How many more times will the New York Rangers fanbase be comfortable watching 40+ shot nights and be rewarded with minimal scoring? How many times can the Rangers themselves fail to capitalize on prime scoring chances?
The New York Rangers haven’t been bad this season. At 9-6-4, New York sits just a point behind Carolina for the second seed in the Metro division.
But the excuses for “how” they are playing are running thin. The Rangers have struggled to put the puck in the back of the net all season. New York has consistently said that “the goals will come” throughout their early season scoring troubles.
At some point though, you are what the numbers say you are. New York has an issue on offense and it comes first and foremost at the hands of Gerard Gallant and the coaching staff.
No matter what changes to the lines that the coaching staff has implemented, the inability to finish has hurt the Rangers throughout the first quarter of the season. It’s not all on the coaching staff. The kid line, last year’s key playoff heroes for New York, have been silent since working together over the last couple of weeks prompting Gallant to demand more from the key group.
But the kid line sitting on the third line has been only a key microcosm of the team’s lack of scoring. With Lafreniere, Chytil and Kakko all joined together, that has left players like Barclay Goodrow and Jimmy Vesey to produce on the top six lines.
It’s left superstars like Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad drawing even with teams instead of putting up the amount of points they need to.
The recent absence of Vitali Kravtsov has also been a key note over the last few days as the Rangers offensive struggles continue.
Comparisons have been drawn to the Rangers 2021 campaign when Igor Shesterkin, the Vezina winner, saved the Rangers on numerous occasions while the offense treaded water. With trade deadline acquisitions like Andrew Copp and Frank Vatrano leaving in free agency, the Rangers hitched their wagons on younger players taking major steps in their development to prolong the championship window.
The team can absolutely continue to say that the goals will come and as long as the chances are there, they’ll be fine. But that saying can only go so well. The numbers show a team right now that can’t finish great chances.
Sooner or later, the production will need to match the chances.