Rick Nash was brought in this past offseason to bring some much needed offense to the Rangers line-up. Unfortunately for Nash and Rangers fans, the rest of the team (other than Derek Stepan) have pretty much relied on him to do all the heavy lifting on offense.
Now with Nash struggling with the pressures of the playoffs, no one is stepping up in his absence.
And one look at the Rangers line-up yesterday tells you all you need to know about why that is…
Taylor Pyatt – 6g
Derek Dorsett – 3g (before he got hurt)
Brian Boyle – 2g
Arron Asham – 2g
Darrell Powe – 0g
Almost half of the Rangers line-up can't be relied on to score. In my opinion, none of those five guys are even remotely close to being an offensive threat when they're on the ice.
And that list doesn't even include Brad Richards, who is proving all his fluky late season goals where just that, a fluke and Mats Zuccarello, who I'm starting to question his ability to overcome his size in the playoffs when the physical intensity is stepped up a notch.
Even within the top six forwards, other than Nash, none of them really have the skill set to create their own shots or opportunities.
Just to put the Rangers goal scoring woes in context. The entire team has as many goals as Wade Redden (1g, 1a) through the first two games of the postseason. And just one more point (H/T to reader johnnyb3910).
So what do the Rangers need to do? I think with a line-up lacking any semblance of play-making ability this series, the Rangers need to start manufacturing some ugly goals. Get as many bodies to the net and start firing the puck at Holtby. Eventually the puck is going to take a funny hop or a rebound is going to land on the stick of a Ranger player parked on the crease.
The game plan literally needs to be "if you're a forward and you don't have the puck, crash the crease."
Torts might also need to add a little more skill to the line-up by re-inserting Chris Kreider.
I think if the Rangers can get back to these basics, they still have a real chance of getting back into this series.