Worst Ranger Seasons of the Past Five Years
While there may be no current hockey to analyze, we can always look to the past. Ranking the Bottom Ten Individual Ranger Seasons of the past five.
We last looked at the Top Ranger Seasons of the Past Five Years, so naturally we'll look down the line now to the worst. The same spreadsheet to determine the Best seasons was also used to determine the worst, and was sorted by Relative Corsi (Corsi Rel). A reminder about Corsi (from yesterday's piece):
Corsi, just as a reminder, is all shots directed on net (blocked, missed, and on goal) presented in a+/- form for each player. Naturally, the premise of this whole article is to rank the Rangers by their micro (advanced) stats, and not just their counting numbers. I did take their total Goals and Assists into play for the season, but more so as an afterthought. Plus, if you take a look at the spreadsheet, P/60 (or Points per 60 Minutes) is a very good barometer for how effective the player was scoring with his given ice time.
While the best Ranger seasons were mostly offensive-minded two-way players, the worst list obviously is a different group (again, no goaltenders). With that said, there are still a couple of names that could remind you just how much better last years club really was.
Ten to one, once again:
10) Brian Boyle, 2009-10, 71 GP.
While Boyle has come more into his own the past two seasons - playing against top competition while showing why he had two 1.2+ PPG seasons at Boston College, he struggled at first when joining the Rangers in 09/10. Granted, he wasn't given much of a shot with his relatively small ice time, but at 71 GP he was clearly still an option.
9) Marc Staal, 2011-12, 46 GP.
I understand concussions are not easy to come back from, and I recognize that he was (properly) sheltered against lower competition, but should we still worry? It's a valid question given his ice time - nearly 17 minutes per 60, and given the fact that he has never been quite that bad, even when he was a rookie. If the season had gone on, Staal definitely would have been one to keep an eye on.
8) Blair Betts, 2008-09, 81 GP.
For all his fourth-line faceoff prowess that he's known for, Blair Betts has actually consistently struggled at the NHL level. I would give him a pass if he did it against top-six competition, but he's only done that once in his career, and it was his first year as a Flyer after he left the Rangers. Brian Boyle managed to fill Betts' roll and then expand on it - looking back this was a good move by Sather to let Blair go. Sure, he does well with faceoffs, but it takes nearly 165 faceoff wins to get a goal - they're very much overrated.
7) Erik Christensen, 2010-11, 63 GP.
Christensen was best known for his time with the Rangers as a shootout specialist, and yet despite his obvious offensive gifts when the puck is on his stick, this is about the extent of his usefulness in the NHL. He also saw a little bit of shooting luck during the 09/10 season, registering a near 16% personal shot% compared to his career 9.9%.
6) Colton Orr, 2008-09, 82 GP.
Colton Orr does not make this list because I don't like him. I think we can all agree that Orr was a Ranger for one reason: to enforce. With that said, he was a liability for the Rangers when he wasn't fighting, and that is a problem in today's NHL. I'm pro-fighting, but the need to find effective fourth liners that can also fight is the key in my mind.
5) Chris Drury, 2009-10, 77 GP.
In his final full season as a pro, Drury had one to forget. I went into the decline of Chris Drury two years ago this month, and one of the conclusions I ran across was that you don't pay a player based on "clutch" (read: luck). His career shooting percentage ended at 11.9% - very much respectable. The problem? He shot 17.4% and 18.6% in the two seasons before signing with the Rangers. That's not just a little luck, that's a bump of around 50% each year in terms of percentage points. That's just puck luck.
4) Jason Strudwick, 2007-08, 52 GP.
Strudwick got a good amount of shtick from NYR fans - but this was completely deserved. He was a pylon, playing against bottom six competition and struggling while doing so. I feel bad for Oilers fans, who had to endure three more seasons similar to Strudwicks last as a Ranger.
3) Aaron Voros, 2009-10, 41 GP.
Aaron Voros appeared in only 41 games for the Rangers in 09/10, and it wasn't because of injury issues. Playing the least amount of TOI/60 on this list, Voros played against the lowest Quality of Competition of any Ranger in the past five seasons, with a rating of -0.181 (essentially a mix of AHL'ers). The fact that the Ducks traded Steve Eminger for Voros is once again a testament to Sather's trading abilities as a GM.
2) Mike Rupp, 2011-12, 60 GP.
In the same vein as Colton Orr, it's not that I don't like Rupper, but he just isn't a worthy NHL'er at this point in his career. He's playing Voros-esque levels of ice time and Quality of Competition. If he has to be around for the regular season for protection, so be it, but Rupp should not be in the lineup come playoff time.
1) Erik Reitz, 2008-09, 42 GP.
Erik Reitz only played 11 career games with the Rangers, but because he somehow played in 42 contests before heading to the KHL in the fall of 2009, he showed up dead last in terms of Corsi Rel of the five-year player pool. The best part? The Leafs claimed him off waivers in the spring of 2009 from the Rangers.
Well, that was fun. Again, not a perfect list, but still better than talking CBA nonsense. I should be around in the comments, thanks as always.