Through the first nine games of the season, we saw glimpses of a competent power play, but after Monday's night's 0-for-5 vs. the Canadiens, it had most fans muttering "hear we go again."
I'm not sure if it was something in the air on Long Island, but last night the Rangers power play looked like it could rival the Oilers of the mid to late 80s. Quick, crisp passing, tons of movement, and shots from the point. Oh yeah, and Chris Kreider wreaking havoc in front of the net…
Wait, was that a one-timer on McDonagh's goal? On the power play? Forgot what that looked like.
Great job by Kreider playing the role of Ryan Callahan in front of the net. And too be honest, because Kreider's so much bigger and stronger than the Rangers captain, he ultimately may be better at it.
For the past five years under John Tortorella, we Rangers fans got used to power plays somehow destroying momentum for the Blueshirts and ultimately costing them games. Now, if the Rangers can continue with this kind of execution, they actually might start benefitting from them. Plus, we won't have to beg them to decline penalties anymore.
And they did this without arguably their two best offensive players in Rick Nash and Callahan. Imagine how much better and deeper the two power play units will be when they come back. Well, when Callahan comes back.
Here's AV on why the power play worked last night…
"Tonight, I thought the guys responded with much better execution. We were crisper. We wanted the puck. We were shooting the puck at the net. And we gave us two big goals. It made a big difference in the game."
On Kreider's impact on the power play…
"He's been playing real well. He's going into the tough areas. He was on the power play standing in front of the net. Screening the goaltender. And he jumped on the rebound. Did what he was supposed to do."