How well will Anthony DeAngelo do with Marc Staal?

anthony deangelo

The preseason has wrapped up, and the regular season is just around the corner, which means it’s time to speculate about the way this lineup is going to shake out. Now, even though I personally enjoy wild speculation, as it happens, the premier online stats database is back online after a summer hiatus, so we’ll be making somewhat educated guesses today. As an aside, I highly suggest you play around with Corsica, as I’ve learned a ton just exploring the numbers on there. What I’m interested in exploring today is something a little less sexy than how Filip Chytil will do, or who’s going to lead the team in points – what we’re going to be talking about today is how well Anthony DeAngelo might play with Marc Staal.

The top two pairings for the Rangers this season are pretty much set, with McDonagh/Shattenkirk and Smith/Skjei being more or less guaranteed at this point, although maybe there’s a little variation within that set of four players depending on the scenario or how AV is feeling. That leaves Anthony DeAngelo, who had a standout showing in preseason, to be paired most likely with Marc Staal. In a perfect world he’d be with someone like Pionk, but given that one of Staal or Holden is likely to play (I’d imagine hell freezes over before AV sits BOTH of them in the press box) and given that Staal is much more likely to play than Holden for a host of reasons, it’s looking like DeAngelo is going to be paired with Staal. So how will he fare?

Well, let’s take a gander at how DeAngelo did last year with his most common partner last season, Alex Goligoski. Last season, DeAngelo had a primary points/60 of 0.81, a relative Corsi of 0.6%, and an xG/60 differential of -0.80. On ice his xGF% was 40.4% and his actual GF% was 36.84%. Hypothetically, all other things being equal (and I know they’re not obviously, as the Coyotes last season were a vastly different team than the Rangers will be this season) if Staal is any better or worse than Goligoski on an individual level then DeAngelo should perform better or worse accordingly.

Last season Goligoski had pretty decent numbers in terms of points production, and relatively mediocre stats when it comes to the other stuff – his goals per 60 and primary points per 60 were 0.19 and 0.63 respectively, and his relative Corsi and xG per 60 differential were 0.1 and – 0.58 respectively. Marc Staal performed not quite as well overall, with 0.13 goals per 60, 0.30 primary points per 60, a -1.2% relative Corsi, and a -0.3 xG differential per 60.

On a more qualitative level, while I can’t speak as much to Goligoski’s play style, I’m fairly certain that Marc Staal will not suit Anthony DeAngelo’s play style all that well. DeAngelo seems to have an eagerness to activate offensively, making bold, confident movements on and off the puck in the other team’s end while lacking a certain je nais se quoi in the defensive zone. This could be problematic when matched up with Marc Staal’s play style, at least defensively. While DeAngelo is almost certain to boost Staal’s on ice number offensively, this pairing could be potentially disastrous in the Rangers’ own end. The saving grace here is that DeAngelo is an excellent skater, so if he develops any greater defensive sensibilities then he may be able to compensate at least somewhat for Staal’s lack of ability.

Overall it’s not looking great for the young blueliner acquired in the Stepan trade, who would likely flourish alongside someone like Brendan Smith for example. There’s a few caveats to both the quantitative and qualitative sides of the argument here, both of which have to do with the basic difficulty in comparing apples to oranges. While stats help level the playing field somewhat in this regard, it’s a basic fact that the broader team context at play may mean the Staal/DeAngelo pairing is not so bad after all. The other major caveat is that DeAngelo may very well develop further as he grows older and more experienced; a young player’s season last year is not always indicative of their season next year, generally speaking.

It’s also worth noting that with the Rangers rock solid pairings further up the depth chart,  and potentially surprising forward depth now that Filip Chytil is in play means that DeAngelo and Staal won’t be relied on quite so much in difficult even strength situations, so it may all be aw wash anyways. As far as a concrete prediction goes, I’m willing to bet DeAngelo performs roughly as well as he did last year, give or take a little bit, but that overall he may be stymied by Marc Staal’s game. In any event, we’ll be finding out in less than a week. Happy regular season everybody!

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  • I know this might not be met with very much praise and i can’t even believe im saying this but maybe Staal would be better off with Smith.
    The competition would be harder on the 2nd pair but Smith is a good, steady Dman.
    The 3rd pair is usually going to get most of their shifts beginning in the offensive zone so you’d like some offense from them. I might try Skjei with DAngello in practice before in a game but Skjei skates real well too. That might make a good 3rd D pair.

  • There is nothing any player can do to protect the pylon Staal except the press box. The defense will never take a step forward with Staal in the lineup.

  • David has it right. Staal is an anchor for any pairing, an utter and total shitshow. The only thing that made his stats look less than putrid was that Girardi’s were worse. Now he is gone, and Marc will be at the bottom of every defensive stat category by a mind-numbing margin. How will AD do paired with Staal? TERRIBLY. Brian Leetch would look bad next to Staal. The scary thing is trying to predict whether AV will get it and scratch Staal, or blame AD and sacrifice someone else’s stats and self-esteem on the altar of Staal’s franchise-killing contract.

    I nicknamed Staal “Toilet” a long time ago, and playing time for him means flushing his partner’s season, many games, and Henrik’s patience down the sewer.

  • The puck hasn’t dropped yet to start the season and Rangers fans have already crowned Marc Staal as the defacto team scapegoat.

    I too have concerns with the Rangers Blueline. As the season develops the following questions remain:

    Will the offensively gifted Shattenkirk be up to the role on the first pairing.

    Will Skjei continue to develop or will he be a casuality of the dreaded sophomore jink.

    Will Brendan Smith return to being the inconsistent defenceman as he was in Detroit.

    Lastly will Delangelo become AVs newest whipping boy.

    Should be an entertaining season.

  • Staal, a shell of the player he once was, that gruesome eye injury was a factor, but its his age and wear and tear on his body that has produced this current dead weight product. His albatross of a contract ( thanks Sather) is more salt on the wounds. Please go away, Girardi finally gone, next lets cut this guy loose.

  • As long as he focuses on covering ad’s gaffes. His 3rd pair minutes might yield a better product as he won’t need to pace himself for more minutes.

    • Do you think that Marc can even keep up with the pace of play top cover anyone’s gaffes including his own?

      • He just needs to skate behind the play and cover the lead man long enough for backup to arrive. Clear the front of the net. He’s not playing against first lines and he should be able to keep up.

        • We shall see. At times last season I thought Staal looked very steady. At other times he looked unfocused and disinterested. A team needs defensemen that can win the battles along the boards, block shots and play smart positionally. Staal is quite capable of being that defenseman. The question remains can he do it game in and game out.

        • Basically Marc would have to stay back and never join the play offensively, for the most part. That’s like playing with 4 guys on the ice. Not good.

  • I don’t like this assessment.

    If DeAngelo was paired with Goligoski, then Arizona had two offensive minded defenseman on the ice at the same time is a good formula foe success…. which….

    I guess by you thinking Pionk (a right handed offensive defenseman), and DeAngelo (a right handed offensive defenseman being paired together would be a good idea?… you do?

    But Staal’s game is being a shut down guy. Stay at home, and use his size and long reach to win battles.

    That is a more complementary option for DeAngelo…. a guy who wants to stay back, and cover home. Let DeAngelo be the guy to go deep and make the risky offensive plays more, while Staal just focuses on playing defense.

    Need somebody ready to cover up the inevitable mistake by Tony D, as opposed to someone taking the risk with him, and getting caught. Or forcing an offensive guy like Pionk to be more defensively responsible.

    Let’s play to these guy’s strengths, and I think we will be with this lineup.

    Kreider Zibanejad Buchnevich
    Nash Chytil Zuccarello
    Grabner Hayes Miller
    Vesey Deshernais Carey/Fast

    McDonagh Shattenkirk
    Skjei Smith
    Staal DeAngelo

    Seems perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing.

    • I am with you Robert, lineup looks competitive now let’s see how they execute. My biggest concern is their PK. And no Jesper Fast is not the answer.

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