The Rangers woke up Sunday morning in third place in the D.C. Division and on a 102-point pace after falling short in overtime in the game 41-of-82. against demons.
Given how the first eight weeks of the season unfolded, it’s impossible to be disappointed in Rangers’ current midfield position. in narrow division Like the Metros, however, the Blueshirts still have their work cut out for them.
“I think we found our way out of the beginning, which is a good thing,” said Captain Jacob Trueba. “It’s really weighed on a lot of the guys. I feel like we’re a much more confident group now than we were, maybe 20 games ago. I think as a team, we’re playing better hockey. More confidence, more teamwork.”
The Capitals can overtake the Rangers with a win over the Blue Jackets on Sunday night. This is exactly what will be the case for the rest of the season. Another rough patch like the one the Rangers experienced from the end of October through early December would be a detriment.
Like their season so far, the stats posted by the Rangers have been up and down. Here are the club’s best and worst stats at the halfway point:
He needs to continue
2.71 goals against average
Igor Shesterkin appears to be returning to the superstar form he won last season, while Yaroslav Halak has since settled down. Rough start. Each of netminders’ improvements during the season played a major role in the team’s ability to turn the script around. This is both a positive and a negative, as it has become abundantly clear over the years that the Rangers struggle to compensate when they don’t hit the mark obscenely.
The Rangers’ 2.71 GAA is the fifth lowest in the NHL. They will need Shesterkin and Halak to continue being the best of their best.
99 points through defenders
Rangers have the second most points in the league from their defenders. Additionally, their 79 assists off defenders is also second in the league. Adam Fox’s 40 points (seven goals, 33 assists) are good for third on the team, while Kander Miller and his 20 points (three goals, 17 assists) aren’t far behind for seventh. The five goals and five assists by Braden Sneijder were also a welcome surprise.
53 goals in the third period / 86 goals, 5 goals against 5
A 2-0 meltdown win in the third period on Saturday afternoon against the Devils may not have been the best note for the Rangers to finish off at the midpoint of the season, but their 53 goals in the third period is still third. in the NHL. With their solid play spotty, the Rangers had no choice but to score in a five-on-five game, as they tied for fifth with the Golden Knights.
The Rangers still needed to be better at the close of the games, but the offense was coming regardless.
23.7 power play percentage/80.8 penalty kill percentage
For a team that has such offensive talent as the Rangers, their power needs to be better and more consistent. The senior unit in particular is far better ranked than the Rangers at 12th in the NHL. There’s room for improvement in PK too, which currently ranks as the 11th most effective player in the league.
Nine losses after outperforming opponents
The Rangers have had no problem piling up their picks day and night, but the quality of that pickup needs to be improved. Too often, the Blueshirts have come up short despite heavily outplaying their opponents as they struggled to finish the game. Hitting the posts, missing the net together, and not making the extra move at the end of a star play to bury the puck causes them to come back to bite them.
48.4 face-off winning percentage
Rangers have struggled in confrontations for years. Having the 18th best face-off winning percentage in the NHL isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it seems to be the area that always hinders the Rangers.