New York Rangers success still starts from the net on out

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Rangers
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers offense has been clicking.

During their current four-game winning streak they’ve scored at least four goals in each contest. In total, they’ve outscored their opponents 22-5 registering two shutouts along the way. Additionally, the Rangers haven’t allowed more than three goals in any match during their seven-game point streak (6-0-1).

The Blueshirts became the sixth team in history to record back-to-back shutouts while scoring at least six goals this weekend beating the Pittsburgh Penguins (6-0) and Nashville Predators (7-0).

Per NHL Stats:

  • 1958-59 Canadiens (2 GP from Feb. 19-21, 1959)
  • 1970-71 Bruins (2 GP from March 2-4, 1971)
  • 1972-73 Rangers (3 GP from Feb. 4-10, 1973)
  • 1975-76 Canadiens (2 GP from Dec. 29 1975 – Jan. 3, 1976)
  • 1977-78 Flyers (2 GP from Oct. 16-20, 1977)

New York Rangers success starts in net

New York Rangers
James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the New York Rangers recent offensive surge, goaltending remains the key to their longterm success.

It’s important to stress that prior to the Blueshirts bonanza of goals in the last two games, both Igor Shesterkin and Jaroslav Halak made several huge saves in the opening minutes of the first period to keep it scoreless.

Shesterkin in particular has been red-hot since a 4-2 loss to the Boston Bruins on March 4. From March 9 to date, he’s 5-0-0 with a 1.76 GAA, .942 save percentage, and a shutout.

“I miss that taste (of a shutout),” said Shesterkin after beating the Penguins on Saturday. “I’m so happy right now.”

Meanwhile, Halak was riding a five-game losing streak (0-3-2) before posting his first shutout of the season against the Predators on Sunday.

“We want to finish strong and it’s good to see the guys building chemistry before the playoffs,” Halak said. “It was teamwork for 60 minutes.”

Ultimately, this Rangers’ fortunes in the postseason will rely on their net minding and if this recent stretch is any indication, things are looking up.

Once again, beginning with team’s win in Montreal on March 9, the Blueshirts goaltending stats are as follows:

  • 6-0-1 (ranked 1st)
  • Points%: .929 (1st)
  • SV%: .943 (1st)
  • GAA: 1.71 (2nd)
  • 5v5 SV%: .951 (2nd)

The ability to score will be crucial for the Rangers once the intensity, physicality, and defensive play picks up in the playoffs. However, it will be the goalies’ ability to make clutch saves that will be the difference for teams looking to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup high overhead in the summer.

-Stats via NHL.com

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