Rangers’ Process Over Numbers: Analyzing Offense and Defense for Success

New York Rangers (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
New York Rangers (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Explore the strategic shift in the New York Rangers’ game under Coach Peter Laviolette, breaking down their offensive and defensive metrics.

These New York Rangers are particularly refreshing. The 11-2-1 record is impressive, but we have to peek behind the curtain. Remember 2021-2022 Rangers? New York started hot en route to an Eastern Conference Finals appearance, but it was all thanks to Igor Shesterkin’s Vezina season, which was not a solid process. They were poor offensively, finishing 25th in shots and expected goals that year.

Cracking the Code: Analyzing the Rangers’ Offensive Evolution Under Laviolette:

With Peter Laviolette steering the ship, it’s a different game. These Blueshirts aren’t just relying on elite talent and goaltending; there’s a process to how they play. The defense is one of the league’s best, and the breakouts are structured.

Seeing the 1-3-1 neutral zone trap and 1-2-2 offensive zone forecheck has been incredible. There’s been more north-south play, which is the style you need to excel at in the playoffs compared to East-West. There is tape-tape passing instead of defaulting to the glass-and-out turnover strategy.

Offensive metrics need a boost, especially in generating high-danger chances. New York is holding firm defensively, even with some injuries in the mix.

The Rangers ranked 25th, entering Thursday with a CF/60 of 55.28, 29th with an xGF/60 of 2.32, and 31st with a High Danger, chances for goals for/60 of 9.29.

Defensively, the Blueshirts have been sensational. That statement excludes the resurgence of Jonathan Quick in Igor Shesterkin’s absence and Louie Domingue’s one-game wonder.

The Rangers ranked 11th in Chances Allowed/60 with 57.15, 9th in expected goals allowed /60 with 2.45, and 9th in high-danger chances /60 with 10.45.

In total percentages, they hold the 17th position in the chances for ratio with 49.17%, 20th in XGF% with 48.61%, and 20th in HDCF% with 47.06%.

Okay, offensive zone time is in the middle of the pack, but with the elite talent at their disposal, it might just be enough. The goal is winning the Stanley Cup. New York’s in a good spot as long as they maintain a decent 49% shot and expected goal share and spend precisely half their time in the offensive zone.

The Rangers need to continue generating chances at even strength. It’s key, especially when the postseason hits and things tighten up. Getting Adam Fox and Filip Chytil back on the ice will be a game-changer.