Archive for Analysis

Dec
21

The Rangers are an enigma

Posted by: | Comments (62)

henrik lundqvist

As fans, we love seeing the Rangers win. As smart fans, we love it more when they win and have good process on the ice. I still love the wins, but as bad process has continues to trouble the Rangers, I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. That shoe, of course, is Father Time coming for Henrik Lundqvist. So while I wait for that, I consistently check on-ice process, hoping for an improvement.

The Rangers are a weird team and Alain Vigneault is a weird coach. This is a club that, for the past three seasons, has consistently outperformed basically every stat that we use as predictive measures, at least in the regular season. Outside of the 2013-2015 runs, the Rangers haven’t exactly performed well in the playoffs. There has to be a reason why they consistently outperform their stats in the regular season, though.

Read More→

Categories : Analysis
Comments (62)
Dec
17

Gropp scores as Pack lose in shootout

Posted by: | Comments (13)

Springfield Thunderbirds 2, Hartford Wolf Pack 1 (SO)

Springfield, MA, December 16, 2017 – A Hartford Wolf Pack offense that scored a season-high seven goals against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Friday night at home could only manage one Saturday night at the MassMutual Center, in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Springfield Thunderbirds.

Marek Mazanec made 42 saves in his third straight start in the Hartford net, and Ryan Gropp scored the only Wolf Pack goal. Samuel Montembeault got the win in goal for Springfield, stopping 32 shots in regulation in overtime and going 3-for-3 in the shootout. Bobby Farnham scored the only Thunderbird goal, and Francois Beauchemin had the only goal of the shootout.

Read More→

Categories : AHL, Analysis
Comments (13)
Dec
15

A difference in goaltending styles

Posted by: | Comments (6)

Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images

So far this season, Henrik Lundqvist has received the bulk of the playing time for the Rangers.  Hank had played remarkably well considering the Rangers are currently dead last in the league in xGA/60 and 27th in the league in CF% (all stats per Corsica.hockey).  Alain Vigneault has leaned on Lundqvist heavily as the Blueshirts have tried to rebound from their putrid start to try to gain solid footing in the division race.  This adjustment has forced Ondrej Pavelec into a much lesser role than the organization originally intended, as they had hoped he would be a ~25 game backup.  So far, he has started only five games.

When the signing was originally announced, I wasn’t crazy about it.  Spoiled by four consecutive years of high-quality backup performances by Cam Talbot and Antti Raanta, I didn’t see the same level of success coming from Pavelec.  After all, Talbot and Raanta were both younger goaltenders hoping to take the next step in their development and be in a position to start.  With Pavelec, that ship had already sailed and he was looking to retain a roster spot in the NHL.  At 30, his style was what it was and had no real reason to make meaningful adjustments.

Read More→

Categories : Analysis, Goaltending
Comments (6)
Nov
24

The scoring concern at even strength

Posted by: | Comments (35)

chris kreider

The Rangers are a weird team this year. I’ve been saying that a lot, but it’s especially true. We are used to strong even strength scoring and a poor powerplay. But this year it’s in reverse. The Rangers can’t score at even strength but the powerplay is one of the best in the league.

Alain Vigneault lives and dies by the counter attack at even strength, and so far this year it has been a relative failure. It’s not for lack of chances, either, as the Rangers are 6th in xGF/60 in the league. It’s that they haven’t finished at the rate they usually do.

Read More→

Categories : Analysis
Comments (35)
Nov
22

Defense Wins Championships

Posted by: | Comments (24)

ryan mcdonagh

The below post was written by Rob Luker. Rob used to write for Blueshirt Banter, but retired for a while. He sent me this and I was more than happy to post it. You should be following him on Twitter here. He is a great follow with tons of good hockey insight. He also wrote this article from the summer.

I presume most or all of you have seen the recent Progressive Insurance Dad Support group commercial? There’s a little bit that applies to the Rangers, at the moment:

“Next thing you know I’m telling strangers that defense wins championships … well it does.”

Read More→

Categories : Analysis
Comments (24)
pavel buchnevich chris kreider

Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac/AP

The Rangers are a weird team. From the players to the coaches to the GM, they are both great and terrible at the same time. The good news it that we can begin to quantify things this year, as 20 games is usually when we can begin seeing what the Rangers truly are, where they will improve, and where they might be over achieving.

Total Rank
GF 35 13
GA 42 28
SH% 7.76% 16
SV% 90.81% 27

*-All stats are at even strength.

Let’s get the easy stuff out of the way. Based on just raw goal totals, the Rangers a horrendous defensively and league average offensively, at least at even strength. However just looking at goals for and against doesn’t tell the whole story.

Read More→

Categories : Analysis
Comments (8)

brendan smith

Note: Big welcome to Chris (@yolo_pinyato), the newest writer at BSB. Chris has put together some phenomenal work at HockeyGraphs, and has present at the RIT Hockey Analytics Conference. We are all stoked to have him on board. Give him a follow on Twitter and check out his work, it’s great stuff.

With the Rangers season already perilously close to teetering off the edge of contention, I wanted to take a quick look at the Ranger’s big offseason acquisition, Kevin Shattenkirk.

First a quick breakdown of the data:

When looking at Shattenkirk’s shot impacts last year at 5v5, we can see that relative to competition, he was by far the best player of the Rangers’ current set of defensemen. The shot impacts are weighted meaning that if two players had the same Corsi For% but different levels of competition, the player with the stronger competition would be higher on the y-axis.

Read More→

Comments (33)
Oct
27

A bit about the goalies

Posted by: | Comments (89)

Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Man, I suck at thoughts posts lately.  I started writing one, and then a hit a section on the goaltenders and things just spiraled out of control.  So, this post is about the goalies now. This is really more Hank focused than Pavelec, but I wanted to touch on him, as well.  I hope you enjoy.

First up, Ondrej Pavelec, who is exactly who I thought he would be.  Obviously, he has underperformed in a very limited sample size so far, but that isn’t really what I’m talking about. There was a play last night that really stood out for me.  In the third period, the ‘Yotes made a nifty little passing play that ended with Derek Stepan narrowly missing an open net to Pavelec’s glove side.  Pavelec tracked the first pass, but then, the second pass back door caught him flat footed and he kind of flailed from about 4 feet away from the puck.  Hank may not have gotten to the pass, but his body connection and puck tracking would have stayed engaged for the entire play.  Pavelec knew he was beat and gave up.

Read More→

Categories : Analysis, Goaltending
Comments (89)
Oct
23

This is a big week for the Rangers

Posted by: | Comments (7)

This week, the Rangers will play games 10, 11 and 12 of an 82-game schedule.  Under normal circumstances, this would be a fairly nondescript week, with two Western Conference teams visiting the Garden before a road game in Montreal.  But these are not normal circumstances.

While this isn’t quite “must-win” territory, the Rangers have dug themselves a significant hole.  2-5-2 is a bad record, made worse when you consider that 7 of those 9 games have been played at MSG.  The Rangers are dangerously close to squandering nearly a quarter of their home games before Halloween.  On the flip side, wins over San Jose and Arizona will put the Rangers on a modest three-game winning streak heading into Hockey Night in Canada up in Montreal.  Here’s a look at the (important!) week ahead.

Read More→

Categories : Analysis, Musings
Comments (7)
rick nash

Photo: Jim McIsaac/Newsday

The Rangers finally won in regulation for what felt like the first time all season. There is some hope, as they of course won. But the process wasn’t the best. I’m on the “two points is two points” side of things, as a team with this fragile a psyche needs any points they can get. Hopefully process follows.

While the Rangers have been bad, they’ve also been fairly “unlucky.” A skilled team, the Rangers have shot around 9% over the past few seasons (at even strength). This has to do with the skill level, but also is a by-product of Alain Vigneault’s counter attacking system in the neutral zone. When executed properly, it leads to higher quality scoring chances.

Read More→

Categories : Analysis
Comments (15)