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Brad Richards needs to take control of the power play.
The Rangers went 0-for-5 on the power play against the Bruins, including a 5-on-3 opportunity with a chance to tie the game.
For the most part, the Rangers featured a power play with four forwards and one defenseman. Here were the participants:
- Brad Richards
- Rick Nash
- Marian Gaborik
- Ryan Callahan
- Michael Del Zotto
Richards and Del Zotto manned the point, while Gaborik and Nash hung out by the circles. Callahan took a beating down low.
Due to the nature of the power play, it was run primarily through Gaborik on the half-wall. He and Richards would play catch, then would work it around to Nash and back before either Richards or Gaborik took a shot.
It wasn't too effective.
The setup is fine, but the execution needs some work. Instead of it being run through Gaborik, it needs to be run through Richards.
Richards needs to take control. At the point, he needs to direct traffic and set up for one-timers. Working it around the boards is fine, but Richards needs to take more shots.
In addition, there needs to be more movement from the forwards. Nash, in particular, needs to step away from the wall and into the slot area, where he can use his size to bully his way in.
To change things up, put Richards down low, behind the net, with Del Zotto and Gaborik at the points, and Nash and Callahan circling below the circles. This would give the team more chances up front for rebounds and put-backs.
The Rangers have an abundance of talent on the power play, but it means nothing if they can't execute. To avoid a slow start to the season, Brad Richards needs to take control. He's a maestro on the power play, conducting traffic and putting players in the best position to succeed.
Putting the power play in the hands of Richards, instead of Gaborik, is a great step to avoid a slow start.