Who Is Driving The Rangers’ Offense 5v5?
On Wednesday Dimitri Filipovic tweeted a chart he put together about players in the NHL who have the highest share of their team’s 5v5 primary points (goal or first assists only). It’s a comprehensive list that names some of the most elite players in the NHL... and also includes no New York Rangers.
Obviously it helps that he's on the ice a ton and his team has struggled offensively, but Brent Burns is in a world of his own right now. pic.twitter.com/75UAqtUwHM— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) November 30, 2016
But that’s not a bad thing! This formula is based off a respective player’s 5v5 primary points against the team’s total 5v5 goals. And since the Rangers have scored a lot of 5v5 goals this year, it’s not surprising that no one player is on the list (even though some have more 5v5 primary points than those on this list).
I like this idea a lot, though, so let’s take a deeper dive into this from a Rangers focus.
Here’s what the Rangers’ look like with this exact chart (sorted by share).
Not a ton of surprises here at all. Michael Grabner has been a monster (we’re going to get to goals in a moment, but of his 13 primary points 11 of them are goals), Kevin Hayes and Rick Nash have always been primary point machines and J.T. Miller is blossoming into his own this year.
The biggest surprises? Jimmy Vesey being so high on this list as a rookie. Jesper Fast being in the top third of the list at all and ... Nick ... Holden?
We’ve discussed on the podcast a few times how Holden’s offense has been a strange well the Rangers have tapped into. In fact, Mike brought up some crazy comparisons about Holden’s numbers to a certain Erik Karlsson in this week’s episode of the podcast (listen to that here).
Chris Kreider and Pavel Buchnevich see the biggest drops in their numbers due to games missed with injuries. You can throw Mika Zibanejad here soon enough, but for now he has enough games to keep him in normal territory.
What this shows is just how well spread out the Rangers’ offense has been. If anyone tells you now they knew Grabner was going to be leading this list before the year started, well, you’re a liar. And having Vesey, Fast and Holden provide an 11% or higher share is a nice little pop of offense we weren’t expecting.
Here’s the chart again, but this time looking at only 5v5 goals against the team’s overall total.
Again, not a ton of surprises here (outside of Grabner’s insane 11 even strength goals). These are the players who are really driving the even strength offense bus. Grabner and Hayes are driving the bus here — which is another reminder that Hayes is amazing and everyone who hated on him last year is eating crow.
The point? The Rangers are getting a lot of offense from both expected players and unexpected players. That’s a good thing. Great teams have unexpected players make a big impact in the playoffs (remember that 12-goal postseason from Ruslan Fedotenko?), and the Rangers have the makings of that formula.
Now if only Buchnevich and Zibanejad can hurry back.