The Rangers hit the “quarter” mark of the season with a respectable 12-5-3 record after 20 games, good enough for sixth in the East. The standings position might be a little deceptive though, with the Rangers having played the fewest games of any team in the Eastern conference, and have the best points per game percentage of any team in the East – .675
Last year at the same mark, they were just 10-9-1, a six point improvement. In fact, they’re off to their best start through 20 games since 2008-09 when they went 13-5-2. Playing their 20th game of the season on November 26th, is the most leisurely start to the year since the 1984-85 season when they played their 20th on November 28th.
The team is currently on pace for 111 points, which would be their second highest season behind the 1993-94 team which won the President’s Trophy with 112 points on the way to the Stanley Cup.
Henrik Lundqvist and Martin Biron have combined to keep the opposition to just 2.15 goals against per game, and if they keep it up, it’ll be the lowest goals against average for the team since the 1939-40 season, also a year the Rangers won the Stanley Cup.
Statiscally, the Rangers are tied for first in the league in terms of percentage of points per game with the San Jose Sharks, both teams picking up 27 of a possible 40 points. Interestingly, the Sharks and Rangers have played the fewest games of any team in the league – 20.
New York sits 14th in the league with 2.80 goals scored on average each game, and third with a 2.15 goals against average. If you discount the shootout goal credited to the winning team, the Rangers allow a league best 2.05 goals against.
By period, the Rangers are fourth worst in the league with just 12 goals scored in the first period, improve to 17th with 19 in the second and 13th with 23 goals in the third. Defensively they’ve allowed just 10 in the first, second to just the Coyotes who have allowed 9. They’re also ranked second with 13 in the second, behind Boston who’ve allowed 11, and are fourth with 16 allowed in the third. Of course those games in hand will likely account for a few place drops.
In the past 4 on 4 has been a problem for the Rangers, but currently they have outscored their opponents 3-0 in this format (excluding OT). They are also one of six teams who are yet to give up a short handed goal.
The team is 4-1-3 in games decided by one goal, 3-3 in games decided by two goals, and are second in the league with a 5-1 record in games decided by three goals. They have shut the opposition out 3 times – 3rd in the league – and been shut out twice – 16th.
In games where they outshoot their opponents, New York is 6-0-0, the only team with a perfect record in that category, however only Nashville has fewer games (3) where they have got more shots on net than their opponents. The Rangers are a more modest 6-5-3 when being outshot.
Only the Flyers – 16.8 – average more penalty minutes per game than the Rangers – 16.4 – though they at least are keeping the bench minors to a minimum, with just one on the year. By contrast the Montreal Canadiens have already taken six.
The penalty minute totals are a little misleading however, as the Rangers lead the league in major penalties – 19, almost one a game – but are 12th in the league in terms of amount of time spent a man down – 131:21.
In terms of penalties earned, versus taken, the Rangers are middle of the pack with a slight advantage to their opponents of -3:49 net power play time a game. That’s the total PP time, minus the total PK time. Still that is at least partially reflective of the Rangers’ futility on the PP where they’re ranked 24th with a modest 13.6 percent. On the PK they’re ranked 10th with 85.2 percentage.
At even strength the Rangers are a net +15, which is good enough for 3rd in the league, though interestingly they’ve dropped of in the shot blocking department, currently ranked 13th. In terms of shot accuracy, their are only 4 teams who’ve missed the net fewer times. They are similiary ranked in terms of give aways.
In the face off circle the Rangers are dead in the middle both in terms of percentage – 50.4 – and ranking – 15th.