Musings: Deadline Rentals, Those Damn Regressionists & More

January 26, 2012, by

Deadline Rentals

There is a lot of debate going on about whether or not we should acquire a power play quarter back, left wing scorer, or both at the deadline. It seems as though when people finally wake up & realize how slim our chances are of acquiring a Shea Weber or a Bobby Ryan, their next play is to find a cheaper alternative. But there is a flaw in the “deadline rental” logic as well.

Rentals are not going to solve our problems, especially in the long-term. Acquiring one may make sense for depth, but to think getting another erratic 40 point winger or a defensemen with a “cannon from the point” is going to put us over the edge is a bit of a stretch.

What we really need is for some combo of Chris Kreider, J.T. Miller, or Christian Thomas living up to their potential. There may be a time down the road when trading one of these assets for an elite player is the right move, but I don’t think that time has arrived yet given where our prospects are, who is available, and the looming CBA talks.

Those of you who wish to see Dubi get moved, I politely ask who has more value at the deadline? A forward on pace for 25 goals or a forward on pace for 9 goals? I’m not against trading Dubinsky one day, but this is not the deadline to do so.

Stick to the Blueprint

My other issue with all of the names being thrown around is that few if any actually fit within our team concept. I’m tired of acquiring guys like Frolov, Wolski, EC, etc, who have no desire to forecheck or backcheck, and then we wonder why they don’t fit.

The national media doesn’t see the ingredients which makes our team successful on a game to game basis. If we are able to make a move at the deadline, they better be for players who can skate, have succeeded in deep forechecking systems and are defensively responsible. Souray, Hemsky, & Whitney need not apply.

Regression to the mean?

It’s entertaining how certain writers have to dump on the Rangers just for the sake of cheap hits & pageviews. Their new methodology for stirring up s*** is trying to convince us our team is not for real because of “regression to the mean” theories.

Who on this team is really over extending themselves this season? Gaborik? No. Richards? Obviously not. Dubinsky? We all know the answer to that one. But seriously who is over achieving? Don’t say Lundqvist because his stats are finally more reflective of his greatness.

If you want to debate some of our flaws, I won’t argue, but I’m beginning to think some of these analytic-types either aren’t watching our games closely or just don’t even believe their own scribble.

The new guy

I’m sure some of you may have noticed we have quietly added a member to our team. Justin was someone we pulled out of the comments section and is now contributing on a regular basis. He’s played the game, he is a part-owner of a goalie school up in Albany, and most importantly he can articulate his points. If you’ve missed any of his work, please be sure to check it out here.

Categories : Musings


  1. Walt says:

    RIGHT ON!!

    Every point in this write up is basically what I have stated over the course of this season, and I commend you for posting it!

    Some people like to hear themselves talk, not to put anyone down, and at times make no sense at all. Listen, we have a plan, Gordie is running the show in the back ground, and doing just fine thank you. Rome wasn’t built in a day, give this team some time. How many of you remember the season predictions from the press, Rangers lucky to be in the play-offs, what the hell do they now? I would be very conserned if we were in last place, but take a look at the standings, enough said.

  2. Blueshirt in Paris says:

    Spot on with all points.

    We should not be looking to remove anyone from the core or those prospects you mentioned right now. Interesting you didn’t not include McIlrath. I would be hesitant to move him as well unless its for a deal that brings a Weber/Suter type back.

    Regarding the types of players to add. I can understand WW as it was really for cap relief. Frolov was a low risk/high reward move at a time when we were really lacking at that position. But as you said, our identity is even more set this year and Slats should be looking to add to that identity, not go against it.

    Re:Regression. That’s the thing…are we overachieving as a group? If so, what players are really overachieving? None in my book. Maybe MDZ but you could argue that is really how he can play given his talent. Regression to the mean does not account for career years which Henrik is having. It is way within his skill level to put up those numbers. Not for the next 5 yrs but that’s not to say he cant keep it up for this year.

    • The Suit says:

      Couldn’t agree more. MDZ, McD, etc are progressing. They’re not playing over their heads. Hank is having a career year and has a fantastic defense in front of him. I don’t see his stats slipping this season either.

      The only reason I left McIlrath out is because no one has really mentioned moving him. But to your point he is not someone I would move at this point either given what’s available.

  3. RangerSmurf says:

    Through 23 games: Team was shooting 11.2% at Even Strength. Since: 7.3%

    Through 34 games: .940 save % Since: .927%

    The regression kicked in already, and will probably slide a few more points for each the sv% decrease will come from Biron more likely than Hank). That’s not even addressing the PP, which we’re now seeing the fruits of getting only 1.3 shots per 2 minutes.

    They maintained/are maintaining through that stretch because their puck possession (approximated from the shot metrics) has been at a solid, almost elite level since they called up Hagelin/Mitchell.

    If the possession starts to slide (and they had three miserable games over the last 10, with PIT, BOS, and the Winter Classic), you’re going to see more of these 8 points in 7 games stretches, which would be 46 points for the second half (after 58 in first 41). Not coincidentally, one of the main regressionist articles has us pegged for…46 second half points.

    • The Suit says:

      The Rangers wouldn’t be the first team in history to succeed despite a marginal decrease in a few granular stats. Plus we can just as easily flip this theory and say the Rangers could hold fort once Dubi, Richie, etc. progress to the mean and start putting up the points they are capable of.

      • RangerSmurf says:

        Richie’s one of the biggest regressors out there. He’s a 9% shooter that shot 19% over the first 23 games. He’s been back to 7.6% since.

        Yes, Richards could have a few more assists because his on ice shooting% is well below his norm (guys aren’t converting around him), but it’s going to get countered by the slowing down of the goals. At this point, it’s unlikely you’re getting an 80 pt season out of him. If he gets to 70, consider it a win.

        Dubi’s the opposite. His goals will likely come at the expense of his assists, so his point pace probably won’t change much either. If you get 45 from him, you take it and chalk it up to a shitty year.

        You also have MDZ and Step, who both have on ice shooting% above 11 (no one else on team is above 10). About 15-20 guys each year sustain that for a full season, but no one outside of Crosby and the Sedins can sustain it for multiple years. If we’re lucky, they maintain this year and fall back next year, but they’re worth monitoring for 2nd half slumps.

        The sum of it all is this team has won and will continue to win on the back of Lundqvist (and to a lesser extent Biron). Nobody’s saying they’re going to be the Wild (in fact, I’ve already shown they’re not nearly the same), but they’re not a 116 point team. Even the most head in the clouds fan has to realize that, I would think.

        • The Suit says:

          I’m not one to prognosticate how many points teams will finish with, I just know that the bigger picture isn’t as dire as some of the articles I’ve read are making it out to be. I think I know the difference between a good old advanced stat article & something with a sensational title that doesn’t even compare figures such as these to what’s happening with other teams.

        • Dave says:

          I don’t think anyone expects the Rangers to continue at the pace they have been at all year. That was a 116 point pace. If by regression to the mean you mean finishing with 100 points, which is what they will do by playing .500 hockey, then I’ll be ok with it.

          Let’s also bear in mind that this regression to the mean doesn’t factor in Staal returning to form or Sauer returning from injury. Stats are a part of the story, but not the entire story.

  4. Stryker says:

    RE regression: how much of this idea that the rangers should regress has to do with the belief that they’re always doomed for cold streaks?

    • The Suit says:

      I’m sure that plays a part as well. Of course saying that a team has hot & cold streaks through out the season probably doesn’t garner as much attention as saying your team is going to flop because an expected % decrease in whatever stat they cherry pick.

      • RangerSmurf says:

        It doesn’t play a part. The numbers that those you’re talking about are referencing don’t really care what team you play for.

        Just 3 years ago, these same stats showed we were pretty unlucky to not finish higher than we did. (http://behindthenet.ca/NYR_2008.html)

        • The Suit says:

          I am not referencing an article from behind the net. So I’m not sure what stats you think I have a problem with.

  5. Justin says:

    Thanks for the kind intro Suit…good points all around this post

    The trade market really is a bare cupboard right now and there really doesn’t seem to be anyone out there who could really take this team to the next level within Tort’s system. The bear market will also drive up prices on impact guys like Ryan and Weber/Suter.

    I agree that there seems to be some progression to the mean along with the regression. I can’t remember seeing a team in a long time that has the commitment to details and blocking shots that the Rangers do. It seems to throw a wrench into the validity of most projection systems. They could easily slide a little bit in the second half (the first half was ’94-esque) and still be in very solid position come playoff time.

    When it comes to those banging the drum for Hank to come back to earth, as someone who analyzes goalies for a living, I just don’t see it. He covers the lower part of the net better than any goalie I have ever seen. He has improved over the years with adjusting to shots in the top 1/3 as well. He still is barely serviceable at playing the puck though…

  6. Bobby Tux says:

    The only 2 trade moves are improving PP with a high calibre LW or High end pointman and the second is improving the depth of the bottom 6. The first one had been discussed to death. As for the second one, I do not have enough knowledge to pinpoint the potential targets, but I think these subtle moved are what really makes a team stronger in the stretch run and playoffs – see Boston last year. So if there is a solid forechecker/back checker/digger that can be squired for spare parts or maybe low draft choices, those are deals that can be done. Can you be so kind as to identify some players that fit the mold on teams that will be sellers? Thank you.

    • The Suit says:

      Sounds like a good idea for a post Bobby boy. We’ll get on it.

    • Jackson says:

      That’s a good thought. Imagine what it could do for this team if a fresh addition to the bottom six sparked a bit of the offense that we saw last season from guys like Prust and Boyle.

    • Rich Murphy says:

      Bobby, good thoughts. I’d like to see Dominic Moore come back for a second tour. He fits the description you laid-out and would be comfortable playing on Broadway again. T.B. might be willing to move him cheap.

    • Sagebob says:

      i agree with you Bobby. In 1994, Keenan made Smith trade for more toughness. We wouldn’t have won the Cup without it. We have some toughness now but can use another guy like Rupp; tough and can score. Perhaps include Fedetenko in a trade for more toughness.

      • Blueshirt in Paris says:

        Feds is a type of player you look to add for depth in the playoffs…think Larmer.

        Its WW and EC coming off the bench in case of injury that is our depth achilles heel.

      • RangerSmurf says:

        This is the opposite of 94. The 94 team had a ton of skill and needed more toughness.

        This team has a ton of toughness, it needs more skill.

  7. Rich Murphy says:

    Been a fan of this franchise since 1960-61 when Gump Worsely was saving an AVERAGE of 50+ PG and it seemed like we were always coming down to the last weekend to see whether we or Boston would finish 5th or 6th. I like the way Tortorella won’t let this club get too full of itself and insists that it plays 60 minutes every night.
    The Playoffs will be played close to the vest, they always are; that is why defense must be emphasized and in that regard we have THE man between the pipes and one of the top blueline tri-pairs in the League. That said, the PP is the primary weak link – it must be addressed or it’ll be a one series win at most, then out trip. Someone who can score with the man advantage MUST be acquired as one goal can make all the dfference in winning or losing.
    The PP is not feared as presently constituted and has to be upgraded.