The Rangers are an enigma

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.

One thing that has been a steady statement is that the Rangers are a great offensive team that struggle mightily on defense. This year especially, the strategy has been “score a few and hope Hank makes the save.” It’s worked so far this year, but Hank is 35 years old. So we hope for better process.

In an effort to see how the Rangers’ process has been doing over this 6-3 run in December, I looked at each individual game and looked at the xGF and xGA numbers, as well as outcome. Not the most sophisticated approach, and full of small sample size warnings, but I wanted to see how they were doing.

*-All stats from I had to manually make these tables, as there was no other way to gather this data. Woof. If I miscounted, yell at me in the comments. Was not intentional.

Date Opp xGF xGA Result
12/18/17 ANH 3.03 2.25 W 4-1
12/16/17 BOS 1.56 2.09 W 3-2
12/15/17 LAK 1.54 1.91 W 4-2
12/13/17 OTT 1.67 1.26 L 3-2
12/11/17 DAL 1.77 3.23 L 2-1
12/9/17 NJ 2.77 1.62 W 5-2
12/8/17 WAS 1.75 2.72 L 4-2
12/5/17 PIT 1.85 2.52 W 4-3
12/1/17 CAR 1.22 1.93 W 5-1

Right off the bat we see some bad trends. The on-ice process resulted in a favorable xGF just three times, with the Rangers going 2-1 in those games. They went 4-2 when their xGA was higher. It’s worth noting that the Rangers outscored their xGF in eight of the nine games. That means two things: They are seeing their skilled team shoot better after a rough and unlucky start to the season, and their powerplay is really picking up the slack. Eventually that will level out. When you take a team that doesn’t have a favorable xGF/xGA (aka xGF%) ratio and combine it with outperforming their xGF, you have a team that is skating on thin ice.

Now that is a small nine game sample over a period of time where the Rangers didn’t have their top center. It’s a very valid argument. So let’s go into November, where they went on a huge run while fully healthy. The Rangers went 9-3 in November.

Date Opp xGF xGA Result
11/28/17 FLA 2.11 1.88 L 5-4
11/26/17 VAN 1.47 2.39 W 4-3
11/24/17 DET 2.91 2.75 W 2-1
11/22/17 CAR 2.74 2.16 W 6-1
11/19/17 OTT 2.09 1.38 W 3-0
11/17/17 CBJ 2.4 4.35 L 2-0
11/15/17 CHI 1.76 2.45 L 6-3
11/11/17 EDM 1.61 1.12 W 4-2
11/8/17 BOS 2.9 2.12 W 4-2
11/6/17 CBJ 2.46 2.09 W 5-3
11/4/17 FLA 1.65 2.39 W 5-4
11/2/17 TB 1.51 1.59 W 2-1

The fully healthy Blueshirts had an xGF > xGA in 7 out of 12 games, going 6-1 in that span. That means they went 3-2 in the five games where their xGA was higher. The Rangers also outscored their xGF in all but one game. So the same observations above apply. But it’s also better process when the team is healthy. A fairly logical statement, but one that shows the team desperately needs another center, something we’ve beaten to death since July.

This is also small sample size of a healthy team on a run. Let’s look at October, the month that drove most fans to the ledge. The Blueshirts went 4-9 this month:

Date Opp xGF xGA Result
10/31/17 VGK 2.89 4.28 W 6-4
10/28/17 MON 1.45 3.1 L 5-4
10/26/17 ARI 3.79 1.31 W 5-2
10/23/17 SJ 2.23 1.37 L 4-1
10/21/17 NSH 1.46 1.62 W 4-2
10/19/17 NYI 2.8 2.75 L 4-3
10/17/17 PIT 1.69 1.44 L 5-4
10/14/17 NJ 1.58 1.24 L 3-2
10/13/17 CBJ 2.31 3.67 L 3-1
10/10/17 STL 1.85 1.02 L 3-1
10/8/17 MON 1.46 1.97 W 2-0
10/7/17 TOR 2.73 3.61 L 8-5
10/5/17 COL 1.83 2.05 L 4-2

The Rangers had a xGF>xGA six times on October, going 1-5 (!!) in that stretch. In the seven times they had a higher xGA, they went 3-4. Funny enough, the Vegas game that saved AV’s job was actually the worst defensive performance of the season at that time, in terms of xGA. It’s also worth noting that in this month, AV spent a good amount of time messing with us by dressing 11F and 7D.

All in all, the Rangers have had a xGF>xGA 16 times this season, going 9-7 in that span. Compared to the 18 games where their xGA was higher than their xGF, going 10-8 in those games.

So what does this tell us? This is by no means a concrete statistical analysis. It’s just a fun little exercise that I wanted to do. This has no statistical proof or bearing. But there are a few things we can take from this:

  • Special teams will carry this team if they can’t defend at even strength, which they can’t.
  • This team will live and die by their shooting-percentage streaks and Henrik Lundqvist. If they both falter at the same time, they will get steam rolled.
  • Mika ZIbanejad cannot get hurt anymore.
  • The Rangers really need to get another center.
  • The even strength defense is miserable. The offense is a top-five group. This we knew already.

The Rangers, at least in this exercise, appear to be trending in the right direction. However we have three really weird months to work with, and none are truly indicative of this team’s true potential. October was a train wreck. November was the complete opposite end of the spectrum. December isn’t done and influenced by injuries.

I have to admit, I was hoping to get something more concrete while doing this. Alas, it was not to be. The “just win baby” mentality is incredibly flawed, as we can all see that this team is not as good as their record after October. They also are not as bad as their record in October. The Rangers are an enigma.

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  • Excellent Dave.

    I have been on the “just win baby” mantra for one reason: These Rangers are not capable of “playing the right way” for long periods of time. They just are not.

    They beat the Ducks but the charts say they were outplayed. The Ducks’ shots were from the outside and Henrik had to make some big time saves but he wasn’t pressured. That’s what having injuries to key players will do to teams like the Ducks. But whatever, the Rangers won. Just win baby!!

    If you want wins that look pretty, then forget it, you will be disappointed. It is more “just try not to screw up too much” (and that includes the coach, lol), score more than 1-2 goals, and let the goalie win it from there.

    Sound familiar? Yeah, that has been the “process” going on 13 seasons now. Hence Henrik is, by far and away (and it’s not even close) the best goalie in the world of his era. Yes, better than Price, Luongo, Rask, and media darling Quick.

    Great article Dave, I mean that sincerely. You hit it on the head about this team. Well done.

    • What you said about Hank, and now add on his brilliance thus far tonight, you speaketh the truth my friend. I’ll take it further and have said it before. No NY athlete, other than perhaps Patrick Ewing, has ever had to carry more of a disproportionate responsibility for his team’s success over 12+ seasons than Hank. he has been and continues to be remarkable.

  • They said the same thing about Vancouver in 2009. And 2010 and 2011.

    While it is entertaining hockey it is not by any means a sustainable system that will net a cup.

    Honestly I think AV is on borrowed time at this point. If he can’t get past the 2nd round , he will be baisee

    • And in his career, he went to two Cup Finals playing this way.

      I watch a LOT of hockey. Full games. Last night, I watched the Leafs and CBJ. The Leafs were miserable in their own zone, and got god awful goaltending. I mean, God Awful goaltending! Yet, Babcock is a genius. Do you see who’s getting regular minutes on that team? Sure, Mathews is hurt, but they went a whole year without injuries last year.

      CBJ has gotten destroyed twice in the last few games. Just gave up.

      Can you imagine Bruins blogs after we beat them on Saturday?

      Edmonton gave Leon Draisaitl a billion dollars after one year, and now he’s on pace to score 25 less points than a year ago.

      Has anyone seen the Flyers play? They’re genuinely awful.

      The Islanders goaltending? OMG?

      The Kings were the best in the West. Did anyone on here think they actually played well on Friday?

      Do you think teams might have trouble with the Rangers BECAUSE of their style of play?

  • Great stats. I’m wondering how it would look if you broke it down even more by period. My thought is that the first period would be the worst and the third the best. Which leads me to wonder why they come out so poorly in many games but have much better third periods. I firmly believe their coaching is downright awful, ill preparing them for many of their opponents. Their skill level (at least offensively) is good enough to rebound during the game but poor coaching gets them off to a lousy start way too many times. Even though I don’t believe this current team has the ability to get past the second round, I don’t think the NYR will ever get to a cup with AV behind the bench. Too many line changes, little knowledge of how to develop young players, too much reliance on the old guard, etc. For me, AV has to go.

    • Very good point,Paul. I happened to watch Torts interview after Columbus got destroyed by Boston. He said it was his duty to better prepare the team for the contest. I have never heard anything along the same lines from AV.
      Rangers consistently start slow every game, and AV never takes responsibility.

      • To me, this is a style over substance thing. Torts has gone after another team’s coach, he got so angry once. A loss like that, in his style, means someone has got to take the blame. In that case he threw himself under the bus.

        AV has a much different style. He doesn’t lavish praise but he doesn’t blame individuals, either. He recycles dull talking points. Big deal.

        I certainly empathize and relate to anyone who prefers a firebrand, but in the end, wins and losses matter the most.

    • Paul-

      So let me get this straight. The Rangers first period struggles—that’s all on the coach. The third period success—that’s all on the players. Makes perfect sense.

      Good think Odie posted his crazy post because you would have easily have won the craziness prize otherwise.

      • What is your theory then as to why they continually get out of the gates slowly but seem to pick it up in the third period? Desperation? AV somehow better understands their opponents only after the game starts?

        • It goes back to my initial question to you—why is the poor start on the coach and strong finish on the players? You don’t see how utterly absurd that premise is?

          The poor starts are on both players and coaches. No one gets a pass. And both players and coaches can take bows for their generally “refuse to lose” mentality that allows them to lock things down late.

  • I mean these stats are so irrelevant. 17 out of 34 were correct. That is exactly 50% of the time this is accurate with this team. Hey lets flip a coin if heads that is why they won and tails well that why we suck!
    I want to see a stat about how many shots are from in front…Middle and from the point. Shots for and shots against.
    I mean haven’t you guys picked up on this yet? Alain basically states it in his last presser. Yeah well we got out shot but most of the shots were from the point.
    I mean you here the announcers even saying it. Well i think the rangers have more quality chances for then against.
    Shooting percentage is so overrated also. Grabner is shooting a 23.4 percent. How many of his goals are tap in’s and empty netters?

    Honestly how do you think hank would fair on a team like arizona? Look at talbot this season. Or Raanta for that matter.
    If there no defense and the goalie is hung out to dry can he still make saves?
    I find the truest statistic for a goalie is his shootout percent.
    That is the truest form of 1 on 1. Whether there is a system or not.
    And guess where the King is this year?
    With a min. of 9 attempts he is dead last in the league. 55%
    The best ….Malcom Subban perfect 9 for 9.
    Rinne has the most attempts against and 75%.
    Now in Hanks defense he used to be the best at this category. Literally. 10-11 season he had 848 sv%. on 40+ attempts. But if memory serves me correct this was the year that made them shrink the goalie pads down. I think he was wearing 6 Balloons on his legs that year. I honestly thought after games he just used them to float away back to sweden.
    But us fans rippin on the weak defense is just not true. Hank hasn’t been his best. So far the team has bailed him out most of this season not the other way around. And we they don’t have it he certainly hasn’t had it.
    I mean that last game that Pavelaec started is a clear example. How many of those type games has hank had?
    3-5 in games he faces 40 plus shots. So he is 3 for 8. Pretty outstanding if you ask me. He is the number 1 getting 10million a year. Let that sink in. You could get 2 x 5 million a year players for just his salary.
    You know who wanted 5 million a year but we didn’t have the money to keep him so we traded him for a bag of pucks and 2 stanley cups to are arch rivals? I hope Hagelin brings the cup back to sweden and rubs it is Hanks face. I hope Hags invites Zuc and hank over and just says “i am going to drink my beer out of this Cup with my name on it 2 times and NO YOU GUYS CANT HAVE ANY!”

    Sorry the rangers are mediocre at best. Just tired of the media darling getting none of the blame.

    • There are many things wrong with this – specifically ignoring where I said “this is no means concrete statistical evidence” and “just a fun exercise.”

      But let’s just focus on one – Carl Hagelin was not traded by the Rangers to the Penguins. He was traded to the Ducks (and yes – we’ve torn that trade apart as a pretty bad trade). The Ducks traded him to Pittsburgh.

      If you’re going to complain, make sure you get your facts right.

      Not even going to bother commenting on how you think shootout % is the best indicator of a goalie’s talent level.

    • This was one of the dumbest, most incoherent comments I have ever seen in my life, and I frequent Rangers Facebook, so that’s saying a lot. Anyone that thinks “the truest statistic for a goalie is his shootout percent” is literally so stupid that they should be barred from the internet. I mean that. There are a lot of really dumb fucking things on the internet, but that comment takes the cake. Thank you for proving that every time I think I’ve found the dumbest possible take ever, there are always dumber ones out there!

    • Odie—Your idea that shootout percentage is the best indicator of goalie talent is the single stupidest thing I’ve ever heard said about hockey. Really remarkably stupid. Fantastically dumb. The shootout is a joke, the lamest thing in hockey, and it’s got little bearing on anything realistic in the NHL game other than the standings.

      Hagelin was traded because he’s a 35 point a year player who was asking for $4 million a year. His contract is terrible, the Rangers were right to walk away from him. Additionally (as Dave pointed out) Gorton traded Hags to Anaheim, not Pittsburgh. The Pens traded with Anaheim for Hags.

      • Isn’t it funny that two recent fan favorites, Hagelin and Callahan, have two of the worst contracts in the league? A combined $9.8M a year in cap space is being spent on a pair of 4th line wingers.

        • Not to mention that Cally is hurt yet again and out indefinitely.. and has a grand total of 4 points this season

        • Same here. Would rather play a 10 minute 3v3 OT.. hate seeing games decided in a skills competition

        • I don’t hate shootouts; they can’t play forever til someone gets a game-winner, and they’re pretty fun to watch. That said, skater or goalie, their careers should not and will not be defined by their shootout stats…that’s for sure.

    • I think what this post really illustrates is that we need a third button in addition to the thumbs up and thumbs down: the laughing hysterically face button.

    • Odie-

      Your thoughts here are “odious”. This has to get the award for the most idiotic post ever written on BSB. Nothing more to even say.

  • Dave, good article even though it relies so much on stats whose validity in my opinion is open to debate. But, there are many good bases of support for the stats.

    One quibble: it is a blogger’s myth that AV was on the verge of being fired and that the game ‘saved’ his job. Why perpetuate a myth that has just about zero evidence to support it?

  • Well, you know the old saying: when the real world doesn’t agree with your model the problem ain’t with the real world. Yes, I know this wasn’t a rigorous statistical analysis and it does tell us some things about the Rangers but count me as one who thinks that these “fancy stats” are not all that.

    I agree that the Rangers often show “bad process” in some games that they win but you know what, in an 82-game schedule you can’t be at your best every night. You try to win any way you can and I think its a positive trait that the Rangers have been able to squeeze out wins when they haven’t played their best. I’m personally not going to throw back the wins where they got lucky (cough, Pittsburgh, cough) or staged great comebacks (e.g., Vegas). This isn’t figure skating or ski jumping – there are no style points involved .

    And as for relying on Henrik Lundqvist, well, what’s wrong with that? He’s their best player. Do you think the Penguins discount wins because Crosby and Malkin had too much to do with them? Yes, there’s such a thing as being too reliant on one player but given the current roster and style of play that’s how the Rangers roll. Would I prefer something like the 80’s Oilers or 80’s Canadiens? Sure. But it ain’t what we got. I prefer to just enjoy the wins without stressing too much about how they were achieved.

    • Agreed!!

      We’re almost first in the Metro (a brutal division) and people still talk about blowing the whole thing up. And there are times that comments are made (on all social blogs/sites) that makes me question “wait … we just won, but why am I unhappy? Am I supposed to be unhappy with this win? Why can’t I just enjoy a fun comeback? Or that we edged this one out by the skin of our teeth?”. Sometimes I don’t like reading all the comments and I’ll just read the article, or vice versa because there is a ton of negativity. There’s 6 months in a season, 2 months of playoffs .. that’s a lot of freaking hockey.

      I get it … we are 100% a flawed team. We might get bounced in the 2nd round. We need another center, I’d like to see one of the kids get a shot on the 4th line at some point this season (i.e. Letierri), and the defense still needs work. AV isn’t perfect but it’s what we’ve got and the past few seasons we’ve been successful. I just wanna enjoy watching Rangers hockey (especially when we WIN!).

      The Stanley Cup is the hardest trophy to win. And even if we did get past Ottawa last Spring (which I think we could have and should have, I wasn’t thrilled with AV’s handling of the defense), we would have been in the FINAL 4. And he’s taken us twice there already, it’s so difficult to do that consistently. Like we all know … Ovechkin HAS NEVER MADE IT PAST THE SECOND ROUND, and he’s considered one of the best players in the world. You don’t think he’d want opportunities like the Rangers have had the last few seasons rather than his Capitals choking?


  • Unrelated but some info from DobberProspects on how Lias Anderson’s season is progressing. My guess is that time will make the heart grow fonder in regards to the trade….

    “Were it not for Pettersson, Andersson’s season would be getting a lot more attention. Making the move to Frolunda after playing for HV71 in 2016-17, the New York Rangers’ top pick in the 2017 draft sits second in the league in points among U20 players with seven goals and an equal amount of assists in 22 contests. Were he to play a full slate of games at his current pace he would finish with a top-20 U20 season. He heads to Buffalo riding a nice five game stretch that has saw him produce six points. Like Pettersson he’ll be relied upon to lead Tre Kroner to some hardware.”

    • I’m always very, very skeptical about suspects (prospects), but in this case, it is hard NOT to be very excited about the upside of Andersson as well as Chytil. It may take a few years, but the future at center looks very bright indeed!

      • gees, they got to draft in the first round somehow, and found quality!

        thinking out loud here…………

        • Can’t argue with you my friend. But my only point is that sometimes you keep your picks, and sometimes you trade them. Every team in every sport does this. No team makes a blanket policy to NEVER trade 1st rounders, which I believe is what you have espoused. Depends on how close you think you are to a Cup, what the draft looks like, what the return is, etc.

          • Sorry E3, but our history has always been to trade the #1 picks for some bizarre reason!!!!!!!! That is the future of the organization, but we keep repeating the same mistake over, and over again. Oh well, what do I know?????

      • The only problem is that the Rangers biggest holes are on defense. With only Mac and Skjei as their only top defenders and clueless AV sticking Holden out to weigh down Mac. Looking like Shatty is developing into a third pair PP specialist.

  • If they are going to get the PP back on track they need another righty forward for second unit if the first unit doesn’t produce the pp will be done.

  • Dave,
    The result of your exercise should have been to realize how little the stats you rely on are worth – and that this means that they don’t even reflect process very well. So much is simply fitting facts to preconceived notions.

    Teams needs a playing style to fit their talent.
    One mistake made on BSB is that each goalie has a unique skill set and this has implications for the way the game is played. One can’t say Lundqvist is better than Price or Price is better than Hank and think you’ve really cut to the heart of the matter. In reality, Hank is better at some things and Price at others. I’d wager that if you explored enough aspects of the game, you’d see there is at least one way that Brandon Halverson than Hank.

    I am not an expert on goal tenders, so my speculation on Hank’s weaknesses is on shaky ground. Obviously he doesn’t play the puck well, but clearly he has other weaknesses as well. I suspect that he does not handle screens well (by the standards of NHL-quality tenders). If I am a good coach and I have a tender who struggles with screens and is incredible in many other respects, I organize my defense to minimize the number of screen shots, even if that means allowing more shots overall, in fact even more good shots overall.

    Dropping speculation, I will descend into pure fact in this paragraph. Looking at Hank’s numbers, we see that the Ranger defense has been reasonably effective at preventing shots that Hank can’t stop and not good at preventing shots that Hank can. It is also true that a counter-punching team with great speed is not necessarily disadvantaged by playing in their own end a lot.

    A good defense makes a goalie look good by giving him shots he can handle. A bad defense makes a goalie look bad by exposing him to shots he can’t stop. In 2013-2017, the Ranger defense make Hank look like a HOFer even while his GAA did not exceed those of his non-HOF backups.

  • AV said in his last presser that the team has its proprietary package of advanced statistics, and that Corsi is decidedly not on their list. While he has never gone into details, we know from other statements that he has made, that “grade A chances” are a big deal, for and against.

    Whatever the process is, when you look at many years’ body of work, it is hard to conclude that the process is bad.

    • Glad you mentioned this. I have thought this for awhile now. The advanced stats that are available to rank and file fans like us is no question much different than the proprietary data that teams use. So when I hear “Player A has better metrics than player B, so if the coach doesnt play Player A the coach is an idiot and should be fired” (as we saw with McIlrath/Clendo vs Girardi), I take it very much with a grain of salt.

  • Among the many criticisms put forward by AV detractors, “he is bad at making in-game adjustments” is one.

    Doesn’t their third period dominance over 30+ games this season seem to disprove this criticism?

    • Of course not, Myth. What are you thinking? Paul said it above. Bad starts = coach. Good finishes = players.

  • Finally, the defensive process this year, to my observation, seems noticeably better than last year. I’m talking about avoiding running around, breaking the zone (did you see how many times they broke LA’s pressure just by reversing the puck behind the net?), clearing sight lines for Hank, breaking up cross ice passes, and the penalty kill.

    Look closely next few games and y’all see if you see it too.

    • Hard to say, and after watching that 2nd period tonight, ugh! I’d be curious to see if high danger shots have improved year to year and even month to month this year.

  • Hi Dave: Great work but I have to disagree with one statement in particular: “One thing that has been a steady statement is that the Rangers are a great offensive team that struggle mightily on defense.” Based on GAA, here’s how the NYR have performed under AV:

    2013-14:2.30 4th (and that’s after the awful start)
    2014-15 2.25 3rd
    2015-16 2.59 16th (but only 0.09 from 10th)
    2016-17 2.61 12th (but only 0.08 from 10th)
    2017-18 2.77 9th

    From the end of December 2013 thru the end of the 2014-15 regular season, the NYRs had the NHL’s lowest GAA. Since then it hasn’t been shabby and, taken as a whole, I don’t think the defense under AV can be fairly described as”struggling mightily”

  • Wow …guess I touched a nerve there huh?
    Just take the bull dookie stats like Ga and Gf and Corsi and give me something more tangible.
    These stats are meaningless attempts to make sense of a game that has way too many variables to account for. Ice conditions, bouncy boards, players playing with broken bones. Puck being frozen or too warm.
    In baseball these stats work cause there is consistent variables. How many baseball players walk out onto the field with a broken jaw? How many times in a season is the field a mess? How many times does a baseball act differently then it normally does?
    One of the best parts of being a hockey fan is the random luck of the game. That is why PDO is the one stat I am leaning towards. Cause good luck and bad luck only last so long and eventually it evens out.
    And yes Dave I knew Hagelin wasn’t traded to Pittsburg but for the return we got over a 5 million a year contract…It was the one of the worst trades in franchise history.
    So as for the Shootout stat as a good indicator of a how good a goalie is….this is just a measurement of the goalie. And solely that. I was trying to say and not well i gather…What variables can affect this stat? Really none. It is a goalie vs a shooter. Doesn’t get anymore straight forward. Whatever variables affect one the other has the same issue. No defensive system, like the trap, can affect it. And the same goes on the opposite side…no horrible defense system or players can affect it. And if you look the league average is 65% to 70%. But as statistics go there is not a large sample size. Other then if you look at a Career average on a goalie. And Hank ranks right up there with the best.

    But to dismiss another person’s view point solely based on whether you like it or not in the sport is just ignorant. I.e. my rip on GA vs GF or Corsi. I backed it with you have a 50% chance of being accurate with it. It is the same as a coin flip. Or Corsi …and the team that led the NHL in it didn’t make the playoffs last year. So i felt these are overrated and worthless. Backing it up with well this was a goof really isn’t something you want your name attached to.
    Hockey has it’s own stats and to delve into a baseball stat approach is interesting at first but when the numbers don’t produce results it is time to move on.
    Do a piece on quality chances for and against and I guarantee I will not say anything but nice work.
    Do a PDO version of the months of october and november. See how that looks.

    • Why PDO? I personally do not like the stat, because it relates two completely unrelated stats to look at performance based on the premise that those should be 100… The reason I think it is unrelated is because a team shoots on other goalies.

      Perhaps there is an argument that if the pdo is skyhigh, like 125%, it may say something, but that is more due to the league pairity that such extreme numbers are not sustainable. But perhaps PDO of 102 might be sustainable, if your tight defensively and score on quality chances (higher save % and relative high shooting %).

      • I like the idea of teams with high shooting percentage tend to get figured out. The only constant on a team is it overall goaltending. Hockey is no different in that some guys figure out weak points of say a set of goalies. Or like Marchand and Lucic doing that same breakout time after time. Or how our announcers like to say how we have set plays on the face off. Teams figure it out and adjust. That is were a shooting percentage drops but your goalie percentage should stay constant. The average nhl team sees around 2000 shots against per season. That is a very large sample size. The variables tend to work themselves out of the equation on that high of a statistic.
        but this point is on a team level not a individual level. On individual level it doesn’t seem to work for the exact reason you mentioned.

    • It should be acknowledged that you are not completely wrong regarding Hank and the shootout. Hank has admitted as much, that he used to be good at the shootout and now he’s not. And it does require skill consistent with being a good goalkeeper.

      The King has been great this year but his poor shootout performance is a fair observation, and a bit troubling.

    • “Do a piece on quality chances for and against and I guarantee I will not say anything but nice work.” – I have, many times.

      “Do a PDO version of the months of october and november. See how that looks.” – I have, many times.

      Hagelin makes $4 million, not $5 million.

  • Hey guys just a thought maybe xGF% isn’t actually predictive if certain teams consistently under or over perform it.

  • A bit late to the party but I’ve played a bit with the number in excel and the funny thing is:

    The Rangers are just a little bit worse than expected defensively, but much better offensively.
    Defensively, based on the whole sample xga are 2.22 and in reality the ga are avg of 2.85. But those number also show that October was crap defensively, since the xga was 2.26 but in reality they received 3.62 goals.

    Offensively, there pretty good, on avg xgf of 2.08 but in reality they score around 3.29 this year. Interestingly, lately they are outperforming the xgf a bit more.
    avg Oct: xgf 2.16 gf 3.08
    avg Nov: xgf 2.13 gf 3.50
    avg Dec: xgf 1.91 gf 3.33

    So based on these data I would say that the Rangers are a bit worse defensively than expected, might be systems or just the players, but they are way better than expected and consistently outperforming xgf, so I would think that the Rangers style of play does not fit the xgf very well.

    (ps I could not upload the table, but if anybody likes it I can mail it)

    • Good observation that maybe there is something about their style that isn’t captured in the xgf stat. That said, they have won a lot of games lately where they have been outplayed by not only the metrics but the eye test. One has to be concerned about that holding up over the long term.

      • Fair enough, it would be cool though to see what metrics the Rangers use themselves.

        Unfortunately I don’t get to see many games since I’m in Europe and I can’t stand watching full games while knowing the endresult.

        I did see the game against the Senators, and I actually thought they dominated until that goal, which seemed to drain their energy. (Perhaps it also helpe the Sens to play their own (suffocating) style…)

        • Sens game an outlier. And their style is similar to Rangers. Ducks, Bruins, Devils, etc. they were clearly outplayed, not only shots on goal but grade A chances. P.lus getting some funky goals, esp. Grabber. Doesn’t seem sustainable.

  • It’s a bit of a schitzophrenic team–when they are at home they are tight, disciplined and are a force to reckon with but on the road they are sloppy , lose a lot of the board battles and commit ridiculous number of penalties that hurt them.Statistical analysis just isn’t my thing; hope lies in a fourth line that has been compeititive against the best players in the East, (Crosby, Ovechkin, Malkin, etc.)
    Henrik Lundquist should be an easy first round hall of Fame goalie. the game has never seen a better one.. not ever

  • My points proved out at the end of the day. Whether you see them or not is entirely up the viewer.
    40 plus shots rangers lose. Hank couldn’t save the day.
    In the shootout he was like his average 50% 2 for 4 and it wasn’t good enough. He is a has been… that the media hype up cause he is a poster boy for a good looking guy. Has he carried this team on his shoulders for years? Very debatable. Is he a hall of fame goalie…without a doubt in my opinion. With or without a cup.
    But A team recently just won the cup two times in a row with a goaltender that was a AHL nobody and took over for a reigning number 1 with career numbers in playoff wins no active goalie has besides hank.

    • Right? How can anyone not see this? Rose colored Ranger glasses my friend, that explains it.

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