Wrapping up the point projections leaves us with the Defense and a look at overall Team Scoring. The following list was longer at one point but with recent cuts it has shortened up a bit. The good thing about the Ranger defense is that the majority of it is young and on the rise. Throw in a few veterans and it looks like a pretty consistent group. Time will tell, as usual. Once again, a note from part I before the fun:
I discovered point projection techniques about two years ago via the always amazing behindthenet.com (a must-read SB Nation side if you like to have numbers on your side), and through my research and use of the league translations for fantasy hockey I can say personally that the numbers prove more right than wrong most of the time. At the same time, I'm also a believer that these numbers are still developing in hockey and that a good sense of the game can allow one to tweak the projections when necessary. Below are my projections with a 6 point range for each player and it also should be noted that the point ranges are based on 82 games played. By totaling the points and discounting said number for injuries, we can also take a stab at the Rangers final goals per game number - which in general is one way to rank an offense within the league.
Off we go:
Better than 09/10: Marc Staal, Michael Del Zotto, and Dan Girardi
Although MDZ is prone to a sophomore slump like every successful rookie, I don't think it will happen for the most part. He will probably see his power-play time increase, and with a full year (80 games) under his belt his decision making in his own end should get better. Marc Staal will continue to be Marc Staal and will most likely break the 30 point barrier this season. Girardi will be 26 - the magic age for stats as I've said before - so I'd like to think he will get a bump up despite consistency questions.
Same-ish as 09-10: The rest of the D-core (I just noticed I spelled Rozi's name wrong on the chart - oops)
That's why I like looking at the D-man lineup: I don't see anyone on the heavy downslide (now that Redden is gone). There are only two of the non-highlighted players above that could see a drop in production; Rozsival and Gilroy. I don't think Rozsival will see a drop because he'll be playing second-line d-pair minutes with a "theoretically" better offense. Gilroy, on the other hand, benefits from getting his rookie campaign out of the way and is 26 as well (although I think his 11/12 campaign will out-do this season). Eminger has a little offensive ability but zero expectations and the same should go for McDonagh seeing that he has a clean slate. Defense wins championships, right?
So with each player having a personal projection I decided to take it a step further. By totaling all the points and assuming that most goals are scored with a goal and two assists we can get a (very) rough outlook at the teams total scoring. By carrying 16 forwards and 7 defensemen (I excluded Sauer and Valetenko on D - Eminger would be my pick), that gives us our 23-man maximum active roster. By discounting the point total by 10 percent for injuries we get a grand total of 706 points (the 10 percent is my opinion but is based off of this article). Divide the 706 by 82 and that answer (8.60...) by 3 for each point and you get 2.87 projected goals per game for the Rangers this season. How does this stack up to the past? That's what excel was created for:
As you can see, the Rangers would be above last years Goals per Game average and well above their last three seasons played as a club. As I noted before, this is a very raw look at the numbers, but it that proves what everyone is thinking: the Blueshirts offense does look better on paper than last season.
With that, let's hear it in the comments and I thank you for reading. Like I said before, we will revisit these to see how good and bad I made out. Have a good weekend as I'll be in Toronto at the Hockey Hall of Fame for my Canadian Studies class (no joke!).