The numbers, the system, the adjustment, and what it all means

As the season progresses, one area of concern is that the Rangers are still hemorrhaging shots against, and dangerous ones at that, while not exactly sustaining offensive pressure. It is a continuation of last year’s concerns, where the offense would go dry for long stretches and the Rangers would play most of the game in their end. The Alain Vigneault era has ended, and thus this brand of hockey was supposed to end.

If you look at the numbers, the Rangers currently sport very underwhelming possession stats (all per Natural Stat Trick):

  • CF%: 46.49% (27th)
  • SCF%: 50% (18th)
  • HDCF%: 51.88% (12th)

These numbers are basically in line with the final years of AV. The Rangers don’t sustain offensive zone time, as shown in their CF%. However, the chances they do get are pretty solid chances, as shown in the SCF% and HDCF% numbers. Yet for the start of the season, we have never really felt the Rangers are in control of any games, nor are they scoring as much. This is to be expected, since the skill level is significantly lower this year. The shooting percentage has dried up, and the goals aren’t coming.

For those wondering why the numbers under David Quinn are nearly identical to what we saw with Alain Vigneault, let’s recall what we saw when AV took over for John Tortorella. The Rangers were struggling to score consistently. They were getting absolutely torched defensively. The goaltending couldn’t keep them afloat. All of this was in October and November, with the low point being the two losses in San Jose and Anaheim by a score of 15-2. That run ended Martin Biron’s career.

But then November came and went. The Rangers adapted to AV’s new system, something they struggled with mightily to start the year. All of a sudden the numbers turned. From December through the end of the year, the Rangers were one of the best possession teams in the league, and they rode that new system to the Stanley Cup Final.

The same type of adjustment is going to happen under Quinn, save for June hockey. The Rangers are hardwired for AV’s man/overload hybrid system, and it takes time to reprogram them for Quinn’s more fundamental style. I don’t expect the Rangers to magically become one of the best possession teams in hockey, but I do expect them to stop giving up high danger chances in such drastic quantities.

For me, the numbers in October and November –both at the team level and individual level– tell a story, but they are not what this team will be at the end of the year. The trends we see from December through the end of the season, when the team has adjusted to the new system, will tell the story of where the team is going.

Maybe it’s the optimist in me, but I expect the Rangers to get closer to 50% in possession in that last two-thirds of the season. The numbers will tell two stories. What they were, and what we should expect going forward. Until then, it’s a bumpy ride.

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29 thoughts on “The numbers, the system, the adjustment, and what it all means

  • Oct 30, 2018 at 6:32 am

    Several reasons for bad possession #s:

    1) Lack of overall skill throughout the line up.
    2) Vets tanking, knowing that they’re going to be traded (Brooks finally came around and sees that they should be gone, like I said this past summer).
    3) Learning a new system.
    4) The coach changing the lines every game.

    I mean these guys are human beings. It’s quite obvious that their play reflects the fact that they know that they are gone at some point. Tell me that Zuc is his usual tenacious self. No way.

    • Oct 30, 2018 at 7:25 am


      I have to agree, and that’s the reason they should make the moves necessary to right the ship, NOW!

      Get rid of the dead wood, move the guys that are going thru the motions, and get the kids in there to learn the system. They are our future…………

      • Oct 30, 2018 at 7:38 am

        Bro, it’s ridiculous watching this team right now. The vets, for the most part, are dogging it, and I think it’s pissing Quinn off, and rightfully so.

        Example #1, the too many men penalties. I mean really? Lack of focus or attention to detail. I thought DQ’s head was going to explode on Sunday after that penalty.

        Get rid of all the vets, maybe even Kreider, and bring everyone up. Hearing Hajek is playing well, so bring him up as well. That McQuaid trade really sticks in my craw and always has, so I’m not being Monday Morning QB here. Why give up assets for that guy? Claesson has totally outplayed him and other Ranger D men, but he just cost $$.

        And why it took so long for DeAngelo to get back in with the sh-t show we’re seeing needs explanation. P.S., I like the pairings DQ has now. I mean, Staal’s going to play, so we have to deal with it. But bye bye after this year.

        And please, for the love of God, do not trade for Nylander. Fortunately we are not a fit as they need a top D man, which disqualifies us immediately. Thank God. I want Panarin.

        • Oct 30, 2018 at 8:22 am


          All points made are great, and spot on. As for Panarin, why give up assets for him if he wants to play here in the first place? The man is good, and makes players around him better, but they’ll want a kings ransom for him, and I don’t want to pay for it.

          Here’s my thoughts on Panarin, and if I’m wrong so be it. We have Buch, and will get Kratsov, the goalie form Russia, along with Rykov. There will be plenty of players he would feel comfortable with, as well as a large Russian population in Brooklyn to make him feel at home. What other town can offer that much, as well as the night life, and all the attractions? The man wants here, wait for the end of the season and get him for nothing!!!!!!

          • Oct 30, 2018 at 9:23 am

            Sorry, meant for Panarin to come after this year as a FA, UNLESS the Rangers need to deal for him to avoid him signing somewhere else.

            Russians love the Rangers, Original 6, big city, etc. And the Rangers pay for value. Plus having Henrik, an international star doesn’t hurt either.

          • Oct 30, 2018 at 9:38 am

            “There will be plenty of players he would feel comfortable with, as well as a large Russian population in Brooklyn to make him feel at home.”

            That doctor feel good stuff was heavily talked about before Kovalchuk arrival, no? Buch and the other Russians hold no value to that top tier class in this league. I really don’t think that he gives a squat about any Russians on this team. If he’s moving for those reasons, than expect a team like Caps or Tampa to win it him over. Don’t make the mistake by not thinking that those teams wouldn’t clear room any for him.

            I’ve read that Panarin is willing to take a small pay cut. Sounds like he wants to be next to Ovi, Kuch and Malkin etc. Imo Dallas could also scoop him up.

            Trade for Nylander! I’m team Panarin but the Rangers won’t win him over. He’s going to have a list of request, like who’s on the top line and top pair next year?

        • Oct 30, 2018 at 9:29 am

          Tony, Nylander is a wonderful player and is only 22 years old. If the Rangers were where they might be in about two years he’d be a terrific addition if they could land him. But, trying to get him now would cost a lot. The team is also not ready to compete and is far from complete. As we saw last year, even a incredible talent like Connor McDavid couldn’t make the Oilers good. So, even though I like Nylander a lot, I agree that now is not the time for the Rangers to go trading away assets for him.

          • Oct 30, 2018 at 11:04 am

            Hey Peter.

            Agreed. Someone on the Banter posted #s that I thought was the case but did not have as support, and that is that Nylander is not nearly the same player without Matthews as he is with Matthews.

            Which was my point in general about not having his Leafs’ linemates here in NY. Not worth the trade cost and the $8M per, no way. Panarin is proven and creates for others, as opposed to being dependent on his linemates. HE would make other Rangers better.

      • Oct 30, 2018 at 11:38 am

        Two points: First, if you are going to trade a player, it is not about trading as soon as possible. It is about maximizing value. It is much easier to fit Zuccarello under the salary cap in march than it is in November. So if guys like Zucc or Hayes will net more later, you hold them. Sometimes patience is needed.

        Second, the best way to develop a young skater is to put him on the ice with four other skaters who know the game and know the system, so he can learn how to fit him in. The best way to develop Chityl and Howden and Pionk is to have 15 veterans along with them and never put them on the ice at the same time (already a challenge). It might even be better for them if there were two instead of three. But then you are only developing two. Balance is important here. I am not saying one can’t develop 4,5,6 at a time but there is a tradeoff. And the penalty is huge if the kids are not ready.

    • Oct 30, 2018 at 9:41 am

      Richter1994…..dead on correct brother……..

      • Oct 30, 2018 at 11:05 am

        thanks bro.

  • Oct 30, 2018 at 8:19 am

    Poor overall talent and the lack of tenacity provides this malaise that hangs over the team. As is evident in the play thru 10 games, it might not be the coach, but the players on the ice that make a difference.

    The things that worry me are the following:
    Chytil needs to step up his game, if he is to be a mainstay for the future.
    Staal playing every game
    McLeod on this team

    If we are rebuilding, then make room on a daily basis for Tony D now and Hajek in 3 months. IF our first line is not that good, then make changes/moves to move young players into that role.

    If we are hemorrhaging shots against, maybe the defensive coach needs to change? Maybe fresh legs need to play and maybe, just maybe we need to start this new Ranger era from the backline forward. Bring up the kids, trade for a real defensive defenseman and start with a solid defense. We cannot score because we spend so much time in our own end defending.

    I am seeing Quinn struggle right now, but I do not see Gorton providing any relief. Where are the moves?

    • Oct 30, 2018 at 8:29 am

      Tony D, Hajek, along with Lindgren should be playing. Ship out McQuade, sit Staal, light a fire under the entire defense. Moving the chairs around on the defense serves no one any good, get Staal to either waive his movement clause, or buy him out. The man isn’t worth keeping around with all the young legs we have sitting, that is lunacy!!!!!

      • Oct 30, 2018 at 9:45 am

        Hajek has been one of the better players in Hartford and will be first D man call up…

        • Oct 30, 2018 at 11:07 am

          Rocky is a man “in the know…”

      • Oct 30, 2018 at 11:59 am

        Really? Come on. For starters, Lindgren is presently a marginal AHL defenseman. He may develop into something (I suspect not), but has no business in NY now and would just add to the culture of bad play. Hajek is a more reasonable option of course, but the Rangers already have too many defenseman and he can develop in Hartford in the short run. And you don’t buy out Staal unless you need the cap space – and the Rangers don’t. In fact, Staal is probably better than the higher paid Shattenkirk at this point.

        In a rebuild, you should not focus on the negative. You focus on the positive. On defense, the big issue is crystal clear. It is DeAngelo. Quinn does not trust him. He gets sheltered and so his results are inflated. However, when you play a game and seven goals are scored and a player is on the ice for your three goals and none of the opposing four, I don’t care how sheltered he was – that is a damn good game. When results and perception are out of line, further investigation is needed. Quinn needs to throw DeAngelo into the deep end of the pool and see if he can swim. It is far more important for Quinn to learn how good ADA is than it is to win a few more games.

        Coaches and general managers can size up players without seeing them in games. The good ones are generally right; the bad one less so. But nobody is right all the time and the very best test their assumptions when they can.

        And like others here, I see the current question as not “DeAngelo or McQuade”, but rather “should ADA play?”.

        • Oct 30, 2018 at 12:18 pm

          I imagine that McQuaid is both body guard and role model and that is the reason for his presence. But, ADA needs to play in order to find out whether he can make it in the NHL or not with the Rangers. Yeah, he had a pretty good game vs. LA. If he is showing up and working in practices, then the team should play the kid more in games and see how it goes. Seems to me that decision making in the D zone is Tony’s biggest challenge. The best test is probably under the pressure of a game.

    • Oct 30, 2018 at 9:51 am

      “Chytil needs to step up his game, if he is to be a mainstay for the future.”

      Yeah during the introduction as the new head coach, it sounded like JG gave the keys to Quinn. I remember hearing how much Quinn would have influence on roster moves. That’s why imo, I think JG is willing to work on a trade or two for a new core, rather than draft picks and prospects. I’m expecting a Brassard, Dorsett and J Moore 2.0. with a sprinkle of Ryan Clowe aka Zack Kassian.

  • Oct 30, 2018 at 9:11 am

    I think this is a team realizing just how hard this re-build is actually going to be. I still maintain the team has had a leadership issue since Brad Richards and Marty St. Louis left. And they still have one today. They are desperate for a leader in the room. Not a committee, not a group of guys. Unfortunately, I dont think this group has the guy yet. DQ is going to have a helluva time keeping this group focused.

    Now hurry up and trade Kevin Hayes before his value drops. I think he wishes he was part of the package that went to TB last season. He doesn’t look at all interested in being here… and it shows in his stats.

    • Oct 30, 2018 at 11:07 am

      Still believe the next captain is in Hartford…Lias Andersson will be the next leader…not this year and probably not next year either…but as the rebuild gets further along he has the intangibles

      • Oct 30, 2018 at 12:40 pm

        A kid like Lias who just turned 20 who asks his head coach to review game video after each game with him for critiques, and spends a lot of extra time in the weight room and with skating instructors to improve his game, might have the makeup of a future captain. If he plays well enough to make it in the NHL then he will be at least one of leaders on the team eventually.

  • Oct 30, 2018 at 9:44 am

    Chytil hasn’t been the same since he was hit and the reason why McLeod is shadowing the kid….nevertheless…..Chytil has to step it up…

    • Oct 30, 2018 at 12:44 pm

      Chytil could (and probably will) spend some time in Hartford…. they just don’t want to admit that yet publicly. He’s only 19. He doesn’t need to step it up, he needs development. And the more and more I watch him, the more I believe he needs time in the AHL. I fear he is losing confidence at this level.

    • Oct 30, 2018 at 6:47 pm

      I said something like this on the Banter and they laughed at me.

      I think that the kid is “nervous” on the ice. He has taken a couple of big hits.

  • Oct 30, 2018 at 10:39 am

    Maybe we are just a very bad team and should expect a last place finish. Any glimmer of hope should wait until next year.

    • Oct 30, 2018 at 11:14 am

      Sal, the loses hurt and are hard to watch but Hughes or Kakko are the hope…and some positive trades

      • Oct 30, 2018 at 11:39 am

        Watching games is difficult, but finishing 5th (from the bottom) in the league will hurt more. We need a prolonged “learning streak” that just might coincide with a losing streak. We can not me mediocre, we need to be downright awful!

        Then, make the right picks (sorry Gordie) and use that CAP money to make us a playoff team again. In a perfect world, Hayes, Kreider and Zucc turn into top 50 picks, and the Kravtov kid joins Andersson, Hajek & Chytil giving us hope next year. The $$ turns into Panarin and a great defenseman, and maybe even another sniper. Either way, we need a few top players on this team that are currently not wearing our jerseys.

  • Oct 30, 2018 at 11:35 am

    I don’t despiar the losses, they are to be expected. If the team gives effort and loses it is OK while they rebuild.

    However, if anyone fails to give 100%, they should ride the pine and if not corrected, the next bus out of town. They are trying to build a team for the future that has the character and drive necessary to win it all.

    • Oct 30, 2018 at 12:20 pm

      Amen … I think people are getting way to caught up in these little number games right now. We’re barely into the season and already I’m hearing a lot of impatience with the build. We all knew this would take a few years, so to hear all this whining just 10+ games into the first season of the rebuild is a bit much.

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