Rangers among league leaders in average shot distance takenJanuary 10, 2017, by
One of the major concerns for the Rangers this season is that they are not a good puck possession team. It’s been a growing concern over the past few months, as the Rangers were getting pinned in their own end and not getting enough pressure at the other end. It’s why many were concerned that this year’s team was identical to last year’s.
While there are some explanations why the Rangers have had subpar numbers (injuries, leads, etc), they certainly are not excuses. However one major shining light is that the Rangers are getting high quality chances when taking their shots. The Rangers are the league leaders in average distance of shot both at even strength and on the powerplay.
Avg shot distance at 5v5 vs PP.
Phi, Van, Fla, LA, Bos shot from distance. Tor, Pit, NYR from close.
(I was hoping for more scatter) pic.twitter.com/HpmQsvbp7i
— Sean Tierney (@ChartingHockey) January 1, 2017
This graph from Sean Tierney took every shot location on the ice, measured in feet from the goal (which is readily available on any game sheet), and consolidated it all to calculate the average shot distance, both at even strength and on the powerplay. Each section is labeled, and it’s neck and neck for the Penguins and the Rangers for the lead in average shot distance.
This means that the Rangers are focused on getting quality chances, moving the puck low and circling in the offensive zone to get to open ice and create prime opportunities. The sacrifice quantity to get quality, which can be a double-edged sword. Offensively though, it’s working for the Rangers. Most of their overall CF/SCF concerns are on the defensive side.
From a purely offensive standpoint, the Rangers are one of the top teams in the league. They may not have the elite skill that the Penguins have, but they have a ton of talent up and down the lineup that poses matchup issues for the opposition."Rangers among league leaders in average shot distance taken",