Had the Rangers' power play performed better in last year's playoffs, it's possible that the team could've knocked off the Boston Bruins.
After all, the Rangers scored just four power-play goals in 12 games. And it's not like they were just unlucky. They couldn't even set up in the zone, let alone get any shots off. It was painful to watch.
This season, things are better. They're scoring at an 18.1 percent rate. While that's a vast improvement over last year, it must be mentioned that, since the Olympics, the Rangers have scored just nine times in 70 chances.
The Rangers need to be consistent with their zone entry and with their movement. With Brad Richards at the point, Marty St. Louis by the circles and Rick Nash in front of the net, the Rangers need to be sure to move the puck around. They need to take as many shots as possible, not searching in vain for the perfect shot. St. Louis, in particular, needs to use his hard wrister more often, especially using Nash as a screen.
Power plays are incredibly important in the postseason, because they can dictate momentum. Momentum is crucial in the playoffs: A good power play can gain momentum; a bad power play could halt it.
Alain Vigneault should find a balance between putting Nash's unit out there and the Benoit Pouliot-Derick Brassard-Mats Zuccarello unit. The latter unit has been much more consistent, but the former has the potential to be much more explosive.
If the Rangers can consistently generate chances and convert on the man advantage, then they will be tough to beat.