Home Ice Needs To Be A FactorAugust 23, 2011, by
If there was one anomaly last season, it was the Rangers record at home. The Blueshirts had a relatively poor record at home, considering they were a playoff team, finishing the season at 20-17-4. That was the worst home record by far of any playoff team, and five non-playoff teams had better home records. To sum it all up, the Rangers finished in the bottom third of the league with their home record.
They scored 125 goals at home (10th in the league), but they scored 22 of those goals in three games (8-2 vs. EDM, 7-0 vs. WSH, 7-0 vs. PHI). Take those away, and replace them with a league average three goals per game, and the Rangers have 114 goals on the season, which puts them in a tie for 19th in the league with Dallas (missed the playoffs) and Nashville (can’t score goals to save their lives). It’s a hypothetical situation, but the sheer numbers overshadow the truth: the Rangers don’t score at home. It’s funny, because they allowed just 98 goals at home (9th, 8th among playoff teams).
The fact is that the Rangers inability to score at home is the reason why they weren’t true contenders for the division or conference crowns. Part of the problem is the anemic powerplay, which scored 28 goals at home (15th, 11th among playoff teams). We all know the powerplay woes, so we aren’t going to get into that too much, other than it needs to be more productive. But in reality, it’s a full team effort that needs to improve.
Madison Square Garden used to be one of the most intimidating places to play for opponents. Now players don’t even mind going there…in fact, they love it. Whatever reason that may be, it needs to stop. It begins with dominating teams at home. Maybe with Brad Richards in the mix, they will score more. Maybe if they score more, the MSG faithful gets louder, and starts making opponents feel uncomfortable. Maybe a few more “can you hear us?” chants gets Bruce Boudreau hankerin for some ice cream.
Three more wins at home…23-14-4. That’s all I’m asking.