The New York Rangers struggled in most facets of the game this past season. Using analytics, we can see just how big the gulf between New York and the league’s best is.
Designing an NHL roster is a great challenge and why the average tenure of active G.M.’s right now is only four and a half years. In fact, there are four G.Ms entering their first season with their respective franchise. In the case of the New York Rangers, their G.M., Jeff Gorton, is entering his fourth season in the position.
The degree of difficulty for Gorton has evolved over time since taking the job. When Gorton was promoted from the assistant G.M. job during the summer of 2015, he was taking over a team that was coming off of a President’s trophy win and a trip to the Eastern Conference Final. The team he inherited from Glen Sather needed auxiliary pieces to remain a contender. However, by the third year, Gorton was forced to tear apart that core in hopes of preserving his future in the role.
Now, using analytics to understand how bad the Rangers were last year is a tad skewed because of just how bad the roster was following the deadline. The team was facing the inevitable fact that they were better off losing to improve their draft lottery chances than winning games. In addition. they were being led by a coach that was clearly on borrowed time.
Through the use of Corsi percentage, a measure of a team’s percentage of the shots generated at even strength, PDO, a stat which combines save percentage and shooting percentage to calculate luck and high danger Corsi percentage, a measure of a team’s percentage of high danger shots we can understand underlying issues in comparison to successful teams.