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December 01, 2008

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DUBI that's why PP Pearn should be reieved of his duties. He has stuttered stepped thru this for 3 years. SHOOT THE PUCK!

By the way it's also why PP Prucha should be in the lineup, but only if he gets real PP time.

Great piece, Dubi. You are right on, the PP can make a big difference in this teams future (and Renney's). However, I don't think Prucha is the answer. For 2 years he has been given a chance. In fact, yesterday's game would have been a great time for him. The Panthers are not a physical team and Petr can bring as much enery as Fritsche. But he just can't seem to get it done. I did notice on a PP yesterday that they seemed to be closing in on the gaol, but a bad pass moved everybody back. I don't have an answer, but right now I'd just role my four lines. The only thing I notice is that many of our guys shoot high and for a corner. Well, they may look pretty when they go in, but they don't create rebounds or deflections.

Even if Petr Prucha gets back into the lineup to 'shake-up' the power play that's a tall order to ask of him. The lack of playing time and any 'ding' to his confidence may put him a little bit behind the eight ball. As he may be able to help, this PP needs more than one player to get it going. We all know Petr will give 100% if he is given the opportunity. Just don't know if that's enough right now??

Nice piece Dubi. You get a sense of just how bad the Ranger Powerplay has been when you factor in the short-handed goals against:

20 PPG
131 PPO
7 SHGA

((20-7)/131)*100 = 9.9% adjusted PP%

That is 2nd worst in the league ahead of Columbus' horrific 3.6% (the Blue Jackets have also given up 7 shorties).

Now Renney's throwing the media under the bus for the PP troubles.

Whose next? The caterer?

http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/2008/12/01/as-prucha-stays-rangers-contemplate-other-options/

Nice post ... I agree wholeheartedly ... For starters Renney should dress Prucha and play him meaningful minutes on the power play and also play Marc Staal more on the point on the powerplay.

It's a bad sign when the coach in any sport starts complaining about how the press is hurting the team.

maybe renney's refusal to change things up has to do with some sense of loyalty he has to a lot of these guys, but redden i don't get (except the money aspect). i know it has in the past, but this team has too many new faces over the past two years for that to be the reason. i just don't get it.

prucha needs to get the same chance that frische and dawes have gotten here, at the very least. and that includes PP time. i wouldn't mind seeing Z, prucha and gomer up front, with staal and cally on the points. it's hard to believe that hasn't crossed renney's and/or pearn's mind. why is he so concerned about hurting anyone's feelings to the detriment of the team?

funny thing is, the coaching staff and management did all the right things in the off-season to turn this team over to the new guys, but their tweaks to the lineup have left a lot to be desired.

Alan: I believe the jury is still out on if "the coaching staff and management did all the right things in the off-season to turn this team over to the new guys" ... I would love to have Jagr and Shanahan playing with Zherdev ... Gomez and Drury are disappointing so far with their output - is it the captaincy?? not sure but I do not believe the management did all the right things. I hope I am wrong but I doubt it. Rangers have had an incredibly easy schedule so far ... it will start to end this week ... lets see what happens in the next couple of weeks.

sorry RB but over the past two seasons Prucha's PP time went to Shanny and this season he hasnt seen PP time at all too make a difference. when he was getting meaningful PP time he scored... our coach is either too stubborn or someone is telling him who to play because he keeps throwing out the same players out there, playing the same tepid game, yet he expects different results

Renney is grasping at straws with the media. Let him count strawberries.

Renney's not wrong in what he said about other teams reading about problems in the press and feeling that they have something there they can exploit -- that's why teams would always prefer to said nothing to the press, as in the whole injury reporting policy. That doesn't mean that that's the main problem with the power play, nor was he suggesting that.

The problem with what he said once again reflects back to how the power play works -- it all goes to the point. Other teams don't need the press to tell them that they need to pressure the Ranger point men -- their scouts are already telling them that, because that's where it all goes. If he gave his players an outlet other than the point, then the pressure there would be subverted and PPGs would come more easily.

But of course, if Renney veers from his bombs away from the point strategy, the fans are gonna go nuts, because all they ever do is yell for them to shoot. Talk about damned if you do, damned if you don't -- if it's not the press talking about how the power play that gives other teams their cue, it will be the fans getting on their case and causing them to press even more.

Last year versus the Penguins the power play failed us and the Pens power play killed us. It's been a problem for quite some time, and Renney just REFUSES to admit there are problems. I remember him saying that they don't really wanna talk about the fact that they've given up so many shorthanded goals. What a great idea !! Ignore the problem. Renney continues to be a robot and not hold plays accountable for their horrid play. A Keenan type coach would rip this team a new asshole.

DUBI when do the poor NYR ( players and coaches) become accountable instead of blaming everyone else ? Let him read the papers maybe he'll learn somethging too. "It wasn't the planes that killed Kong, it was beauty that killed the beast"......

I am sorry but Tom Renney is grasping at straws with his blaming of the media nonsense.

The media are doing their job and if they don't then the readers will hold them accountable for their failures to report what the readers are already seeing.

Now if Tom Renney is getting upset because some of us are starting to wonder if perhaps changes are needed on the Ranger coaching staff then I can understand that.

There were be no issues about who is pressuring whom IF the Rangers were going out there and busting their butts for an entire 60 minutes.

The best way to shut people up is to not give them a reason why they are questioning how things are going with the Rangers.

Dubi - quick question away from the PP situation: did you get a sense of where Hank's head was at after the game? He sure looked hot after getting pulled. Couldnt help but think back to your previous article and what happened last year around this time with him. Thanks

Jess it's becoming absurd on his part to blame the media or the fans for the PP that is run by him , P Pearn & the players. If the PP was or becomes better who gets the credit?

It's seems like ancient history now, but it was only November 12 when a certain Nigel Dawes was (accidentally?)sent out onto the ice at New Jersey to start a memorable 4-goal outburst with a key power play assist as the Rangers rallied over the Devils. That night the Korpikoski-Dawes-Fritsche combo excelled, but the key for me is that Dawes has been at every level of his career a premier power play performer, as both a scorer and primary passer. Sure his size impacts on his NHL 5-on-5 performance; however, if the coaches put him out in odd-man advantage situations, my bet is he'll come thru as he did in Jersey. He's used (if at all) on the PP it's as an afterthought. My point is to use him on a more regular basis there. Worth a try anyway.

Dubi, great piece as always buddy thank you!

koffy, you make a very good and concerning point. The next two weeks are going to define what this team is really made of and I for one amconcerned about what that is.

marty from rfc, great question man. Dubi, I'd be curious is you have some insight there.

i, No one is held accountable when a team is in first place, nor should they be. A coach is not going to get fired because he doesn't have his power play working right in November while finding other ways to win, nor should he be. Ditto his players. They have time to figure it out. If they fail when crunch time hits, that's the time to consider that level of accountability. If Renney doesn't figure out that it's the system, not the players, then he's in for hard fall. But that doesn't come now, it comes after he suffers the full consequences of failing to see the flaws in his system.

But I want to remind you all that Renney is running his power play EXACTLY the way the vast majority of fans, including many of those who comment here, want him to run it. Jagr's way was wrong -- Renney's was right. That's what almost everyone has said. If you think a power play should be bombs away from the point, as Renney does, then what exactly is the problem? How can the fans be right but Renney be wrong when both believe in the exact same thing?

There are only three options: it's the system, it's the execution, or it's the lack of proper personnel to execute the system. You can't think the problem is the system and also yell "shoot!" whenever they have the puck, because that is the system. You can't get place ALL of the blame on Redden and Rozsival for fumbling the puck under pressure at the point when that pressure comes from a flaw in the system -- some of the blame, yes, but not all of the blame.

Jagr was right -- not every shot from the point is a good shot. You see that for yourselves every time a point shot is blocked and the puck cleared, breaking up a set-up in the zone, or worse, when a shorthanded rush ensues. There have to be options at the point and down low, on the strong side and on the weak side. The goal is to exploit your manpower advantage by turning a five on four into a three on two or two on one or one on the goalie in a high-percentage scoring area. There are a lot of ways to accomplish that beyond point shots -- but try telling that to Garden fans who yell shoot even when guys have the puck in the corner, or sometimes even when the other team has possession of the puck.

Marty, I wasn't there, so I can't know for sure, but he was clearly unhappy based on what we saw on TV and read in the papers. I don't think it's the same as last year when he got pouty because his personal stats were jeopardized on behalf of someone else's personal stats, got into it with the media and with his teammates, and then had his father's illness rain down on him at the same time.

The answer to the PP woes lies within the 'three options' that Dubi points out. It has nothing to do with the media...that's not one of the three options. Which one (or two, or all) of the three options is the main culprit?
Yea, the Garden fans have a problem with the 'shoot' philosophy, but the Garden fans aren't at the away games and the PP is equally as bad on the road without any pressure from the home crowd.
The coaching staff must analyze those three options and come up with the answer and make the changes. Sounds simple, but not really...you can only work with what you have....and that goes for all three options.

Just a thought, but shooting from the point quite a bit might work better (if that is the approach we are going to use) with a player like ryan smyth, holmstrom, or tkachuk directly in front of the net. This is not a knock against drury or cally (who just do not have the size to continually stay in front of the net to redirect) or voros (who has the size, not quite the skill level) but someone more suitable in front of the net might help with the shoot from the point approach to the PP. I am not saying we should get one of the aforementioned players, but someone (if available out there) like that may help considerably.

Roszival and/or Redden need to be taken off the point because they both have slow decision making skills. I still wonder why he never puts Drury on the point and Voros in front of the net.

Thanks Dubi, thought you may have been at the game and could have provided some inside scoop. Hope you're right on Hank - we need him with his head screwed on right or we're in deep doo-doo...

Lots written about the power play woes so pretty hard to add much there but did have one observation: when Zherdev joined the Rangers, I have to admit I hadnt seen him play much. So I watched all his video clip highlights on the Rangers nhl.com site. Several of his goals were wicked one-timers on the power play and I thought "man, cant wait to see Gomez or Drury or even Dawes setting him up on the pp with quick, smooth passes for that one-timer". Well, I cant barely think of one good chance he's had on the pp, let alone scoring on that wicked one-timer shot. Suffice to say, nothing is flowing naturally on the pp.

Wait now it is bombs away from the power play as the right way to run a power play?

Sorry that is the wrong system to begin with as it is not bombs away but having someone who is the power play QB at the point. Just firing away from the point is not going to work anyway.

AK actually hit upon the way to fix the power play when he talked about Dawes as that is a way to run a power play by putting someone who will start the offense not by just blindly shooting the puck.

Have someone at the point who will run plays from the point, direct traffic and get the motion going.

The Rangers are almost robotic and predictable when it comes to running the PP. There is hardly any motion to it, Player A will move to one spot then stop while player B then moves a little.

You don't see a flow to the PP, you see next to no motion and I will not begin to start on a cycle or reversal of motion.

What I am seeing is all the signs of a team heading towards some serious problems. Teams that are confident and secure about themselves do not talk about what is wrong they go out and fix them.

What we are not talking about is the carrying of not 1, not 2 but 3 spare forwards. Take your pick as to which ones are extra but what we are not talking about is the lack of a 7th defenseman which has been a mistake since day 1.

Jess-
Serious problems? You've gotta be kidding. Just look at our record! How dare you say there might be something wrong with this team! Wait until we're five or six games under .500 and THEN you can say something. Hey folks- I know a lot of you don't want to panic yet because we have that winning record, but I do believe that now is the time for the Rangers to address their problems. I don't want to wait until we start sinking in the standings.

Dubi, so they are in first place no one is accoutable. And when they possibly are out of first place? Maybe you didn't get the memo, Renney is blaming the media. You are blaming some fans. When is it the coaches and the players? There is little for Pearn to stand on with his running of the PP over the last 3 years. And Renney is indirectly criticizing him when he says the other teams' coaches know what to do. And when the NYR PK is effective can the other teams blame the media, or Renney gets the credit? The problem is his pontius pilot routine on things gone wrong, and his award acceptance on things gone right. He says he's the boss, prove it instead pointing fingers and blaming. Time for Renney to look in the mirror, not attack the media. The system, the execution , and the players ; he's not ready to blame the system. You want to give him until what Feb 1? Do they practice the PP that you claim is a top priority? ...."Memo to Tom Renney: It's the power play. Period."....

I'm sorry but of course that this team needs to be held accountable for the way that they have played. I LOVE our record, i love where we are in the standings BUT i want our team to remain ON TOP and unfortunately if they continue to play like they have lately that wont happen.

taking aside the PP problems(which btw they have on the road as well where the opposing fans certainly arent "pressuring" them to shoot) this team has a problem when it comes to playing hard through an entire game. I'm not talking about hitting(although thats lacking) but about being engaged, hustling, being hungry, being quick to the puck. Much too often our team is allowing the opposition to dictate the tempo, and i KNOW that we have a good enough team where that shouldnt be happening.

Where's the urgency? Should we be happy with how they played most of November where the hustle, energy and urgency they displayed in October disappeared? Why? Because is December? Ok so lets wait until Frebruary or March to get concerned when its too late for them to correct themselves?

I want our team to play hard and with confidence, that isnt happening right now

i -- I meant accountability in terms of firing the coach or cutting/trading players. How else would you hold the coach accountable? You don't fire a first place coach in December. Maybe you tell him privately that if he doesn't address the problems and his team crashes then he will lose his job, but we'll never know whether something like that was done or not.

And Renney is not blaming the media for all the problems, just as I am not blaming the fans for all the problems -- that he may be right about other teams getting ideas about it from the media is as valid a point as me saying the players might be pressing because of the fans' short fuse, but that doesn't make those the primary problems, as is clear from what he said. As one of main writers harping on the power play problems, I see his words as encouraging -- at least it means he's aware that there are people questioning whether his system is flawed.

Jess -- The coach and the fans have wanted a bombs away power play ever since it started to sputter last season or the season before, and the coach and the fans now have a bombs away power play. And it doesn't work, for exactly the reasons Jagr said it wouldn't work. I don't see where the fans who yell "shoot!" every time the puck is near a player's stick have any grounds on which to decry the power play inefficiency since they are doing exactly what those fans want them to do.

Eddie -- Now is NOT the time to panic. Now is the time to work on things. The record doesn't mean everything is golden, and there is no one on the team from coach on down who ever said life is golden and nothing needs to be done. They're working on it. It won't happen overnight. The team will lose a few games along the way, and some of those losses will be ugly. Say what needs to be said -- to me, the area where things need to be said (and I for one am saying it) is the power play, because that is where I worry that they are on the wrong track by not recognizing systemic problems rather than personnel problems or execution failure.

But hold a head coach accountable in December while his team, flawed as it is, is in first place? Most hockey people see that as a sign of GOOD coaching, getting these kinds of results from a team that no one had high hopes for in the first place, not as a sign that the team needs a new coach. I mean, if you think the coach needs to do more work in getting a better effort out of his players, OK, say so, just as I'm saying he needs to get more production from his power play. But hold him accountable at this juncture?

Mentioning Henrik as a Vezina candidate. Seen a lot. Renney for Jack Adams? Not so much.

Maybe Renney should start pulling people off the powerplay who don't produce. So for example, Drury has 8 goals in 27 games. 6 goals game in two games with hat tricks, so that leaves 2 goals for 25 games. Hard to think that if prucha had the same pp time, he would do any worse.

If Rosy only looks to pass and not shoot, sit his backside down. Put Staal on the point. Develop his offensive ability.

Personal selection is on the coaching staff as we've seen the same people keep going out and if for three yrs people are talking about the powerplay, well, the only constant is the coaches.

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