Rangers Roundup: Blueshirts clutch stats, Drafting Braden Schneider, and more

new york rangers
Jan 15, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) and left wing Chris Kreider (20) celebrate win against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

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The New York Rangers have 25 wins and 54 points which is good for first in the Metro Division and second overall in the NHL. However, the analytics community just can’t fathom why the Rangers are so good.

Most analysis leads them to summarize the team’s success to outstanding goaltending and good special teams. That’s because the Blueshirts struggle to score enough 5 on 5. Plus, their possession stats includes a league worst 44.2 CF%.

So what is the secret to their success beyond goaltending and special teams? Simply put, being clutch.

New York Rangers clutch stats

The Blueshirts went into the third period last night tied. They then found themselves down by one midway through. Despite an almost six hour flight from California, and at the tail end of a five game road trip, they summoned the intestinal fortitude to pull out a win.

Here’s some clutch stats to explain the Rangers rise to the top:

  • 12 wins by a one goal margin (12-3-4)
  • 11-0-1 when tied after two periods
  • 13-1-3 when leading are two periods
  • 11 comeback victories (tied for 4th in the NHL)

Finding ways to win consistently is not something that can always be easily quantified. The Rangers have been gutsy all season and are probably leading in that intangible stat.

Drafting Braden Schneider

Braden Schneider
Schneider speaks at Development Camp (Youtube/NYR)

Rookie defenseman Braden Schneider played in his second NHL game in Philadelphia. So far through two contest, the 20 year-old has looked solid with one goal on four shots, +1 rating, six hits, and two blocks. All while averaging a solid 13:50.

“In my opinion he plays the game the right way,” Jacob Trouba said.

Schneider scored his first career goal at 1:27 of the second period against San Jose, taking a pass from Ryan Strome in the high slot and putting a wrister past a screened Hill.

“Having my parents and my girlfriend at the game was the most special part about me scoring my first goal,” he said.

The 6-2, 202 lbs defenseman is a physical presence on the blue-line that likes to hit hard and often. He was drafted by the Rangers in the first round of the 2020 NHL Draft. New York moved up to select him 19th overall by exchanging their first round pick (22nd overall) and a third round selection with Calgary.

A lot credit needs to go Chris Morehouse, the Rangers Director of North American Scouting. Forever Blueshirts has learned he pushed hard for then GM Jeff Gorton to trade up to ensure his selection.

So much so, that Gorton admitted to Schneider they tried trading up several times to land him.

“I was in the right place at the right time and I couldn’t have drawn it up any better myself,” Schneider said after his first game. “The whole day, I was quite jittery, I couldn’t sit still, my nap wasn’t too great. I came to the rink, it was the same thing with nerves.”

If that’s how the kid plays with jitters, how good will he be when he’s completely comfortable?

Trouba was asked yesterday about the similarities between he and Schneider, both physical right handed defensemen, and if he could help him develop.

“Yeah! Until he takes my job and then we’ve got issues,” Trouba laughed. “There’s definitely a little similarity. Just the attitude he brings to the game. He’s young and has a bright future.”

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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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