Our first video breakdown of the year will focus on the Rangers’ actually competent power play! We will look at, of course, the game-winning goal.
Let’s get started:
Things start here with the Rangers getting set up. The only real purpose of this slide is to show you where Mika Zibanejad is going to make his living this year — dubbed “Zibanejad’s office.”
The Rangers cycle the puck up to Ryan McDonagh, who is the only defenseman on the power play. Proper spacing is vital to a good power play, and this slide is a perfect example of why. The three green arrows show McDonagh’s escape routs if he gets pressured (which he does). He can go deep to Chris Kreider, short to Brandon Pirri or over to Zibanejad.
Buchnevich (purple circle) has played this pivot role a lot in the preseason. He sucks up defenders in the slot, and allows the puck to move freely across the ice. In the event the Islanders break off him to cover the wings, he’d be alone in the high slot.
Zibanejad came forth from the womb ready to shoot the puck. Due to the Islanders forcing McDonagh to move the puck and then collapsing when he does, Zibanejad has a shooting lane big enough to drive a truck through. He takes the opportunity.
The shot is stopped, but Kreider — who like Buchnevich crashes the net — finds the rebound first. It’s here where he reaches into his bag of tricks and makes magic.
You can see him looking over his shoulder here, where he throws the puck back to Brandon Pirri who is all alone. All three Islanders in the vicinity of Pirri aren’t even facing him as Kreider makes the pass. Again: Great spacing often leads to great opportunities on the power play.
You all know this ends with a Pirri goal, but this slide is meant to show the importance of being able to get off a quick shot. Pirri is making contact with the puck as this slide is frozen. That picture shows just how much net he has available to him when he fires the puck. He doesn’t miss, but that net is WIDE OPEN because of good puck movement.
Here’s the full play:
*Kisses fingertips* Beautiful!