I did a quick study to see how the Rangers compared to the eventual SC champs and the league average, since 2006, in terms of GF and GA. Everyone who has been watching knows that the Rangers are above-average in their own zone but below-average in the other team's zone. But I wanted to find out how much they need to improve in one or both areas in order to stack up against the best of the best. This is the result. Explanation follows.
GCF_Champ: "Goals For" compared to SC Champ GFC_Avg: "Goals For" compared to League Average GAC_Champ:"Goals Against" compared to SC Champ GAC_Avg: "Goals Against" compared to League Average
Calculations and how to interpret the table: I promise you this is very straightforward math. A simple "percent of" calculation. So anything greater than "1" means that the Rangers outperformed the benchmark and anything less than "1" means the Rangers underperformed the benchmark.
For example, look at the 2010-2011 GFC_Champ (0.95). The Bruins scored 246 goals that season. The Rangers scored 233 goals that season. 233/246 = 0.95. Or in other words, the Rangers scored 5% less than the eventual SC champs in 2010-2011. Conversely, the Rangers gave up (195/198 = 0.98) 2% more goals than the eventual SC champs in 2010-2011.
What the results indicate: No surprise, but the Rangers need to score more. But it looks like they have to score more without sacrificing much defense. The eventual SC Champs, on average, score 10% more goals while giving up the same amount. Interesting.
Pretty telling that even with us being way ahead of the league in GA, but still not as good as the champs most years.
Especially since people have recently been arguing that defense isn't as important
Anyone arguing that is disillusioned, gotta find a balance. However if you can get a increase in GF while only dipping a little in GA you should be fine. Which I think this team is capable of doing, but we'll see.