At the Christmas Break the Rangers are on pace for a lot more overtime and shootout games

Lundqvist (Robert Sabo/NYPost)

The Rangers lost in a shootout last night bringing their record to 15-14-6. It was the 12th time in 35 games this season that the Blueshirts needed more than 60 minutes to decide a game. Yes folks, 34% of all their games need OT or a shootout and is pretty indicative of who they are and what we expected this year. At this rate the Rangers are on pace to have 27 games go into the extra session or shootout.

Looking Back at previous seasons

Last season (the year the rebuild was announced) the Rangers needed OT 18 times to get a decision (21.9%). That team had players like Rick Nash, Michael Grabner, and Ryan McDonagh for most of the season but it was a sign the Rangers were just no longer good enough to beat teams in regulation.

In contrast, the previous season 2016-17 where the Rangers finished with 102 points only needed OT 14 times (17%). Going back a little further in 2015-16 it was 19.5% and in 2014-15 it was 20% (the year they won the Presidents Trophy).

A good but not very good team
Anthony J. Causi

Now needing to go into OT or a shootout during the regular season isn’t a definitive marker of a good or bad team. But looking at the Rangers over the last several years, you can see this young squad has trouble holding leads or putting teams away and it reflects in their overall record.

At the Christmas break the Rangers are actually lucky to be a game over .500 if we are being honest. They rank 26th in the NHL with 97 goals for and 21st in goals against with 113. Yet somehow Henrik Lundqvist has a 10-9-6 record with a 2.83 GAA and save percentage of .915. Anyone want to embarrass themselves by saying he is washed up again?

The Rangers lead the NHL with 5 Shoot Out Wins and are 6-6 when going past regulation. Their only OT win came in October when Brady Skjei beat San Jose for the 1st win of the year. An even record in the OT session is a pretty fair representation of this team as well.

What does this mean for the rebuild?

Being one game over .500 almost halfway through the year is pretty indicative of who they are right now. When the season ends, I wouldn’t be surprised if they finish a few games over or under .500.

So what does this mean for the rebuild? It likely means they will miss the playoffs but be nowhere near low enough in the standings to land Jack Hughes with the first overall pick. Sadly, this isn’t going to speed up the process of getting back into serious Cup contention.

While it’s great for the current young players here to be in competitive hockey games night in and night out, it isn’t going to land them the franchise star that has eluded this team since Brian Leetch. This will also probably put an unfair amount of pressure on Lias Andersson, Filip Chytil and soon to come, Vitali Kravtsov.

Their next game comes on Thursday against the Columbus Blue Jackets at MSG. Expect another competitive game from this hard working group and possibly even more overtime…or a shootout.

Merry Christmas Forever Blueshirts Community!

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

Mentioned in this article:

More About: