The well below average performance from October are a distant memory now, with the team won 9 of 11 games in November. From a scoring chances perspective, the New York Rangers performed more like they did last year, producing 15 scoring chances at even strength and taking 51% of the chances in total. The complete data for the month is shown below:
|EVF||EVA||EV +/-||EV Time||EVF/60||EVA/60||DIFF|
|PPF||PPA||PP +/-||PP Time||PPF/60||PPA/60||DIFF|
|SHF||SHA||SH +/-||SH Time||SHF/60
*Data does not reflect the 5v3 situations
The power play showed their first signs of life this season, producing a record high in scoring chance rates (at least for the modest year plus that I have tracked.) Unfortunately, it also came with a record low is chance prevention on the penalty kill. The +3 on special teams is still a 16 chance improvement over October, which combined with the marked improvement at even strength, helps explain why the team has been able to make a run.
After the jump, the skaters' data.
|EVF||EVA||EV Time||EVF/15||EVA/15||PPF||PPA||PP Time||PPF/15||PPA/15||SHF||SHA||SH Time||SHF/15||SHA/15|
*Table is sortable by clicking the column headers
Forwards Head to Head TOI
Forwards Head To Head SCDiff/15
Click charts to enlarge
The Good: Marian Gaborik (+23), Derek Stepan (+18), Artem Anisimov (+15)
The three leaders for the month are of course the three members of the GAS line. Not only were they head and shoulders above the rest of the team, as you see above, they were able to out chance regardless of their opponent. The value of this line can't be overstated, especially when we take a look at the next group. Before we get to them though, it's worth mentioning the play of rookie Carl Hagelin. Although he played only 33 minutes in the month, his +5 is the next best on the team. Although not quite ready to play the toughs, he and linemate John Mitchell have done an excellent job of feasting on other teams' bottom six players.
The Bad: Erik Christensen (-14), Brad Richards (-13), Ruslan Fedotenko (-13)
Everyone's favorite whipping boy had an atrocious month, with the team allowing almost 2 full chances more per 15 minutes with him on the ice. It was no wonder that he found himself taking advantage of free dining during the games. The other two names may come as a surprise with the team playing so well, but it's nothing that comes unexpected. As mentioned in the offseason and reiterated in October, Brad Richards and even strength play don't mix that well. That is still especially true with power v power matchups, which is generally how coach John Tortorella operates.
Checking in on the defense:
|EVF||EVA||EV Time||EVF/20||EVA/20||PPF||PPA||PP Time||PPF/20||PPA/20||SHF||SHA||SH Time||SHF/20||SHA/20|
Defensemen Head to Head TOI
Defensemen Head to Head SCDIFF/20
Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh continue to do the heavy lifting with the injury to Marc Staal, and they continue to come out negative as a result. After getting about 2 minutes for every minute other pairs played against the top lines, that ratio went up to near 4 to 1 in November. Their play did improve from October, where now they are almost breaking even with the toughs. Michael Sauer, who was arguably their best defensemen in October, had a rougher month this time around. While still overall positive, the 2nd pair of he and Michael Del Zotto struggled to contain the other team's top line.
The bottom pair of Steve Eminger and Jeff Woywitka had a fairly solid month across the board. While they play a much lower event style of hockey than the top 4, they still come out positive here. That's all you can ask for from a group counted on to play just 8-10 minutes a night.
Overall, it was a solid month for the Rangers. With two more wins in the books so far in December, hopefully they can continue to build on this success.