New York Rangers have more balanced scoring than you think but rely too heavily on Kreider

chris kreider
Nov 5, 2021; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider (20) skates against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

As the New York Rangers work on decreasing the amount of shots they give up in the slot area, they’re also working on getting more shots themselves.

There’s been a lot of emphasis this season on needing more scoring from players like Kaapo Kakko, Alexis Lafrenière and Filip Chytil. The truth is, that would be great but the Rangers are actually getting balanced scoring in comparison to a lot of top teams in the NHL.

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New York Rangers actually have balanced scoring

This morning while working on the recaps for The Daily Goal a wild fact came to light. When Ondrej Kase scored for the Maple Leafs, it broke a streak of 16 straight goals scored by either Auston Matthews, William Nylander, John Tavares, or Mitch Marner.

Talk about top heavy.

I decided to dive in and look at the New York Rangers top four forwards to see how they compared with other teams that were also near the top of their divisions.

MetroHurricanes1st (20 pts)43% (Svechnikov 7, Aho 5, Trotchek 3, Teravainen 3)
MetroRangers2nd (17 pts)51% (Kreider 9, Zibanejad 4, Panarin 2, Strome 2)
MetroCapitals3rd (16 pts)53% (Ovechkin 11, Kuznetsov 5, Oshie 4, Wilson 3)
AtlanticPanthers1st (21 pts)42% (Barkov 8, Duclair 8, Huberdeau 3, Verhaeghe 3)
AtlanticMaple Leafs2nd (17 pts)61% (Tavares 7, Nylander 7, Matthews 5, Marner 3)
PacificOilers1st (18 pts)71% (Draisaitl 10, McDavid 9, Hyman 7, Puljujarvi 6)
CentralWild1st (18 pts)39% (Eriksson Ek 5, Foligno 5, Kaprizov 3, Zuccarello 3)
Stats utilized from

When looking at some of the division leaders, the Rangers Top 4 represent 51% of all goals scored for their team. That’s a stark contrast from the Oilers who rely so heavily on their top guys to produce 71% of the time. Same can be said for the Maple Leafs in at 61%. So if you can shut down the top guys, or they have a bad night you could be in line for a win.

Now look at the two best teams in the NHL, the Panthers and Hurricanes. You can see that they are relatively close in their reliance on the same guys to score. Florida is at 42% and Carolina is at 43% getting goals from a variety of sources.

Finally, the Central division leaders are by far the most balanced team with 17 players having at least 1 goal. Their top four have accounted for 39% of all goals, with guys like Kevin Fiala likely being interchangeable with Mats Zuccarello.

Rangers rely too heavily on Chris Kreider

chris kreider
Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

While there is a lot of emphasis on Igor Shesterkin’s importance to the team, and rightfully so, Chris Kreider’s hot start can’t be ignored. He leads the Rangers with 9 tallies which is tied for 3rd in the NHL, and his 6 PPG are tops in the League.

Here’s a look at each teams’ top scorer GoalShare%

  • NYR – Chris Kreider 27%
  • WSH – Alex Ovechkin 26%
  • EDM – Leon Draisaitl 21%
  • TOR – William Nylander 19%
  • CAR – Andrei Svechnikov 17%
  • FLA – Aleksander Barkov 15%
  • MIN – Marcus Foligno 12%

The New York Rangers are 7-3-3 on the season. Chris Kreider has scored in 8 of those 13 contests. In games where Kreider scores a goal the team is 5-1-2.

Basically, stop Kreider and you likely stop the Rangers.

When you view the Blueshirts through that lens, you realize the need for more balanced scoring. However, that can simply come by Panarin and Strome filling the back of the net more. If they do so, the Rangers become a “harder” team to play against that way too.

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Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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