What shot data indicates for Pavel Buchnevich and other NYR

Buchnevich ready to score? (USATSI)

Buchnevich ready to score? (USATSI)

While Jimmy Vesey lights up Broadway, highly touted rookie Pavel Buchnevich has yet to score his first NHL goal.

The 21 year old from Russia has only played 5 of the Rangers 1st 10 due to back spasms. Those back issue are likely due to the extra weight he put on in a short period to bulk up for the season. Even though he has missed 5 games, he has looked real strong in his last three.

Still, Rangers fans are itching to celebrate his first goal of the season.

NYR Shot Data
NYR Shot Data thru 10 games (FTNYR)

NYR Shot Data thru 10 games (FTNYR)

Want to know why Chris Kreider is such a beast this year? Not only does he lead the team in average shot attempts per game at 6.5 (SAtt/gm), he also has a high percentage of getting shots through at 71.8 (Thru%). Only Oscar Lindberg is higher at 75, and we will discuss him later.

What Buchnevich needs to do is keep firing the puck and get to the net. If you notice, he is tied for 4th with Mats Zuccarello in shot attempts per game at 3.8. Alain Vigneault has never given him less than 20 shifts per game so he will get his chances. All the signs are lining up for him to breakthrough and soon. The key? Get more shots through.

What Else Does This Data Tell Us
NYR Fwd Shot Chart (FTNYR)

NYR Fwd Shot Chart (FTNYR)

The shot data clearly shows that if Buchnevich could get his Thru% up, goals will come. It also shows good news for one Ranger and bad news for another.

Brandon Pirri has enjoyed success early with the Rangers, but he has an alarmingly low Thru%. So I wouldn’t be surprised to see him stuck at 4 goals until he can find a way to get more shots on the net.

On the opposite side, Oscar Lindberg could start scoring if he would just shoot more. Lindberg in limited action this year (4 games) has shown a keen ability to get pucks on net. There is no such thing as a bad shot, because anything can happen. When he can get back into the lineup he should just fire away.

Shot Data and the Defense
NYR Shot Data D thru 10 games (FTNYR)

NYR Shot Data D thru 10 games (FTNYR)

To their credit, the Rangers defense is getting a good amount of shots through. Kevin Klein is leading the way, but look at Dan Girardi who has done a good job in that category. Girardi leads the Rangers D with 2 goals. Marc Staal is the only other Rangers defensemen with a goal.

You have to believe that sooner rather than later, Ryan McDonagh and Kevin Klein will breakthrough based on their Thru%. McDonagh in particular is probably dealing with bad luck as his SATT per game is really high.

Is This Why Clendening was benched?
NYR Def Shot Chart (FTNYR)

NYR Def Shot Chart (FTNYR)

When you look at the data this way, Adam Clendening‘s inability to get shots through, is likely a big reason why he was benched. He is second only to McDonagh in shot attempts which exacerbates the problem.

Some might point out that Holden is just as bad but still playing. Certainly, Nick Holden needs to do a better job, but he is regarded as a defensive blue liner. It is simple, if Clendening gets another opportunity he has to do much better than 25% on his through shots.

Bold Prediction

One last thing before I go…I’m on public record with this.

 

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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