I again would like to thank LAR (Loyal Anonymous Reader) for providing the graphic you see above. LAR put this together to show the locations of all 25 powerplay goals scored against the Rangers this season. From the graphic, you can tell that the Rangers have a particular weakness against deflections and rebounds in front of the net, that’s where half of the goals were scored.
This shouldn’t surprise many, as we’ve had many goal breakdowns where we highlighted one defenseman in front of the net, and another one out of position. This occurs more often than we would like, and it’s very often we find a defenseman in No Man’s Land, out by the face off dot or higher. When that happens the opposition outnumbers the remaining defenseman in front and it’s easy for them to get the goal.
What is very interesting is the lack of goals allowed at the point. I’ll consider the two yellow dots (Senators) and one green/red dot off to the right (either Caps or Sabres, I’m colorblind and that particular shade is one that I have trouble with) as the point shot goals. The green/red dot is pushing it a bit, but it’s above the circle.
Back on point, the Rangers appear to be very proficient at preventing the point men from getting shots on goal. They either allow Henrik Lundqvist to see the shot, or they just block them and clear the zone.
But in looking at the diagram, it is very interesting to see that the Rangers allowed so many goals in the slot and high slot areas. Generally speaking, the box PK is supposed to prevent goals like this and clog the middle of the ice. The Rangers don’t appear to be doing that. Throughout the season, the Rangers had been shifting between a diamond and a box, depending on puck location and situation, but it appears the shifting hasn’t been fully adjusted into the players’ minds. The opposition has 16 goals from below the hash marks, something that would never have happened last year.
The Rangers PK was not at its best this season, and the evidence is right here. The club appears to be losing the battles in front of the net while killing penalties, and this is something relatively new for this year.
Thanks again to LAR for providing the image. Great work.