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Projecting Stats - Why you should feel good about next year, why Torts had to go, and why Pouliot is a steal

I posted a couple of these during the season to put some stats behind arguments people were making either for or against the Rangers this year. It's based on a pretty simple analysis of projecting a player's point totals as if they played a full 82 games during the 2012-2013 season and the 2011-2012 season. For comparison I did this with 4 "teams", each team comprises the top twelve point scorers for each squad, and the top six defenders.

Team A - Pre-Nash trade

Team B - Post-Nash Trade

Team C - Post-Gaborik Trade

Team D - Team as of now (assuming Stepan and Zucc sign)

The stats aren't exactly perfect, the reality of a full season is not quite the same as projecting games played to points, but I thunk it's still interesting to look at when hockey isn't around to actually watch. And obviously, a lot of the individual players scored points for different teams, so take it for what its worth. A couple of notes, Staal was removed because his projected totals made the 2012-2013 totals somewhat inflated (if you want to do the math, he was projected to get 43 points in 2012/13, only 9 in 2011/12, but both season totals were affected by injuries). Also where a player only had one season point totals I applied their totals to both years, as they were generally low, but zero points threw off the comparison.

First off, point totals* worst to first:

8. Team B - Post-Nash Trade 2012-2013 (532 total points)

7. Team A - Pre-Nash trade 2012-2013 (600 total points)

6. Team B - Post-Nash Trade 2011-2012 (605 total points)

5. Team C - Post-Gaborik Trade 2012-2013 (605 total points)

4. Team A - Pre-Nash trade 2011-2012 (609 total points)

3. Team D - Team as of now 2011-2012 (618 Total points)

2. Team C - Post-Gaborik Trade 2011-2012 (625 Total Points)

1. Team D - Team as of now 2012-2013 (632 Total Points)

So,

Point #1) Why you should feel good about next year

Clearly finishing with the most points is ideal, but there are a few more positives. The team as of now is the only one to have more points in the 2011/12 than the 2012/13 season. So upwards projection is nice, and that includes a few guys who have the potential to do better (Richards and Boyle might bounce back to prior performances, Kreider hopefully can develop into more than an 11 point scorer). And there is more depth outside of the lineup to cover injuries.

So what went wrong, that brings me to ...

Point #2) Why Torts had to go

Maybe I'm wrong to blame Torteralla here, but performances this season were way down. Outside of Nash, Stepan, and Staal, the players on the team at the start of this season were on pace for 117 less points than the previous season (outside of Kreider and Miller who don't factor into the reduced scoring).

Players who left the Rangers (Anisimov, Dubinski, Prust, Mitchell, and Fedotenko) were on pace to score 53 more points than the previous season. Outside of Nash, players added to the Rangers (Pyatt, Asham, and Powe) were on pace to score 30 less points than the previous season.

In my opinion, team strategies (especially one's like Tortella's that require team buy in) are effective in waves. Outside of a few individual performances, the Rangers were definitely on a downswing.

Point #3) Why Pouliot is a steal

Just a side note, at 1.3 million Pouliot seems to be a great signing. As of now, his projected point total would have been 6th on the team (even while playing a third line role in Tampa). His total was on pace to beat Gaborik, Hagelin, and Clowe (even higher than the combined total of Boyle, Miller, Kreider, Asham, and Powe). He's got some size at 6'3 and had the best +/- on the Lightning. Should be a very solid addition to the bottom 6 at a very cheap price tag.

And one random stat:

Best projected season point total for either 2011/12 or 2012/13: Rick Nash (who was on pace to beat Gaborik's 2011/12 season by 1 point)

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