This isn’t sustainable process

The Rangers have been a very streaky team this year. They started off “slow” to say the least, then went on a complete tear, putting themselves back into relevancy. Now they’ve played three terrible games out of four, with the one reprieve being against a Devils team that appears to be crashing back to Earth.

The Blueshirts have never been possession darlings, and likely never will be. Their system isn’t designed for sustained pressure. They are designed for quick counter attacks and high quality chances. That’s usually fine, as long as their defensive scheme limits those types of chances against (spoiler: it doesn’t).

The concern here is brought up by Tom Urtz. This is just one tweet, and I’m not going to put all the analysis into a ten game Corsi stretch, it really goes beyond that. This recent run was because of a PDO correction. Goaltending came back to normal. Shooting came back to normal. Both were in the trenches in October and were due for some positive regression. It happened. The Rangers went on a run. This was expected.

The run and gun show is very fun to watch. We may win, but we may die in the process. The problem, though, is that the Rangers run and gun, but their opponents are getting sustained, consistent pressure. If not for incredible goaltending the last ten games, the Rangers would not be 7-3-0 in that stretch.

This is something we’ve harped on for the past three years. The process on the ice isn’t up to snuff. It shows up partially in the possession numbers. The funny thing is that the Rangers are still one of the best offensive teams in terms of xG. It’s not the offense. The Rangers are near dead last in xGA, and therein lies the issue that has multiple root causes.

There is no one solution to the mess either. It’s a roster thing. It’s a coaching thing. It’s a systems thing. It’s a personnel thing. It could be an effort thing. The one thing we do know for certain is that the current game plan of “score a lot and hope that Henrik makes the save” isn’t as successful as it used to be, and it will only get worse.

I know we all like to put our heads in the sand when the Rangers are winning, but the last week has been alarming. The bottom is going to fall out on this team, and it might be sooner than we hope. This just isn’t good process, and not something we can build on for a playoff run.

"This isn't sustainable process", 3 out of 5 based on 5 ratings.

13 thoughts on “This isn’t sustainable process

  • Dec 15, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    The D has been bad, there soft, cant clear the puck. Hate the coach feel bad for Hank.

    • Dec 16, 2017 at 11:19 am

      I think Hank was ready to slash Shattenkirk after the second Kings goal. Just atrocious D there, poorly played and weak effort.

    • Dec 23, 2017 at 7:03 pm

      Personally I think if AV just altered his Dzone scheme to pressure the points more and play man high in the zone instead of Low, they would create more offense and limit shots and chances against.
      Aside from that I have to agree with the AV fan above. The defense needs help. They added a piece in Shatty over the Summer but Holden and Kampfer play way too often for my taste. Both are 7th or 8th defenseman on a good team.
      The last team Holden was a starter for was Colorado. Need I say more?
      The top 4 defenseman on this team could be very good with a trustworthy bottom pair beneath them.

  • Dec 15, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    The Rangers are a middle of the pack team. No more,no less. In their last 4 games they lost to 1 better team(Washington) because of poor d. They split with two other middling teams. One,Dallas, on the rise evidenced what they did to the Islanders and NJ, a team,despite how you disparage them are not, “crashing down to earth.” Witness what they did to the Kings. It was losing to the Senators that was most disappointing. There is no way this team can compete without a serious talent upgrade. I think we will be sellers as the season progresses.

    • Dec 15, 2017 at 3:00 pm

      The Devils are crashing down to earth. They got hot for the opening 11 games (9-2-0), but they have been performing more in line with their overall middling talent level since then (8-7-5). By the end of the regular season they will be out of the playoff positions. The Rangers and Penguins will pass them in the standings.

      And if you are going to make such a big deal over the Devils winning a single game against the Kings, how do you feel about the Devils getting shut out 5-0 by one of the worst teams in recent history (Coyotes) a few days earlier?

  • Dec 15, 2017 at 2:49 pm


  • Dec 15, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    The Rangers have a lot of good players on their roster. Their 2 superstars Nash and Lundqvist are in decline. I believe they still are a team that could make the playoffs but don’t see them getting past Columbus, or Tampa Bay.

    They still have work to do in rebuilding their pipeline of young talent. Moving Nash at the trade deadline could help them retool and give them some capspace to play with during the free agent season.

  • Dec 15, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    Lol, a couple of bad games against desperate teams and the fans are back up on the ledges, ready to jump. Relax. They play 82 games before they add up the points.

  • Dec 15, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    Sustained pressure is great and all that. Corsi is great. But ask the LA Kings of last year who led the league in Corsi all year but didn’t make the playoffs what Corsi means.
    Ask the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round playoffs last year what being a possession grinding team gets against a run and gun skilled team.
    Anyone look at how columbus is doing this year? Anyone? Tortatrella’s style works to make goalies get vezna trophies and win 2 to 1 every night but when it counts skill rises to the top.
    Here is my bold prediction…Columbus gets bounced by the 2nd round.
    Remember the players on that Lighting Cup team with torts… Brad Richards was the only to get another cup.
    Now how many times has Patrick Kane, Sidney Crosby, Anze Kopitar won it. And Brad richards won it with Kane btw.
    The Game has become a run and gun style. Whether we have the talent to compete is the real issue. Can you field a competitive team year in and year out with Tort’s style? Sure. Do you win cups? No. Not unless you have Crosby, Malkin, Kessel, Hornquist, Letang.
    My feeling on why we lost to Ottawa last year? Skill. On paper the rangers were the better team by far. It wasnt even close. We lost cause we had no skill. How many top corner Short side high goals did Hank give up in that series? How many did we get? Step didnt score one goal. Not one? I might be wrong but that is why he was traded.
    Rick Nash has this in ability to lift pucks over goalie pads this year. How many times has he been right there to basically just shoot it right into the outstretched leg of some goalie.

    • Dec 16, 2017 at 6:35 am

      Great points, but with one major flaw, Tort’s won a cup with that style, and AV is still waiting to do so. Just think about it……….. I’m not a fan of Torts, but AV has still not learned to make in game adjustments, that cost us series, and or cups. His regular season record is wonderful, not when it counts!

  • Dec 16, 2017 at 11:13 am

    This is not news. This is who the Rangers are and have been. Exhibit A is last years playoffs. I would start with AV…bye bye.

  • Dec 16, 2017 at 11:17 am

    I have to admit, I thought after the embarrassment of the playoffs losing to a clown Senators team, and the change in d-man personnel, we’d see growth from AV. I was actually optimistic. I am sorry for being so naive.

    AV/Ruff/Arniel are probably the worst coaching group in the league by an order of magnitude. AV has been doing teh same shit for years, and our d-zone performance has consistently been tragically bad.

    Our issue right now is systems and a little bit personnel (a lot of our dmen just have not been good enough). A good defense sets the baseline of how good you are. It controls outlets and sets a platform for the offense to excel.

    AV is good at getting his offense to take HD shots and finish them. We’ve been doing it for years now. it is not random. But he needs help on the defense as it is beyond him.

    Shame that we wasted the career of a top five all time goalie. A real shame.

  • Dec 16, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    Honestly, a lot of this just shows how important Zibanejad is to this team. Sure we need another center but our 1st line center is gone so the fact that we’re doing so well right now is the right kind of miraculous, the kind of miraculous that doesn’t need to be upheld throughout the whole season.

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