This issue has been that when we have scored, we only win at a 75% clip. That's on the defense and the goaltending. The fact we have only 33 games where we have over 3 goals is the offense. So, in half our games, we scored 1, 2 or no goals. I'd like to see how many points we have earned in those games. It won't be that high.
1, 2, or 0 goals? I posted the totals in my original post. They have earned 19 points in those games. Pens have the same points, Caps have 1 less. The difference is the Pens and Caps are winning more when they score 3+ goals. At 3+ if Lundqvist was as good as a lot want to believe, they would be winning 90% (or more) in those situations also.
The problem IS not everything that everyone is saying. The problem is PARITY. This team pre-lock out would have rivaled the champs. For the most part, they don't allow a lot of goals, they play every game with patience, poise, defense in mind first (Thank you to Tom Renney and Torts) and they NEVER give up. Before Renney was there, they were HORRIBLE defensively and the problems were many...most of what everyone is listing here, except once they got down, they would roll over and die. Not the case here. Most games, even when they are down 4 goals they aren't out until halfway through the third. They are losing because of parity. Not the lack of
1. No #1 Center
3. Streaky goaltender who has had brilliant seasons
4...etc, etc, etc...
Sure, if they had that #1 center they would score more goals and more goals would be more wins but they wouldn't automatically become champs. Parity is the problem. Everyone is going through the same thing they are with the exception of some extraordinary few and with a few more moves they may become extraordinary, heck, maybe with some more development they will become extraordinary. Look at how good Staal and Girardi are. Look at how McDonagh has filled in for Staal so, so well that he's almost been a mirror image of him...the All Star D-man and the rookie. Come-on guys! The season maybe on the brink but the future is very bright if they stay the course!
Tally up how many 1 goal losses between those three teams. I bet that's where you'll find some data. If I had an apple for every one goal loss we've had this year, I'd have enough apple sauce to fill up MSG.
Now this discussion is getting somewhere. Let's put it this way. The biggest difference between an elite goalie and a solid goalie is consistency. Both can make big saves, both can have big games. But the elite goalie will bring it more often and have a higher cellar when he's playing badly. Sure, Lundqvist might have better positioning and better lateral mobility than most goalies, but the biggest difference is the consistency, which many Ranger fans seem to have complete tunnel vision about. If you compare Lundqvist to the rest of the league's goaltenders, he is extremely consistent. Yet many fans here seem to argue he's some kind of wreck.
If Lundqvist is forced out of position, he must obviously rely on the shooter not releasing a perfect shot. As you said, it's of course a case by case basis. Sure enough, Theodore made a great save on Callahan. But, it was the only move he had! I put more blame on Cally for failing to score on an entirely open net, than praising Theodore for throwing out his stick along the ice in a last ditch attempt.
Sure enough, when Lundqvist makes a great sprawling save, blame can often be put on the shooter for not placing the puck better. It all comes down to did you hit the goalie or did the goalie force you to hit him? Lundqvist is very good at forcing them to hit him, by closing the angles.
The big difference between our team and the teams we face, is we are currently consistently unable to capitalize on good chances. We can't lift the damn puck and we are terrible at making the life miserable for the opposing goalie. We consistently don't screen, we don't deflect shots, we don't grab rebounds and we simply put collectively suck at shooting. We also hit goalies more than they force us to hit them, by giving ourselves bad angles from the perimeters.
If the team plays in full panic mode, of course Lundqvist will look worse than the other team's goalie, because his team isn't playing hockey, they're being headless chickens out there.
meant to reply to this earlier, but than real life got in the way.
Anyways, I am not so sure he is really that great with making the opponent hit him. We often see him in position to make the save, and the puck somehow gets through him and into the net. We see it also with all the deflections that get by him that always see, to juuuuuust get over his shoulder and under the cross-bar or juuuuuuust to his right or left and inside the post. Better positioning would have cut down the angle so any puck that did miss him would also miss the net or hit the post. I also don't think consistent is the word to use with Lundqvist. Think he is definitely more streakie. He has stretches where I think, "wow, he is back to where I thought he was his first two years....if he plays like this he will run away with the Vezina or if he plays like this in the play-offs they definitely can make an impressive run just on his play alone..." and then has stretches where I think he just put the pads on for the first time. Yes, that is an exageration, but you get the point.
Maybe his hot streaks cause me to have unrealistic expectations, but I don't think so.
We can't score and Hank has not been elite. Don't give me overall numbers. We were good in the beginning and bad recently. What's the current trend, because that's what put us where we are today?
He's played 15 games since January 20th. We've lost 9 of those. In those 9 losses, his save percentage was greater than 90% twice. His save percentage in all of the 15 games has been higher than 90% only 5 times. That is not elite. Not sure that's even above average.
He is not to blame for all of this. Scoring goals hides alot of blemishes. But Hank is making a solid contribution to the recent problems.
He isn't winning games single handed as much. But you can say that if Gaborik was scoring like last season or like how Kessel is doing for Toronto right now, we'd probably be up in the 6th seed spot. I gave a quick count. About 11 one-goal losses since the new year. We only needed 4 of those games to be in the 6th seed spot. And we were usually coming back from 3-1 deficits.
Sure Hank is a part of it, but again its not the main problem. He doesn't need to be traded, the Rangers wouldn't be better off with another goaltender, etc. That is what people take exception to.
I think those who talk about trading him do so more to free up cap space. They see teams win the Cup and get to the finals with goalies who most think are not among the top-15 even top-20 in the NHL. They see the Flyers who have Bobrovsky and Boucher taking up a total of less than $3MM in cap space at the top of the Eastern Conference, while our guys make almost $8MM combined. Has to at least make you consider that maybe the Rangers would be better off with a $2MM goalie, a $1MM back-up and spend the extra $4MM+ to upgrade the skaters.
If you look at capgeek, you see the top salaries by position. If you look at the goalies, you have Luongo is the highest paid, and they are first overall. After that, a bunch of guys at the top who are currently out of the play-offs or fighting for their play-off lives. Giguere, Kipprusoff, Vokoun, Lundqvist, Miller, Backstrom, Brodeur, Ward, LeClaire, DiPietro (haha, I know, but he is up there in salary), Bryzgalov, Hillier. Aside from Luongo, you do have Fleury and Thomas among the top paid.
The Pens and Caps have winning % of over 90% when they score 3 or more goals. The Rangers have 24 wins out of 33 (73%) in 3+ goal efforts, which is the lowest % among the Top 10 teams in the Eastern Conference, often by a wide margin.
Uhm, I think you are helping to prove my point, but thank you for the unintended support. If the biggest problem is lack of goal support, and how I can't expect Lundqvist to win so many games when they only score 1 or 2 goals, then I would think 3 or more goals should be money in the bank, right?
So, now I add this to my original argument. They are similar in total goals scored. Pens a little more, Caps a little less. They have pretty much the same amount of games of extremely high goal output (6 goals or more), so they all 3 have outliers (remember that from the statistics units) that pad their totals. All 3 have almost the same amount of games when they score 1 or 2 goals. Yet, the Pens and Caps are much better in the standings. Now you helped me to show they both have much higher winning percentages when they score 3+.
So, in summary, it is not Lundqvist's fault when they only score 2. Now, I'd like to hear the excuses for when they lose when scoring 3+. Come on, let's hear it everyone. If he is that good, then he should have a much higher winning percentage when getting goal support.
Statistics are open to interpretation... whereas you seem to view Lundqvist's drop-off from earlier in the season as the 'issue', others may see scoring as always having been a bigger problem and the strong goaltending as just having masked it for a while. And the term "gritty" was used to describe the offense rather than "inept", only because they were winning.
How often do the Rangers win in a wild back-and-forth high-scoring game? How often are they even in one? When the Rangers pile on the offense, it tends to be in blowouts that are only possible when the other team cooperates, much like a WWE match... hence, the goaltending is viewed as having 'gone to waste' in a 6-0 shutout or 8-2 win.
As you pointed out, the Rangers have not done too poorly when scoring very few goals... but that's actually an endorsement for the goaltending, although you use it to give the offense a bit of a pass. The Rangers have also done well in shootouts; if they hadn't, they'd really be in dire straits right now. In the high scoring games (which the Rangers have too few of to begin with), the Rangers rarely manage to outscore the opponent.
In summary, the offense sucks almost all the time, except when the other team is in a charitable mood. Sometimes, especially earlier in the year, the goaltending bailed them out; lately, it hasn't. If this means the problem is the goaltending, then maybe we'll have to agree to disagree.
Other teams have them well scouted out now. They just play rope-a-dope with the behind the net forchecking cycle.
Teams are in good position and nobody scares them.
Hard working with no results.
Work smarter-NOT HARDER.
OK, so when I mentioned about Lundqvist being a big part of their problem, just about everyone on here and their mother jumped all over me. "They never score....they make bad goalies look good." Then, I noticed the Rangers have scored 8 more goals than the Capitals and only 10 less than the Penguins yet both of those teams were securely in a play-off spot.
I know the first rebuttal will be, "The totals might be similar but the Rangers total is skewed by games like the two Caps games where they scored 6 and 7 and the Oilers game where they scored 8."
The second comment would be, "They are more consistent game to game."
Penguins have scored more than 5 goals in a game 5 times, been shutout 5 times and 9 times have scored only 1 goal.
Capitals have scored more than 5 goals in a game 6 times, been shutout 8 times, and scored only 1 goal 9 times.
Rangers have scored more than 5 goals in a game 7 times, been shutout only 4, and scored only 1 goal 12 times.
So, the rangers have scored less than 2 goals 16 times, the penguins 14, and the caps 17. Seems like the Pens and Caps have the same struggles scoring goals, yet they are ahead in the standings.
So, then someone on another site stated, "well, you should check out when they scored 2 or less, bet that would tell a different story." So, I checked that out. That I will admit took about 3 1/2 minutes to compile.
In games where they have scored 2 goals or less:
Rangers are 9-23-1 19 points 33 games.
Penguins are 6-16-7 19 points 29 games (same points, 4 less games.
Caps are 5-21-8, 18 points 34 games 1 less point, 1 MORE game.
So, to paraphrase, the Penguins have 29 games of 2 goals or less, the Rangers 33, and the Caps 34. Penguins have earned the same amount of points in those games, the Caps only one less.
Come on now, try to rebutt these facts. Oh and let me remind you, Pens and Caps are securely in play-off spots. Likely to play each other in the first round.
But, it is the scorers right? So I have shown how these two teams have similar goal totals, have the same big goal games to skew their totals, and the same low-goal outputs to demonstrate inconsistency amongst their scoring, yet let me remind you, their fans are not wondering if they will be playing in the play-offs.
I've said all along that you cant look at the final goals scored total in a game as a baromter for how Henrik is playing.
You have to look at splits, such as when is he giving up goals and what the score of the game is at the time.
For example, in all of his losses, how many times has Henrik been given a lead, or the score been tied in the 3rd period?
It's easy to look at a final score and say "Oh, well they lost 3-1 so it's the offense's fault". But there is more to the story. It's a goalie's job, especially one of Henrik's caliber, to keep his team in games and give the offense an opportunity to build on a lead, come back from a 1-goal deficit or keep a game tied heading into OT.
Henrik has made a living of carrying his team on his back and into the playoffs. I got it. But this year he hasnt been reliable (to date) and there are other teams in the league who are winning much more often without a 1985 Oilers offense behind them.
Goal scoring is down across the league. No excuses for the Rangers to be constantly "outworking" other teams have have nothing to show for it.
Good analysis though. But some people here will never, ever listen to statistical analysis when it comes to fan favorites. You might as well be telling a 3-year old that there isnt a Santa Claus
From what I have seen lately, Hank hasn't really been himself. He hasn't been bad, a lot of the goals have been on deflections that no one could have expected him or any other goalie to stop. But still, not quite as solid as he's been in the past. So, I will agree with the OP that scoring isn't the ONLY problem. Now, I will say that this team, especially with the way Gaborik is playing, is not good enough to make the playoffs without elite goaltending. They haven't received elite goaltending as of late, and so have fallen a bit in the standings.
I will say that it's unreasonable to expect Lundqvist to be elite every game, and in particular I think stretches of a little more shaky play are expected. The team, particularly the scoring, isn't good enough to make up for when Lundqvist is playing average hockey.
So in short, Lundqvist is part of the problem when you're looking at the recent stretch of games. However, when looking at the season as a whole, I think it would be unfair to lay anything on him.
So let's look at the numerous factors that are conveniently being ignored by those that are trying to promote this ridiculousness.
- While the Penguins and Capitals may not be scoring much more than the Rangers are, they are doing something that the Rangers never do, because they can't do it. When those team's best players are on the ice, they keep the puck in the other team's zone. And they don't just send it around the boards, back and forth, for 20-30 seconds like the Rangers do. They move the puck - and themselves - and work the opposition. They work the defenders and they work the goaltender. They wear teams down. They generate quality scoring chances. The Rangers have mastered the art of racking up inconsequential and inefficient shots on goal. No team in the league does it "better" than this team. Second-worst in the league in faceoff percentage doesn't help these matters much.
- Since the first time he took NHL ice, Lundqvist has NEVER played behind a good offense, much less a great one. And since the departure of Jagr, he's seen nothing but awful PP production. The ONLY reason this team has qualified for the playoffs or even approached the top 8 for the last 6 seasons, and that includes this season, is Henrik Lundqvist. If Marty Biron was this team's starter, they'd be in 12th or 13th place right now.
-This "hard-working" ******** has to come to an end at some point. There's a reason the Rangers "style" is outworking the other team: it's because they can't do anything else. Talent trumps hard work. No, other teams may not work AS hard as the Rangers do. But they certainly work hard enough and have more talent, and that's better than having the talent this team has, no matter how hard they work. What good is outworking other teams when you can't finish?
Henrik Lundqvist is a part of the problem only in the sense that you couldn't possibly name another player or aspect of the team that would constitute a smaller problem. I laugh at these remarks about his inconsistency. Considering he's been forced to play his entire career, sans however many minutes per night Jagr played, consistently behind teams that play house league offense, I think it's amazing that he continues to be as good as he is, night in and night out.
Right, so if we did score 3 goals a game with hank in nets we would be a perennial front runner for the cup.
2.61 GF/G is in the bottom half of the league while our 2.40 GA/G is 5th in the league. There are 2 teams within the top 5 of BOTH categories: The Boston Bruins and The Vancouver Canucks. It makes sense. They have 2 of the best goal tending situations in the league (Luongo and Schneider/Thomas and Rask) have great defenses (Chara, Kaberle and CO./ Van top 7 defenders are top 4 on just about ANY other team) and the offensive depth to put it in the net (Sedins, Kesler, Burrows, Raymond, etc/ Horton, Bergeron, Lucic etc)
We currently have 2 of those: Great goaltending with Hank and Biron and a young defense that has played some amazing hockey within it's top 4 all year, the bottom 2 is an issue. If we had even .3 GF/G more, halfway to us getting to 3, we would have so many more wins.
I think that as solid as our defense has been, we are prone to isolated big time breakdowns. Most defenses that are solid give up between 5 and 10 "good" chances per game, perhaps with a couple of those being "magnificent" chances. Lundqvist has said before that even the best goalie can only stop a certain percentage of those chances (I forget the percent he said). The issue is that we tend to have excellent defensive positioning (we probably give up slightly fewer overall "good" chances), but we also probably give up 3-5 magnificent chances due to mental breakdowns and individual sloppy play at a single moment (rather than giving up lots of sustained pressure and multiple scoring chances). We see Hank make lots of hightlight reel saves but also has to face more highlight reel quality shots, which will obviously lead to more goals. Hank makes our defense look better than it is by stopping those magnificent chances, and then, when he gives up bad one, we don't blame the defense because "hank should have got that one". I also think he might be a bit worn down from having to make so many highlight quality saves. You'll notice a team like New Jersey can have Brodeur play 75+ games and still win the cup, and it's because Brodeur isn't scrambling to cover huge chances and make highlight reel saves all the time. This leaves him fresher for later in the season. If you watch highlights from Ranger games on nhl.com, every Ranger game has Hank making at least 2 post-to-post sprawling saves when a centering pass across the middle is one-timed into his half butterfly - watch other teams' highlights - they just don't give up as many of those chances - well bad teams do, but they just lead to goals like in the NYR-Ottawa game the other night, where the Sens lose badly and the goalie doesn't keep them in it (or isn't good enough to keep them in it).
I think it would be interesting to track shot quality (not by scoring chance), like they do with fielding plays in baseball's Sabremetric community when rating how much range a shortstop has etc. Yes it's subjective to rank them, but I'd expect to see Hank facing more tough shots than most goalies (and I guarantee he stops more tough ones than almost anyone - partially because he faces more of them, but also because he's that damn good). I feel like most of us don't watch any other goalie as much as Hank, so we don't know what other goalies face. I watch NJ regularly and can attest to many more outside shots and fewer rebound attempts by the offensive against Hedberg/Brodeur. The Isles don't really have a top goalie so it's tough to tell with them. If someone watched other goalies play every day I think we'd see otherwise (rather than just watching the other goalies stone our inept offense game after game, therefore making the other goalie look amazing and Hank look human).
sousuffer, the number on saving a quality scoring chance is about 66-75%, depending on how dangerous of a chance it is.
Also, every time a statistician has tried to weigh in the save percentage compared to the number of quality scoring chances a goalie has to face, Lundqvist has consistently ended up among the top goalies.
As you said, it's not important how many shots you allow, it's where and how. We're blocking a ton of shots, great, but that's the perimeter shots that usually only pad a goalie's stats. And when we fail to block it, that perimeter shot can become lethal, from a deflection off our own player or simply screening our goalie.