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

Enes Kanter wants to become American citizen

Report: O.J. Simpson's parole hearing set for July

Baseball may soon enter an era of two-way players

Kyrie Irving: Cavs were served ‘slice of humble pie’

Report: NFL teams question Darrelle Revis’ commitment to the game

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Zaza Pachulia partially blames Gregg Popovich for his family receiving death threats

Sens coach Guy Boucher: We know Pens 'are the better team'

IndyCar drivers Dixon, Franchitti robbed at gunpoint in Taco Bell drive-thru

Fans in new Raiders Vegas stadium will be able to place bets on mobile devices?

Luke Walton not stressing LaVar Ball, cites his dad's 'big personality'

Ex-motorcycle champion Nicky Hayden dies after collision in Italy

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

The 'Happy birthday to two of the NBA's all-time antagonists' quiz

The shortstop evolution continues to raise the ceiling

Three Up, Three Down: Astros dominate in every category

Box Score 5/19: Heartbreak in OT

Sports & Politics Intersect: NBA power players continue to speak against Trump

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

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

The 'Happy birthday to two of the NBA's all-time antagonists' quiz

The shortstop evolution continues to raise the ceiling

Three Up, Three Down: Astros dominate in every category

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