade efforts for Sale

Russell Martin day-to-day after sauna-related mishap

Celtics reportedly unwilling to give up much for Jahlil Okafor

Report: Jay Bruce drawing trade interest

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

WATCH: Pop & Timmy have a guys' night out

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker