Special Teams

Powerplay quarterback a strength for the Rangers

Over the years, the Rangers have struggled to find a legitimate powerplay quarterback, and it is something that has held previous teams from their full potential. Keith Yandle came and was misused. Kevin Shattenkirk came, tore up his knee, and was never the same. Both came with high expectations and both fizzled out.

Last season, while Kevin Shattenkirk was struggling, Tony DeAngelo was thriving. DeAngelo only had 10 powerplay points, all assists, but he wasn’t bumped to PP1 until close to the end of the season. PP1 prior was quarterbacked by a combination of Shattenkirk and Neal Pionk. Neither are with the Rangers anymore. But Jacob Trouba and his 3-15-18 line on the powerplay last year is.

For the first time in a long time, the Rangers have a pair of legitimate powerplay quarterbacks that are young with their stock rising. Trouba, just 25 years old, finally got PP1 time in Winnipeg and used it to double his point output from the prior season. DeAngelo also doubled his career high and used that opportunity to truly solidify a spot in the NHL and on the rebuilding Rangers.

The debate remains who will be on PP1 and PP2, with the smart money being on Trouba getting the PP1 time, but there is no debate on which two defensemen will get the lion’s share of powerplay time next season. Sure, Brady Skjei will be in the mix and likely be used sparingly, but it’ll be the Trouba and DeAngelo show. Perhaps the best part is that we know both will be used in this manner, unlike with Shattenkirk and Yandle who –while certainly not living up to the hype– were misused and/or hurt during their short stays.

Oh – and there’s also that Adam Fox kid.

With a powerplay group that’s set to include Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad, Chris Kreider, Kaapo Kakko, and Pavel Buchnevich, among other young and talented rookies/second year pros, the Blueshirts are setting themselves up to be an offensively dynamic team that is fun to watch. I, for one, am looking forward to the preseason to see if the X’s and O’s of it all changes with the increased talent.

"Powerplay quarterback a strength for the Rangers", 5 out of 5 based on 13 ratings.
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  1. Don’t count out Fox, especially if ADA does not take kindly to his qualifying offer.

      1. For a change of pace, the Rangers are going to have a balanced lineup with right and left handed shooters. Panarin should get his share of chances from the LW face off circle.

    1. We are forgetting Kravtsov. He played well in the KHL against men last year. I have to think he is got a spot to lose up front on the Rangers. Unless he is either completely outplayed by an unknown or surprising youngster.
      One thing that I’ve noticed Gorton has done that Sather didn’t is by tapping into the Russian talent pool. Sather’s teams were very North American.

      1. Mark my words, Kravs will sneak under the radar and have a terrific season for himself. With all the attention being directed towards Panarian, and Kakko, he will see third pair defensemen trying to slow him down. Again I can’t wait to see these kids play!!!!!!!!!

      2. Not forgetting Krav at all, I was just commenting on the D side of the PP.

        I have stated several times that I would not be surprised if Krav outproduces Kakko this year. So I agree with you.

    2. Any idea what is going on with ADA. The Rangers should be able to force him to play under the QO, but they do have the flexibility to pay him a bit more, especially if they can sign him to a two year deal. [The QO is certainly adequate for Lemieux.]. Cap certainty for 2020-2021 is a big deal now.

      Anyway, do you have any feel for whether or not they are (A) actually negotiating, (B) waiting to see how the Kreider negotiations turn out before proceeding, or (C) waiting for ADA to accept his fate.

      1. I have to say, that there is zero chatter right now, as far as I have heard. Nothing. Not about trades, RFA signings, etc. Nada.

        I assume that the Rangers are waiting out ADA and Lemieux. That’s it.

  2. Very good options are what we have with the d-men in question, along with Fox as Tony brought to our attention. Let the season start already!!!!!!

  3. Our PP should be top 10 in the league this year. With Zibby and Panarin, Buch & Krieder and Trouba and AD at the points. We should be very good and hopefully feared.

    1. Apparently I am in the minority here, but I’m not so sure CK will be a part of this teams future. I think he’ll be moved for picks and/or prospects. I am sure he will want Hayes money and term on his new contract, which I do not think management will grant. Most everyone here feels he’s worth $7m for 7 years, the terms being associated with his upcoming contract. I for one do not see us keeping him if that’s actually what he’ll be demanding.
      Yep CAP wise we can squeeze him in this year, but next year we still have onerous contracts to contend with and buy out dollar responsibilities to meet. So for 7 years following the 2019/2020 season I for one do not see him worth that kind of money in relationship to our available budget. Remember ECLs are not long term contracts. We have a plethora of young talent that I personally think will prove their worth and thus be due appropriate salaries with in that proposed 7 year term.
      We signed the big fish free agent to a huge contract. We gave Trouba a huge contract, I am not saying these two guys weren’t worth the money, regardless, we now own those contractual responsibilities. So now each and every new contract has to be viewed not only by what is this player worth, but also how much can we afford.
      Just look north to Toronto to see what happens when you have too much money tied up in just a few players.

      1. I’m a big Kreider fan (I’ve said that enough already) but must say looking at his last 3 years production giving him a 7/7 contract is nutty. Your Toronto reference is spot on. If we can’t get cheaper for shorter time, bad business decision. Besides, we got offence on first two lines covered. Thinking about him agreeing to trade to Boston, lets talk McAvoy.

  4. Hey all, what do you think if the young left side defensemen we have (Hajek, Lindgren, Rykov, K’Andre) make big strides in development this year and that makes Skjei expendable as well? Is this a make or break year for him with the Rangers?

    1. Skjei and Trouba are buds, and they will skate at least this year together. Are we willing to trade Brady, maybe so, but not until they see what they do as a first pair!!!!!!!

      1. I suspect that Brady Skjei might just have the kind of year we’ve been hoping from him for a while. He hasn’t consistently had a talented partner in quite a long while.

      2. Plus, AV is not the coach, so they will play together more than 2 periods of the season.

        1. It’s very premature to be pencil in Fox as a starter NHL Dman. He has lots to learn, it’s a process. I still believe the Rangers will have to make some moves to unload salary before the puck drops this fall. I don’t see them letting DeAngelo or Lemieux walk if their arbitrations don’t go the Rangers way.

          1. Dude, he looked great at the worlds. Asides from maybe hitting the rookie wall of games aren’t managed properly, he should beat out ADA for PP2(or at least they can rotate PP2 between the 2 interchangeably and spread out 5v5 more evenly.)

          2. For good or for bad, and we will all certainly find out together, you can pencil in Fox, Kakko, Krav, Howden, Andersson, Hajek (if ready to go physically), and Chytil into the opening night lineup.

            That’s the plan, and it is up to those players individually to sink or swim at the NHL level.

  5. We really need to hire someone like Adam Oates, for example, to coach the PP. we’ve got the talent we just need to put it together

    1. Imagine how good the PP would be if we still had Zucc in the fold. I can’t stop imagining him sending passes cross ice on the tape of Panarin’s stick for a one-timer.

  6. First time commenter…I am a CK guy from the beginning and would not like to lose his combination of size, speed and net front presence. That said 7/7 doesn’t work but hopefully he wants to be part of something special that is on the horizon and takes a little shorter term and a home team discount.

    Camp can’t come soon enough.

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