New York Rangers power play is ready to dominate the NHL

Artemi Panarin, New York Rangers. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Artemi Panarin, New York Rangers. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

If the preseason has shown us anything thus far, it’s that the New York Rangers top power-play unit is going to be a spectacle.

It’s true when they say good things come to those who wait. And in this case, the Big Apple has waited quite some time for a competent New York Rangers power play. At last, it has arrived on Broadway.

Although its only several games into the preseason and it would be so classic for New York Rangers fans to get ahead of themselves. But dang, Artemi Panarin can shoot the puck. I can’t remember the last time the Rangers had a trigger like that to use. The next closest thing? Mika Zibanejad, and oh yeah – he’s on this power-play unit as well.

We’ve only gotten to see the top unit together a few times (at least the essential new pieces) and the offensive chemistry is like watching Dave Matthews Band jam out freestyle together. These guys are on the same sheet of beautiful music with one another. That was apparent when Panarin rifled a one-timer home from defenseman Jacob Trouba in the Rangers-Devils preseason opener.

Everyone plays a unique role: Trouba the point-quarterback, Kreider the big body in front, Kakko and Zibanejad the set-up men that work the corners, and the laser-cannon finishing abilities of Panarin. Not to mention, the former four all have lethal shots of their own, so it’s anyone’s puck to bury.

The 2018-19 New York Rangers ranked 17th in power-play percentage with a conversion rate of19.38 percent as opposed to Tampa’s league-leading 28.24 percent. I will go as far as to say the Blueshirts have the potential to tack on at least another 20 to the 44 power-play goals they scored in 2018-19.

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Last year’s top unit is essentially this year’s second unit, with players such as Brady Skjei, Tony DeAngelo, and Pavel Buchnevich moving down to provide more depth. Plus, Russian sniper Vitali Kravtsov should be in that mix somewhere as well. He is someone who adds hands, swift playmaking ability and deft scoring touch to the unit.

The New York Rangers have always been a team loaded with secondary scoring as its best offensive weapons. Although the Blueshirts faithful have fond memories of such players as Derek Stepan, Mats Zuccarello, Derick Brassard, as well as the back end of Rick Nash and co. provided, there was never any real league-wide power-play threats to deploy. Finally, that has changed.

It’s very easy to get excited when change happens. The New York area is famous for it. We should know better than to get ahead of ourselves. So, I won’t sit here and preach all the “this time is different” until it starts to happen in front of us. However, I will say that based off of basic arithmetic – this power play is going to make Rangers fans proud.

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