NHL.com is providing in-depth analysis for each of its 31 teams throughout August. Today, three key statistics for the New York Rangers.
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1. Power-play boost
The New York Rangers made the biggest free agent splash of the offseason by signing defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk to a four-year, $26.6 million contract on July 1. His presence should be felt most immediately on the power play, where he has been the most dominant defenseman for quite some time.
The two key stats to evaluate a player's power-play contributions are his scoring rate and the scoring boost he gives his team. In each regard, Shattenkirk is No. 1 in the NHL, and by a wide margin.
Shattenkirk's average of 6.84 points per 60 minutes at 5-on-4 the past three seasons was 1.60 better than that of Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning, who was second among NHL defensemen (5.24).
Over the past three seasons, Shattenkirk's team (Washington Capitals for 19 games in 2016-17; St. Louis Blues for 189 games 2014-17) averaged 9.78 goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-4 with him on the ice, a boost of 3.47 goals per 60 minutes above the average scoring rate for his team when he wasn't on the ice (6.31). The only other defenseman in the NHL to provide a boost of more than 2.00 goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-4 was Sami Vatanen of the Anaheim Ducks (2.61).
2. Henrik Lundqvist on decline but good enough
In 2015-16, Lundqvist failed to receive any votes for the Vezina Trophy for the first time in his NHL career, and then he finished last season with a save percentage (.910) below the NHL average (.914), also for the first time.
It appears likely the Rangers will depend on Lundqvist, 35, more than they have in recent seasons. Their new backup goalie, Ondrej Pavelec, has a .907 save percentage in 379 NHL games, 57th among the 65 active goalies who have played at least 50 games in the NHL and far behind Lundqvist's most recent backups, Cam Talbot of the Edmonton Oilers, who ranks sixth (.922), and Antti Raanta of the Arizona Coyotes, who ranks 20th (.917).
The Rangers are strong enough offensively (3.09 goals per game last season, fourth in NHL) that they no longer need a Vezina-caliber performance. They just need consistency, and in that regard, Lundqvist's quality-start percent of 60.6 the past three seasons was eighth among the 61 goalies who played at least 50 games.
Video: Henrik Lundqvist lands at No. 8 on the list
3. Shot-based standout
Though the Rangers have been one of the better teams in the NHL in recent seasons, they have not had strong shot-based metrics. Last season, New York's shot attempts differential of minus-250 at 5-on-5 ranked 25th in the NHL. The Ottawa Senators, whose minus-182 was 22nd, were the only other team in the bottom third of the League to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Against that backdrop, forward Chris Kreider's shot-based metrics stand out as being among the best in the NHL. The Rangers outshot their opponents 1,029-862 with Kreider on the ice at 5-on-5, a shot attempts percent (SAT%) of 54.4. When compared to New York's SAT% when he wasn't on the ice (46.2), Kreider's relative SAT% of plus-8.2 ranked eighth in the NHL among those who played at least 20 games.
Video: OTT@NYR, Gm4: Kreider finishes five-hole for PPG