Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Pathetic Power Play

It was bad enough when the power play wasn't scoring, at least it took two minutes off the clock. But now we have a new wrinkle to our power play, we give up goals to the other team. In as inept a performance that they have given this year the Booshirts lost to the Islanders 2-1. Too bad they don't have the same rules as they do in football where they have the option to decline the penalty.

Naturally, the drive by media has found the culprit, Michal Rozsival. Michal says that he made two bad plays that cost the game. Have you closely watched Rozsival this year? Last night's two gaffes were an improvement over his play lately. Just think. The Stealth GM paid out five big ones to keep this guy who still thinks that Jagr is on the team because he keeps passing the puck back to the spot that Jagr used to stand on.

But the Stealth has bigger problems than Michal Rozsival. He has a clueless coach and coaching staff that don't have a clue how to fix a power play. It's three years and counting and to no avail, they can't fix it. And what's more damning is that they don't know how to fix it. But the power play is just a symptom of a bigger problem. They can't score goals and the Stealth doesn't have too many options. He dismissed Shanahan, too old, too slow, but who can still shoot, which is more than you can say for the rest of the team, because he is on a youth kick. Really?

Then there is Mats Sundin, of which there is no money to hire him. Need money? I'll give you money. Trade Rozsival. Then there is the matter of line construction and ice time distribution. Playing Petr Prucha every third day is not going to do it. Playing the Z Man, Nikolai Zherdev, on a line with Dubinsky and Voros is like putting up a goal deterrent. The Z Man should be playing with Gomez and Naslund and then if it doesn't work we should scrap the season and put the whole team on waivers as Emile "The Cat" Francis did years ago.

Chances are nothing will be done. It will be February and we will still be discussing how the power play is costing us games and how the Islanders have scored eight shorthanded goals against us. They already have three. It will be February and coach clueless will admit he is pissed again, thereby breaking a record of using the word that he set in December. Like December, nothing will be done, Prucha will be benched two out of every three games, and Rozsival will continue to lose the puck on the power play, and Mats Sundin will be in California waiting for the sequel to Slap Shot.

Related Articles by Categories


  • Section 335 said...

    Last year, St. Louis' power play shot 14.1%. This year it is 29.5%. They have gone from the very bottom of their conference to second best behind Detroit. How did they do it?

    1. They keep someone in front of the net at all times.

    2. They play five forwards for puck movement.

    3. They use the entire end zone, not just the top and the sides.

    The Blue knew they had a problem, studied it and set out to fix it. Maybe Clueless would like to watch them play and give this a try?

  • Section 335 said...

    By the way, if my explanation was not clear enough - think of the old Knicks with Clyde and the Pearl just passing around and around until they found the guy with the open shot.

  • jb said...

    I like the "Knicks PP" scheme (it couldn't hurt). Along with "Clyde and the Pearl" will need to add these: a large "Willis Reed" down by the net to set screens, get rebounds, plus add another bruiser "Dave Debusschere" type to crash the net for more loose rebounds. And of course a "Dollar Bill" sniper from the sides.

    Couldn't all five play forward and score if they had too?

  • blow-me-down said...

    Tom Renney said about the powerplay "There’s been so much said and written about it, it’s all in their heads."
    Well, of course some thoughts and approaches to things reside in people's heads. The problem is why the things that are in their heads are not being changed. I mean, come on, take some responsibility.
    That's like throwing your hands in the air and saying "Well, that's it. I've done everything I can. We'll just have to wait now".
    How is that coaching?

  • Section 335 said...

    Herb Brooks knew what to do when "it was all in their heads." He convinced their heads that they could beat the Russians. I think he is wrong, it is all in his scheme of having the two men on the point pass between each other until the other side can pick off a pass for a break away. But, if he were right, then fix it a___ h____.

  • mike said...

    section 335-Send it to our clueless coach.

    Also as jb mentioned big Reed and Dave D were up front creating havoc.

  • mike said...

    jb-Five forwards could do it but when your mentality is on defense there is no way you put five forwards on the ice.

  • mike said...

    blow-me-down-Its not coaching and our coach is a head job himself.

  • mike said...

    section 335-Every sport is the same. You go towards the goal not away and not laterally. The coach is a d---.

  • blow-me-down said...

    The information about St. Louis interesting. I doubt that the coaching staff would be happy if poor play suddenly reversed their turnaround. A player who did not or would not do what is required would be removed from the scenario.

    But I do think, as I did during last season too, that obsession with defense is great until it stifles offensive creativity. Think of the games where the Rangers impressed earlier this season (hence my jubilation at seeing the fast team I envisioned and the creativity and spontaneity on the offense). For me it was the first five games where they looked like they were playing very hard on the forecheck and the defenders could only guess where the play was headed. Shot totals are misleading, earlier in the season it was the relentless moving and attacking that impressed me. I don't see it now, and that covers even strength and powerplay.
    I think I have answered to my own satisfaction the question I had last year - was that predictable Jagr led powerplay the result of Jagr or of Renney?

    Not too mention how extremely boring the tentative disjointed attack is to watch. This team is not perfect but they are capable of waaaay more than this.

  • mike said...

    blow-me-down-The Rangers are a boring defense minded hockey team. However, the Rangers have some exciting offensive players. The clueless coach always talks to the offensive guys. Who do you think wins those discussions, the clueless coach or the offensive player?

    "Not playing defense is not an option."

  • blow-me-down said...

    I just witnessed a cross-ice pass through the high slot to a streaking Gomez going to the net. People were moving. I have marked it on my calendar.

  • blow-me-down said...


    To answer your question, I think that Renney pushed his system into everyone to the extent that they forget how to do what they were brought in for in the first place. Really, I started to twig into this last year. Defense is admirable, but it wouldn't hurt for Renney etc. to learn something from his players. I knew that when you bring in a bunch of proven performers and they stop performing that it is not the players' fault, when it happens globally.
    I've always hoped for a change, like Renney could just let these guys play. Tonight was good, but then again we started hard this season and then went for a sh!t. I'm not convinced yet.
    But I do think I know where the problem lies, and it is not with the talent.

  • mike said...

    blow-me-down-You go out and get a certain type of player, like a Drury a Gomez a Naslund a Zherdev, doesn't it make sense to build a scheme around these players. No, we build the scheme around the clueless coach. If Gretzky had started out with the Rangers under this coach he would be just a footnote to the NHL and not the greatest to ever play this or any other game.