Thread: Speculation: Predict Goal output next season
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08-06-2012, 02:20 PM
  #12
SouthJerseyRanger
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It's so hard to get into individual players and predict the goal scoring that way. Callahan can score 30. Nash can score 40. Let's say they are both on Richards' line. If Nash scores 40, Callahan hasn't scored 30. If Callahan scored 30, chances are Nash hasn't scored 40. I'll just make a few general predictions about the team and a couple players.

1) Stepan continues to evolve into a top playmaker in the league. His linemates will project to score at a better pace than had they been playing with Stepan last year.

2) The Flower Play goes away. The Rangers field one of the top 10 units in the league. Del Zotto - Richards - Callahan - Gaborik - Nash turns out to be deadly. The second unit is still worthless and fans clamor for the days when John Mitchell ran the greatest 2nd PP unit in hockey history. I keed, I keed....

3) Gaborik plays 75% of the season, and scores over 30 goals.

4) Kreider hits 25. Why? Cause he's a friggin' beast.

5) Nash, Gaborik, and Kreider are put on 3 different lines; opposing defenses have a very difficult time matching up.

6) As so many athletes before him, Richards' 2nd year in the Big Apple is vastly improved over his first now that he's used to it. (see: Beltran, Carlos/Rodriguez, Alex/Jagr, Jaromir [03-04 to 05-06])

So where does this leave us? The Rangers have been remarkably consistent in GF/G the last 3 years. 2.67 in 2009-10, 2.73 in 2010-11, 2.71 in 2011-12. 2009-10 is significant because they added Gaborik and saw an increase of about .25 goals scored per game, and a 5% improvement in PP success. I believe the addition of Rick Nash + the improvement of the Rangers' young forwards will yield a slightly larger increase in GF/G than what we saw when Gaborik was injected into the lineup. The PP will improve to just about 10th in the league, which was 18.4 last year. I'm predicting a small increase in overall league offensive output this year... so let's say the Rangers will hit 19% PP efficiency.

2.71 GF/G (11th) ===> 3.09 GF/G (6th in NHL)
15.7 PP% (23rd) ===> 19.1 PP% (9th in NHL)

*a note about the PP. It's amazing they had even 7 teams underneath them considering how putrid their execution on the power play was. Take away the 6 games against the Flyers and their clueless defense/pathetic goaltending and it's even uglier. Just average execution on the PP should yield huge results.

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