My next edition of Team Prospectus over at www.puckprospectus.com will feature the New York Rangers, with Ottawa and Colorado waiting in the wings after that. I had a chance to view the Rangers and Senators in person for the front end of their preseason back-to-back on October 1st, thanks to Brendan McIntyre and the folks at Madison Square Square Garden. I’ll cover both teams at Puck Prospectus/Hockey Prospectus, but here specifically we’ll glance at the even strength capabilities of the various Blue Shirts:
|Best and worst Rangers by Even Strength Total Rating, 2009-10|
|Michael Del Zotto||D||+0.26||-0.59||-0.33||1173|
|See Glossary for explanation of stats|
It’s certainly no surprise to see early MVP hopeful Marian Gaborik at the top of the list, and no surprise to see that, offensively, he’s worth a goal more than the average NHL player per 60 minutes at 5-on-5. Then, there’s Brandon Prust! As I alluded to in the Hockey Prospectus 2010-11 book, Tortorella would do well to give the late season acquisition from Calgary added responsibility, as he’s above average offensively and defensively – and remember, that’s taking strength of teammates and opposition into account. Savvy waiver pickup Erik Christensen comes in third, though with both Prust and Christensen one needs to take the ESTR’s with a grain of salt given ESTOI that’s only a bit above the 500 minute threshold we use for posting the stats. And unfortunately for New York, Vinny Prospal rounds out the top four in ESTR, and injury may have him out for the season or a good portion thereof.
Among the worst Rangers by ESTR were (overrated?) US Olympians Ryan Callahan and Chris Drury and offensive but not defensive defensemen Dan Girardi and Michael Del Zotto. Incidentally, Brian Boyle would have come in last on the list, had he qualified with 19 more minutes of ESTOI.
|New Rangers by Even Strength Total Rating, 2009-10|
|*Stats do not officially qualify, due to low ESTOI|
Of the new Blue Shirts, I’ll say I’m a bit surprised to see Steve Eminger sporting a positive ESTR, because that’s not what my eyes told me, watching that game on October 1st. Perhaps he needs more time to mesh with his new teammates and system. Alex Frolov comes in as an average NHL forward (though when you take into account the greater ice time of top six forwards, he does qualify as a legit top six forward by ESTR). Derek Boogaard, as you’d expect, would be a trainwreck of a hockey player, if he qualified. But let me tell you, from seeing him in person, he is a massive human being.