Five Thoughts and Musings

1. Last time the Rangers finished a season with a greater than 20% power play??? 1998-99… with Wayne Gretzky and Brian Leetch running the show. For the sake of argument, the frame of reference I'll use will be where the Rangers stopped allowing teams to score 2+ goals starting with the 10/24, 2-1 loss to Philly. They have won 6 of their last 9 with the power play operating at a 19.3% clip over that time span. It'll be interesting to see if they are able to maintain that pace throughout the season.

1b. Speaking of the power play, Michael Del Zotto has been an utter failure at the point with the man advantage. Even New York Giants running back David Wilson would scoff at Del Zotto's fumblitis issues with attempting to keep the puck inside the offensive zone. Having McDonagh back there has been a sight for sore eyes. 

2.  I'm sure you've taken a glance periodically to see how Vancouver has been on the man advantage under the old Torts/Sully regime. If you haven't here's a hint…

3. After Brad Richards hot start (4 goals in the first 5 games), he's only scored 1 goal in the last 11. The short term and long term cap ramifications of his contract are simply too much of a burden as his skills will continue to decline. If the Rangers earnestly want to keep this core together, that cap hit has to disappear after completion of this season, no matter how many goals he ends up with.

3b. While you're at it, trade Rick Nash too once he gets healthy. The Rangers seem to be doing just fine lately without him. $15 million in cap space cleared up just like… that!!! The new-found cap space will come in handy when Callahan's contract negotiations begin next summer and his contract demands are made public to the tune of 5 years and 35 million bucks.

4. Regarding all the trade rumors elsewhere, as I continue to state on social media, the Rangers should be in the market for a top 9 right handed, right winger. Why right handed? AV before the season stressed the importance of mixing righties and lefties in order to have a successful power play. Ryan Callahan, Derek Stepan and Derek Dorsett are the only current forwards on the team with a right handed shot. While Ales Hemsky in Edmonton fits the handedness aspect the Rangers should be looking for, is it worth giving up even half way decent assets to a guy who can't stay healthy and has only eclipsed 40 points once in the last 5 seasons? Besides, Glen Sather doesn't even have to look far in order to find aforementioned tools. Perhaps the leading goal scorer in Hartford, Danny Kristo deserves a look in a blueshirt soon?

4b. Nail Yakupov? Just say no Glen, just say no…

5.For those that don't have twitter or haven't seen this yet… Have fun photo-shoppers.

Follow me on twitter: @NYRblogneill
Email me: c1rcaiff27@comcast.net

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