Is a Barclay Goodrow rotation needed?

This Barclay Goodrow report card takes his career highs and ever changing role into account, perhaps more than his season long numbers. Goodrow has been and will continue to be a lightning rod for the Rangers fan base, entirely due to his contract. His contract isn’t his fault, and it isn’t necessarily the cap hit that’s bothersome, it’s the six years. In Year 1, Goodrow set career highs in goals (13), assists (20), and points (33) while playing everywhere in the lineup.

Miscast as top six winger?

Goodrow set career highs on the score sheet, but there were always doubts as to whether or not he belonged in the top six. Goodrow got 120 minutes with Artemiy Panarin and Ryan Strome, with relatively solid puck possession metrics at over 50% in both CF% and xGF%, and a +3 goal differential at even strength. That’s…..surprising.

Where the issue came up was his 80 minutes with Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider. Goodrow did not mesh well with the bromance, with a sub-40 CF% and a 43% expected goals share. They did have a +2 goal differential at even strength, which is nice, but that’s more shooting skill (Zibanejad) and goaltending (Igor Shesterkin) than the line itself.

Despite the results, Goodrow is probably miscast as a permanent member of the top six, but it’s mostly due to roster construction than Goodrow himself. You want Goodrow down in the lineup a bit as a bottom six player. His skill set meshed well with Panarin and Strome because he plays a somewhat similar style to Jesper Fast and does the dirty work for that duo to excel in the middle of the ice.

Overall fine, but room for improvement

Goodrow is the type of player you want on your team if you have playoff ambitions like the Rangers. There’s a reason why Gerard Gallant hid his playoff return from the team, and you can tell it gave them a boost when he returned. You can’t quantify that, and these players are human after all. They got a nice jump from him being in the lineup.

That said, ideally these numbers improve. Goodrow’s 120 minutes with Panarin and Strome were his only 120 minutes at a net-positive in puck possession. Most of that is due to the makeup of the roster until the trade deadline, as the bottom six was a disaster. There’s only so much a guy can do when the 15F is getting regular minutes.

For what it’s worth, once the roster was stabilized, Goodrow put up 50% splits in CF% and xGF%, so he was just fine once the Chris Drury addressed the roster. Goodrow is a fine bottom six player, and it speaks to roster construction when he’s able to stay in the bottom six. The ideal 2022-2023 Rangers roster has him as the 4C, which again outside of the contract, few will be upset with that.

Overall, Goodrow was fine this season. He can play somewhat effectively anywhere in the lineup, and it’s clear he gives the Rangers a boost. He won’t finish out the full six years in New York, but that’s a topic for another day.

Grade: B

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