A quick, way too early look at the Rangers forwards shooting percentages

Who's due for a few breaks?

It’s the dog days of…October? Sure, I guess. That’s what happens when the Rangers play three games in two weeks to start the season and you can only write about Lias Andersson, Brett Howden, and the blue line so much. So let’s go into a quick, way too early, should not be taken overly serious look at who’s getting lucky and unlucky to start the season.

We use shooting percentage to track shooter “luck” here, as SH% can really tell a good story about a player. It’s what we used to say Ryan Strome likely wouldn’t repeat his season last year. There are always outliers (see: Grabner, Michael), but for the most part, players will be around their career shooting percentages more often than not.

The first thing to note is that Mika Zibanejad is currently shooting at a whopping 33% (4 goals on 12 shots). I probably didn’t have to tell you this, but he’s not going to continue to score at this pace. If you’re surprised that Zibanejad isn’t going to continue at a 90 goal pace, then I don’t know what else to tell you.

The other players shooting 33%: Brendan Smith and Brett Howden, although they only have one goal on three shots. So yea, not much to evaluate there. Suffice it to say though, it’s highly unlikely either are going to continue to a 27-goal pace. I don’t know if that’s a reach or not.

Kaapo Kakko is shooting 25%, which is 25 percentage points better than Jack Hughes.

The only other players with more than five shots on goal are Artemi Panarin (two goals, 22% shooting rate), Jacob Trouba (one goal, 11% shooting rate), and Brady Skjei (zero goals). Panarin shoots at 14.3%, which is also his FO win rate. Nothing to see there, just something funny.

So what is the point of all this? After all, it’s been three games, stats are relatively meaningless right now.

And that is also your answer. It’s been three games, far too early to make any judgments about any specific player, especially a player that isn’t a known quantity yet, like Howden or Lias Andersson. Unless of course it’s Ryan Strome or Marc Staal. Then fire away.

Most of this post is in jest – and if I needed to tell you that, then you need to get out more. There are certainly things worth keeping an eye on, such as continually giving up the blue line by design and wondering why the 2C spot isn’t getting switched. Things to watch are just that, things to watch. No panic. Just something to watch, like the coworker who is standing by the elevator buttons and refuses to hit the door close button.

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  • When I was at the game on Saturday, I specifically watched the forwards as it related to getting back on D. They do.

    So what’s the problem? The neutral zone. They let opponents skate through the neutral zone without much resistance.

    That’s the issue. They actually clogged up the slot pretty well against the Oilers, blocking shots and shutting down passing lanes. But they don’t have the puck. The other big issue.

    That’s why Strome has to go and getting Chytil in there to have some skill at the 2C will allow that line to possess the puck more.

  • Shooting percentage article after 3 games? This is a long time between games.
    With so much practice time, we should be able to kill penalties and score on the PP at will. 5v5 play suffers a bit without real competition.

    Our defensive schemes should be better as we practice filling the lanes. 10 games is always the first measuring stick. Let’s see where we stand in a so far weak Metro division, and where the PP & PK stand. I am guessing 5-3-2 after 10, so let’s win the next two!

  • Thanks – hoping the team comes out with some fire in their belly on Thursday. I know all this practice gets boring, but it is the best thing for a young team. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th lines need to begin to gel.

  • at his career sh%, Mika’s shot pace puts him on track for 39 goals – only needs to take 328 shots. that is at least in the realm of possibility.

    lies, damned lies, and statistics 🙂

  • Brooks was spot on about how this team doesn’t just lack north/south type of play. It also lacks west/east aka not skilled enough which is affecting the possession game.

    Defense is played in all three zones. neutral zone has been none existence ever since they traded away Zucc and Hayes. How many times would you see those two flying with the puck inside each zone? Tipping pucks to spring their lines into the o-zone. Winning board battles to either maintain possession for the next line etc.

    Playing with the puck below the dot is a rare sight for this team. Everyone besides Zib and Panarin really stink at that. Buch loses way to many board battles. He’s one of the only wingers who has the luxury to only worry about his lane when upon entering the zone. I’m already waiting for Kappo to get a new look for that line.

    I don’t have to be in the MSG crowd to see what’s working and what isn’t.

  • Ranger fans on the balcony already… Geezuzz Christmas, relax folks……Three games in and I am not going to criticize anyone just yet…

  • We will see how that goes. Howden might pass more than Strome, but probably plays less defense.

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