As I watch the Rangers power play unit, especially, but also their even strength play when they have the other team pinned in their own zone, I continually scream at my television about the choices made when it comes to shot selection. Obviously the perfect situation is having three screeners in front and no defenseman trying to block your shot, but that very rarely occurs.
This is primarily an issue when we have five skaters in the offensive zone and are working the puck around. The Rangers continually look for the perfect opportunity rather than taking an open shot. They work the puck around and work the puck around and work the puck around looking for that perfect screened shot until it ends up with a defenseman being forced to take a shot into the shins of his checker and ends up being an odd man rush the other direction.
We see it eight times a season against the Devils and Kovalchuk, players with great shots like Gaborik, Richards, Nash, and others can score on one timers or even just an open slapper, and if they don't the goalie often lets up a juicy rebound for Cally to finish off. It really seems as though most goals this team gets come off the rush, rather than puck possession. They get too cute once they are possessing in the other team's zone and try to look for the perfect shot rather than a shot. A shot on goal is never a bad choice. At least until the lanes close and it turns into a breakaway going the other direction. The biggest offender here is Marc Staal. First goal last night came from him shooting the puck into a forward's shins, you need to get that puck deep.
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