As a refresher, here is the formula for Game Score.
Player Game Score = (0.75 * G) + (0.7 * A1) + (0.55 * A2) + (0.075 * SOG) + (0.05 * BLK) + (0.15 * PD) – (0.15 * PT) + (0.01 * FOW) – (0.01 * FOL) + (0.05 * CF) – (0.05 * CA) + (0.15 * GF) – (0.15* GA)
Goalie Game Score = (-0.75 * GA) + (0.1 * SV)
It should be noted that Corsi and Goal stats are 5v5 adjusted, and all other stats include all situations. Per game represents average Game Score per game which is calculated by taking Total Game Score and dividing it by number of games played.
It wasn’t a great stretch for the Rangers as it featured two three-game losing streaks, and they just barely got by the team at the bottom of the standings, the Arizona Coyotes. As the stretch went on, more was revealed about the team and some questions were also answered. With that said, here’s the chart of results.
Good: Kevin Hayes and Rick Nash
Fine: Henrik Lundqvist, Ryan McDonagh, Michael Grabner, Tony DeAngelo, Mika Zibanejad, Pavel Buchnevich, Mats Zuccarello, J.T. Miller, Peter Holland, Brendan Smith
Poor: David Desharnais, Jimmy Vesey, Nick Holden, Paul Carey, Vinni Lettieri, Jesper Fast, Marc Staal, Ondrej Pavelec, Brady Skjei, Kevin Shattenkirk, Steven Kampfer, Boo Nieves
Awful: Daniel Catenacci
1.) Rick Nash Has Found His Groove Again
Nash’s name has been in the news recently because the Rangers are gauging the market in an attempt to trade him.
They are doing so at a time in which Nash is playing some of his best hockey of the season; he finished this stretch with six goals and two assists for eight points in 10 games. In addition to offensive success, Nash was one of the few players that wasn’t shelled in the possession game as he finished with a respectable -1 Corsi differential.
The Nash situation is a tricky one because he loves the city, and there’s even talks that he could return to the team in the summer as a free agent.
ICYMI - Will Rick Nash be traded by #NYR and if he does will he re-sign with them in the summer? @FriedgeHNIC joined @LaughlinSXM and @realPOSULLIVAN to discuss that and more on the Power Play! https://t.co/wfTrWX7QZT— SiriusXM NHL Network (@SiriusXMNHL) February 5, 2018
At this point, both Nash and the Rangers understand the business element at work here. The Rangers aren’t going anywhere and Nash is a valuable commodity. If in fact Nash does return to the Rangers as a free agent, it is in his best interest to accept a trade somewhere that gives the team a good return. Doing so would strengthen the franchise and help speed up the rebuild process which helps give Nash the opportunity to actualize his dream of winning a Stanley Cup with the Rangers.
2.) We Now Know Why Kevin Shattenkirk Was Struggling
Five hundred and eighty two words were written about Shattenkirk in my recap of Games 31 through 40 trying to understand what was wrong with him. I looked at his hot start and how things tapered off to the point where he was in a 20 game stretch in which he had zero goals and just five points.
On January 19, it was announced that he was set to undergo surgery for a torn meniscus; he later revealed it was an injury he was playing with the injury since September. In his comments he mentioned that somewhere around the eight to ten week mark he started feeling pain, so I pulled the numbers.
Shattenkirk got off to a strong start and the numbers reflect that, but once his injury became a problem his play subsequently dropped. For a look at that progression over the season, I drew up a chart and Shayna made it even better:
The lines represents two points where Shattenkirk started to feel pain. Either case show his numbers starting to flat line. While the injury sucks, it has become more apparent that we haven’t seen the real Kevin Shattenkirk yet which means the team could be in for a boost when he does make his return to the lineup.
3.) Hank Stood On His Head
In the above stretch Lundqvist went 3-3-0 and posted a .920 save percentage and a 2.77 goals-against average while facing 29.75 shots per game. Lundqvist got dinged overall by his last start, as he allowed three goals on seven shots vs. the Anaheim Ducks – a game that should have been started by Ondrej Pavelec.
Other than that, you have a 38/39 performance vs the Coyotes, a 42/46 appearance vs. the Penguins, a 34/37 outing vs. the Sabres and a 34/36 start against the Avalanche. All in all, Lundqvist did his best to keep his team above water, but the problems surrounding the team have hit a critical point resulting in the levee breaking.
4.) Good to Have Kevin Hayes Back in The Lineup
Hayes returned to the lineup vs. the San Jose Sharks after missing six games and made a difference by tallying a goal and an assist in 17:20. The team really needed the boost, and it was nice to see him contribute without missing a beat. Overall during the four-game period, he finished with two goals and an assist, 15 shots on goal and a +10 Corsi differential.
Year to date Hayes has 20 points in 47 games and he’s coming off a career best season in which he tallied 49 points in 76 games. The Rangers would be smart to hold onto him through the rebuild, because he’s a player that has untapped potential that can get unlocked with consistent usage in the offensive zone, which is an area where he can really excel.
Here is what I wrote last go around for final thoughts.
The Rangers are winning games, but they’re basically in survival mode. This shouldn’t be discounted by any means, however, it is important to realize that the longer this style continues, the bigger the bubble becomes. Eventually bubbles burst, and there will be consequences. Hopefully the front office is ready for this, and is in the frame of mind to maximize assets if and when things go sideways.
Thankfully the Rangers’ front office finally has accepted the state of affairs, and the team is starting to consider offers on pretty much everyone. If the Rangers execute properly they can lay the foundation properly and set up a system that will allow for championship contention for years to come.
Stats via Natural Stat Trick unless otherwise noted. Support their Patreon if you can.