Ways New York Rangers Must Improve to Go on Deep 2014 Playoff Run
The New York Rangers had a chance to finish off their series against Philadelphia Tuesday night.
Instead, they played one of their worst games of the season.
Now, of course, their focus is turned to Game 7 on Wednesday night.
But if the Rangers can rebound and win that game, what do they need to do to go on a deep 2014 playoff run?
We'll give some ways that the Rangers can improve to not only win Game 7, but advance far in the postseason.
In 18 postseason games with the Rangers, Rick Nash has one goal.
Sure, he's been better this year, with four assists.
But the Rangers are paying him to score. And he just hasn't done that.
Even worse, he hasn't really gotten great chances. At least last postseason, he was creating offense for himself.
Not so much this year. The Rangers need him to be more of a force, more of what we saw in his return to Columbus.
The Rangers won't be able to advance very far if Nash doesn't play his very best.
The Rangers' power play has been abysmal.
The team is just three-for-28 in the series on the man-advantage.
It has taken the wind out of their sails multiple times, especially when they could've desperately used a goal.
We've seen this in the playoffs before. Last season, the Rangers converted on just 9.1 percent of their power plays.
This year, somehow, is slightly better. But not much.
You don't need a great power play to win in the playoffs. Last season, Chicago only converted on 11.4 percent of their attempts.
But it needs to score at opportune times. And so far, the Rangers haven't done that.
Third Line Production
Last postseason, Derick Brassard had 12 points in 12 games.
This postseason? Just one point in six games.
That's not good enough.
The third line—centered by Brassard with Benoit Pouliot and Mats Zuccarello on the wings—has been the driving engine of the Rangers offense, the most consistent line all season. They need them to provide secondary offense.
But they haven't done a good enough job. The line has combined for just five points, and only three power-play points.
If the Rangers want to win Game 7 and make a deep run into the playoffs, they will need more from this line.