FanPost

The Defense or The Goaltending?


With Marc Staal re-signed, and most of the site celebrating, I thought I'd pull up the numbers from our defense over the past few years. While Staal's being heralded as our "shut down" defenseman and Dan Girardi being rewarded to the tune of $3.25 mil a year, I wonder how much of this praise is being earned on the back of the guy who REALLY shuts down the teams best players, King Henrik.

Just to clarify, I don't think Staal's deal is horrible, but i would have rather seen us give him a short deal at a cheap price, and take our chances with the arbitrator in 2 years when we have alot more money open. Girardi's deal on the other hand, I think is totally nuts. I don't think it would have hurt to let him try his luck on the open market, and replace him with a more experienced, cheaper,  vet short term, knowing one of the prospects would pass him in the near future.

Anyway, I pulled up the Rangers stats over the past 5 years, giving us a good idea of our situation before Staal and Girardi, and with Hank between pipes. The chart below shows Hank's Shots Against and GAA ranks for each season. I also threw in our teams scoring rank for each season.

 

YEAR

SHOTS AGAINST

GAA

TEAM SCORING

2009-2010

3rd

8th

16th

2008-2009

3rd

11th

28th

2007-2008

10th

6th

25th

2006-2007

9th

8th

18th

2005-2006

15th

5th

14th

 

While Staal and Girardi have been "shutting down" our opponents the past two full seasons, Hank has found himself in the Top 3 for shots faced. At the same time, he's managed to stay in the Top 10 in GAA almost every season. The exception was 2008-2009, where he slipped to 11th. If we're defending so well, why is Hank doing all the work?

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