The Rangers are in a shooting slump; no more, no less
You’d think the Rangers are the worst team in the NHL if you based your opinion solely on the reactions following last night’s loss to the Islanders. Looking beyond the overreactions, the Rangers are in a shooting slump. No more. No less. Another 40+ shots on net, another great goalie effort, and another loss. This one hurt more because it was the Islanders, of course, but in the grand scheme of 82 games, it’s 1 loss in a shooting slump.
As Rob points out, the Rangers are simply not getting the same shooting success through 8 games this year that they did last year. Given the level of talent on this team, it’s a safe bet that they’d score more than twice on 87 shots through two games, with 38 of them being high danger chances, per Natural Stat Trick. Yet here we are, talking about a shutout to the Isles and Georgiev’s revenge game.
The Rangers are in a shooting slump, and it’s very evident to anyone watching these chances objectively. It’s tough, since we are all emotionally connected to the Rangers, and separating emotions from reactions and analysis is difficult. We are human, after all.
It’s funny, after all, since the Rangers last year couldn’t generate any level of sustained offense, yet the goals came in droves. Comparing the offense driving stats to the shooting rates from last year to this year, again through just 8 games, shows you all you need to know.
- 2021-2022 (full season)
- 5v5 xGF/60: 2.25
- 5v5 GF/60: 2.35
- 5v5 SH%: 8.58
- PP xGF/60: 8.51
- PP GF/60: 9.6
- PP SH%: 16.18
- 2022-2023 (8 games)
- 5v5 xGF/60: 2.96
- 5v5 GF/60: 2.19
- 5v5 SH%: 6.54
- PP xGF/60: 13.15
- PP GF/60: 7.16
- PP SH%: 8.57
The offense is creating a ton of chances, almost a full goal more than last year’s team. Given how thin last year’s team was, this makes sense. The difference is in the SH%, which is 2 full percentage points lower at 5v5 and almost HALF of what it was last year on the powerplay. HALF! Rangers are in a shooting slump. Period.
There is nothing about this team that makes you think it won’t get better over the next 74 games. For those who like math, that’s slightly over 90% of the season left to play.
So what’s wrong with the Rangers?
Nothing. Nothing is wrong with the Rangers aside from a slump and some injury issues. It’s still October, and there is no need to panic. Simply put, wait another month, and if the Rangers still can’t score, then we might have some problems. This team is still a buzzsaw, but one that might need to change to change out the blade.