Rangers must learn recipe for success from recent Cup winners
The NHL’s offseason has officially begun with the Washington Capitals defeating the Vegas Golden Knights in 5 games for the Stanley Cup. While all teams are now fully focused on the draft and the upcoming Free Agent Frenzy, the Rangers must come to grips with finding a way to obtain what they so desperately need…high end offensive talent up front.
In the Playoffs Scoring is Harder
Over the last 10 seasons, only Boston and Washington have interrupted multiple championships by Chicago (3), Pittsburgh (3) and LA (2). However, the common denominator for all 10 Stanley Cup winners is they outperformed the average goals per game in the playoffs and many did so by a wide margin. All, save for Boston to a degree have elite offensive talent up front.
Why does having an Alex Ovechkin, who finished these playoffs with 15 goals matter? Because in 7 of the last 10 playoffs, scoring from the regular season goes down. Here is a visual break down to make it easy to see.
The eventual Stanley Cup Champions (Green Line) in all but two years, crushed the playoff average goal per game scoring (Red Line). Scoring matters because the games get tighter, goalies get better, and coaches can focus strategies to an opponent because it’s a 7 game series. Having elite offensive talent like Ovi, Crosby, Malkin, Kane, Toews, Carter, and Kopitar makes a big difference.
Why the Rangers Fail
In the chart above it’s painfully obvious that the Rangers (Blue Line) come playoffs, DO NOT SCORE. The only time they were clicking offensively was last season, but sadly couldn’t keep the puck out of their own net. Otherwise, they don’t even come close to meeting the playoff scoring average for those years.
Simply put, the Rangers have spent the last decade scoring well during the regular season but become completely stifled in the post season. Let’s be fair though, who have the Rangers had that compares to the names I’ve mentioned above? Rick Nash? Unfortunately he is a good regular season performer but almost always was hard to find in the playoffs. Martin St. Louis and Brad Richards were great but way past their prime when they got here. Or how about Marian Gaborik? Sadly, he was basically the lone offensive threat on most nights and saw double coverage in the 2011 ECF loss to NJ.
It’s time the Rangers understand that this league isn’t built on elite goaltending and defense. That’s in essence who they were under Tortorella and Alain Vigneault. Jeff Gorton has to find elite offensive talent, whether through the draft, free agency and/or trades. The Rangers can’t win the Cup as currently constituted.
The Rangers must learn the lesson that has now been prominently displayed for a decade in the NHL. Offense wins Stanley Cups. Now it’s up to Jeff Gorton to go find it.
Note: Years NYR did not qualify for the post season show as 0.