Thursday, March 31, 2011

Rangers Offense Still Boom Or Bust, Will It Cost Them Playoff Spot?

The New York Rangers are a team that prides itself on the consistency of their effort in order to gain results and that has shown itself throughout the 2010-11 season.  The one place the Rangers have failed to find that consistency is on the offensive end of the ice.  After the offense exploded for 17 goals in three games the team has gone back to struggling only accounting for three goals in the last four games.  Luckily for the team they have played tremendous defense over the same stretch only surrendering three goals and going 2-1-1. 

It is great to have a defense and goaltender that can shut teams down like that and it will give you a chance in just about every night, but you have to score some goals to win in this league.  It is not too much to ask for an offense to find two goals a night and yet over these last four games the Rangers cannot seem to find a way to do it.  A lot of the offensive struggles are confidence related as this team is one that when it starts flowing in a game can explode because everyone else loosens up.  When they struggle to score early in the game they get tighter and tighter and then the problem seems to snowball on itself.

On the season, according to, the Rangers have scored 210 goals in their 77 games, an average of 2.73 goals per game which ranks them 16th in the league.  That does not seem all that bad, but that factors in the fact that the Rangers have scored six goals or more on nine different occasions this year.  If you take those games out the Rangers are left with 152 goals in the other 68 games the team has played which is an average of only 2.24 goals per game and would rank them 29th in the league.  To further that they have had 20 games this season in which they scored 1 goal or less.

Obviously all teams are going to have games where they have big offensive nights that inflate their numbers and others where they struggle and the numbers slide, but the Rangers have been a huge team for the differential.  Until the Rangers figure out a way to get more consistent with their offense their ability to be a true contender for the Cup will be in question and maybe even their spot in the playoffs altogether.