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OTG POLL

Where do you think the Rangers end up this year?

Best in NHL
Beast in East
Best in Metro
3-6 Playoff spot
Wildcard
Out of playoffs

Previous Polls
RUMOR MILL

Tuesday - October 19th

Per Elliot Friedman in his 32 thoughts column on Sporsnet, Gerard Gallant was the one that reached out to Vitali Kravtsov to ask him whether he would return. Certainly the Rangers could use some help in the top six right now with Ryan Strome in COVID protocol and Kaapo Kakko out in the short term.

Friedman says that Kravtsov doesn't really want to come back to New York, and that the Rangers price for a trade is high.

  MORE RUMORS...
 INJURY REPORT
Kaapo Kakko 10/16
Blocked a shot in the first period and did not return
 
Ryan Strome 10/15
Was placed in COVID protocol, and will not be available for the game against Montreal
 
  MORE INJURY NEWS...

Question Of The Day

August 19th, 2021

Earlier this year the Rangers won by a margin of nine goals as they beat the Flyers 9-0. How many times has the margin been bigger?

Answer...
SEPTEMBER 24TH, 2014
CAPTION THIS
Read the submissions so far and see if you can come up with the best caption for today's photo

Best Of:
2014-15 ~ 2013-14
2012-13 ~ 2011-12
2010-11 ~ 2009-10

  BIRTHDAYS

Zdeno Ciger - 1969

  SEARCH BIRTHDAYS
  RANDOM RANGER

EARL INGARFIELD
(1958-1967)
  Born: Oct 25 - 1934  
  Position: Center  
  Games Played: 527  
  Goals: 122  
  Assists: 142  
  Points: 264  
  Penalty Minutes: 187  
 
Antti Raanta will start in Boston


Time To Take This Show On The Road
Posted by Toby Ivey ≡ 3:12:29 PM - November 4, 2016

The Rangers are off to a flying 8-3-0 record, and are second in the league with 16 points.  They've won six of their last seven, and have dismantled some good teams in the process, including the Capitals, Lightning, Blues and the surprising Oilers last night.  In the process they've put together a 7-1-0 record at MSG, with the only a 2-1 defeat to the Detroit Red Wings.

By contrast the Blueshirts have only had to play three games on the road, with .  Their 1-2-0 record is identical to the Chicago Blackhawks, who along with the Rangers, have played the fewest road games of any team in the league.

The heavily weighted schedule has no doubt been a boon to the team early in the year.  MSG has become a tough place for opponents to win in the past three seasons, with New York posting a 59-22-9 record going back to the 2014-15 season.  On the road over the same period, they've been a respectable 48-30-7 though most of that was a result of their team record 28-11-2 in 2014-15.

With the schedule the way it is - only seven of the remaining thirtten games this month are on the road - the Rangers have a chance to continue to build momentum and avoid the slump that saw their fast start undone a year ago.

If you will recall, the Blueshirts raced out to a 16-3-2 record in their first twenty games, but finished out the calendar year with a 6-6-2 streak that undone much of their good work.  The change in pace ultimately pushed them into the middle of the playoff race, and a first round match-up against the red hot Penguins.

Certainly this year's team has a number of differences, most obviously lead by an offense that is firing on all cylinders.  The team leads the league with 4.09 goals per game, is generating three more shots per game than last season, and has a +20 goal differential, good enough for a share of the league lead with Montreal.  Note: 5 of the 45 goals scored were into an empty net, and excluding them would drop the average down to 3.63 a game, still healthy.

The ability for the team to score across the line-up has been a key component of the Rangers success, with no fewer than eight players on pace for 29 goals or more in the season.  Nine players are on pace for 60+ points this season, which would be unprecedented on the team.

And remarkably, there's still room for improvement.  Mika Zibanejad has just two goals in his first eleven games as a Ranger, and has had more than his share of near misses.  Derek Stepan has no goals yet, unusual for a consistent 20 goal scorer, and on the blueline only last year's maligned duo of Marc Staal and Dan Girardi have tallied for a total of three goals in the season to date.

Despite these inidividual areas, history tells us the overall pace is not sustainable, and with 39 of the remaining 71 games on the road, you'd expect some moderation to occur over the course of the season.

Which brings us to the defensive side of the equation.  Remarkably the Rangers sit fifth in the league in goals allowed, with just 2.27 goals given up each game, even while they've allowed three or more goals in five of the contest to date.  To put that into perspective, they allowed three or more in just five of the first twenty one games last season when you exclude shootout losses.

In two of those instances - against the Islanders and Sharks - the Rangers already had three goal leads and perhaps eased up a little allowing their opposition to add one or two bonus goals, while two others came against offensively gifted teams in the Capitals and Oilers.

Last year's hot start was largely backstopped by the performance of Henrik Lundqvist, who stopped an impressive 94.9% of the shots he faced, while allowing just 1.67 goals a game.  This year he's below his career average with just a 91.3% save percentage and a close to career average of 2.24 goals a game.

The difference is mostly a direct reflection of the way Lundqvist is playing, and if the offense should drop off, it would become an area of concern.  That's not to say it's all on Lundqvist, the Rangers have depressed the shot count from 30.4 last year to 26.6 this year, ranking them fourth in the NHL, which often has the effect of hurting a goalie's save percentage.  They're also generating more offensive pressure in the oppoition zone, with a three shot improvement the other way, keeping the puck out of the defensive zone for longer periods.

Add to that, a league leading fewest penalty minutes per game - 6:38 - which is almost two minutes fewer per game, and a forward unit that is better committed to coming back, and the Rangers are finding a way to get the job done.

There's little question that the Rangers - and Lundqvist - will be looking for improvements as the ratio of road games increases.  The pressure will increase on the road to play more conservatively to counter the modest advantages that a home team has.

If Lundqvist, and Raanta to a lesser extent, can ramp up the goaltending, then the team has an insurance policy that can sustain themr through the inevitable return to a more sustainable scoring level.  Lundqvist has done it before, but at 34 years old, it's getting to the time of his career when people start wondering how much longer he can be an elite goaltender.

The Rangers depth on offense has relieved the pressure early on, and may yet represent his best chance at the elusive title he came to North America to secure.



Profile of the Author:
Has been an active follower of the New York Rangers since the 1996-97 season. Began OutsideTheGarden.com in 2001, and has continued to collect data and provide analysis on the team through to the current day.

 Additional stories from Toby Ivey:


YOUR COMMENTS

 
October 18th, 2021
AIR CANADA CENTRE
  1 2 3 O T
1 0 0 1 2
0 1 0 0 1
FIRST PERIOD: 1. NYR Zibanejad (unassisted) NYR 1-0    SECOND PERIOD: 2. TOR Bunting (Rielly,Tavares) Tied 1-1    OVERTIME: 3. NYR Panarin (Zibanejad) NYR 2-1   
Boxscore Game Thread
  HEADLINES
OCTOBER 19
Five thoughts on the NY Rangers as they prepare for game No. 5
Carpiniello: Igor Shesterkin is bailing out the Rangers so far, but that...
Inside the Rangers-Vitali Kravtsov divorce: Why they can't make it work,...
Despite winning, lineup choices and ice time not adding up for Rangers
First goal of season a big one for Rangers winger
OCTOBER 18
Rangers snag two points in Toronto thanks to star's Herculean effort
Igor makes 40 saves, Panarin scores in OT as Rangers top Leafs
Facing Leafs a welcome change for Rangers
Rangers coach Gallant gives Rooney big thumbs up
Rangers projected lineup: Artemi Panarin finding his shot is key
More news...
  NEXT GAMES
Thursday Oct 21st
8:00pm - Road

Saturday Oct 23rd
1:00pm - Road

Monday Oct 25th
7:00pm - Home

Friday Oct 29th
7:00pm - Home

Sunday Oct 31st
9:00pm - Road

Tuesday Nov 2nd
10:00pm - Road

Friday Nov 5th
9:00pm - Road

Complete Schedule
  CALENDAR
Oct 31   First Ranger game in Seattle
Jan 1   2022 NHL Winter Classic
Jan 28   Lundqvist Number Retirement
Jan 30   First home game against Seattle
Feb 4   NHL All Star Skills Competition
 More important dates...
  STANDINGS
  Team GP W L OT Pts  
  Panthers 3 3 0 0 6  
  Sabres 3 3 0 0 6  
  Penguins 4 2 0 2 6  
  Red Wings 3 2 0 1 5  
  Capitals 3 2 0 1 5  
  Maple Leafs 4 2 1 1 5  
  Rangers 4 2 1 1 5  
  Hurricanes 2 2 0 0 4  
  Devils 2 2 0 0 4  
  Senators 3 2 1 0 4  
  Blue Jackets 3 2 1 0 4  
  Lightning 4 2 2 0 4  
  Flyers 2 1 0 1 3  
  Bruins 1 1 0 0 2  
  Islanders 3 1 2 0 2  
  Canadiens 4 0 4 0 0  
FULL STANDINGS

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