Shawn’s Musings: Looking at the Rangers from a Statistical Perspective

Shawn here!

Every now and then, I’ll write stuff like I did about Brendan Smith. Other times, I’ll just come on here and write pieces that goes under the hood a bit, and will talk about how the Rangers are doing from a statistical perspective.

Either way, it’s a lot of fun to write and share insight about the team. Lets start, shall we?

The Rangers through 20 games so far this season sit at a record of 9-9-2, giving them 20 points through 20 games.

The Rangers hit a rough patch in the beginning of the season 3-7-2, before going on a 6 game winning streak that started October 31, against the Golden Knights before dropping their last two games to Chicago and Columbus.

What may have caused their tough October?

High Danger Goals Against

Looking at the site Natural Stat Trick, one thing that stood out to me was the amount of High Danger goals they gave up, one game in particular that stands out, was their 8-5 loss to Toronto the teams second game of the season where 4 of these goals were given up.

I know what you’re asking, what’s a high danger shot, what constitutes it? It’s a shot that is done from the faceoff dots in the teams defensive zone, the slot area if you will. These are shots that normally a goalie needs to react quickly, in order to make the save. To read more about this, check out this blog from Corisca Hockey.

Now what does this mean? Defensively the Rangers weren’t good. They weren’t protecting the slot area, causing Lundqvist to try and react quick to a shot, where he doesn’t have time to actually set himself. Through 17 starts, has given up 19 high danger goals, and if the Rangers defensively change their ways, he may be on his way to surpassing the 74 he gave up in the 2010-2011 season.

Possession Battle

Ah yes, the ever hated stat by this group, Corsi. This is a stat used to help us understand the possession battles, and to see how led the charge. In short it is used to calculate shots on goal, shots block and missed shots that you or your line mates attempt, or is attempted against you in a 5 on 5 situation.

Right now over the course of 20 games, the Rangers are sitting 20, as their Corsi sits 48.18%.

A lot of times, this stat is far misleading, as it fails to tell the whole picture, or the stat doesn’t match up what we saw on the ice.

For example, if you just went by Corsi alone, the Rangers should of easily defeated the following teams that they lost to in October: Colorado, St. Louis, New Jersey, Penguins, Islanders and Sharks.

The games against Montreal and Nashville, games where they were out possessed, yet won, according to Corsi, they should’ve lost.

This to me is why this stat is hard to trust its validity. It’s also why you should also rely on other means to understand the game, which leads me to my favorite stat.

The Eye Test

Ah, the good old eye test. As you can see. I’m big on using the stats that the hockey community has been nice to share with us. I am big on using those stats to understand what I’m viewing while watching and see if it correlates. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t.

Also, sometimes my eyes see something differently than say someone else on the site, or someone who is reading this post right now.

That’s the beauty of the game, and that’s the beauty of opinion, everyone has one, everyone has a right to have one. It just matters how you articulate your point, and here I hope I did a good enough job for everyone.

Feel free to comment below or lets have a conversation on Twitter: @shawntweets280.

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