Photo: Jason Kopinski/Icon Sportswire
The Rangers had everything humming along nicely with two great performances at home in games three and four, only to be derailed with a OT loss in game five in Ottawa. Ottawa holds a 3-2 series lead but the play-by-play contributions have taken a slightly different path.
In game one, the Senators dominated the Rangers by almost doubling up contributions, and in game five, had a small 9.7% play-by-play advantage. The middle three games were all Rangers where they dominated by an average of 82%.
Despite this out performance in three of the five games, the Rangers find themselves down 3-2 in the series after blowing two third period leads, in games two and five.
The most interesting stat between the two teams that helps explain the 3-2 Ottawa lead is negative defense. These are defensive mistakes like; getting beat one on one, poor defensive zone positioning, failing to close a pass lane, missed assignment on a back check, etc.
The Senators have averaged 19% fewer defensive mistakes, including 14.7% fewer bad mistakes than the Rangers through five games.
This discrepancy is highlighted among the Rangers d-core, where the Senators speed and skill has caused Ranger defensemen to make 46% more bad defensive mistakes than they did in round one.
Those third period goals against the Rangers are captured in these numbers, and can quickly turn an overall contribution advantage from what should be a win, to a momentum stealing loss, and being down 3-2 in the series.
Ranger Contribution Highlights
1. Kris Kreider was near the bottom of Ranger forwards in round one, but jumped to the top spot in round two with a 214% contribution increase. His round two performance is 24% above his regular season average.
2. Michael Grabner was also near the bottom in round one but rose 262% to occupy the second spot in round two, and is currently performing 39% above his regular season average.
3. Mats Zuccarello was the runaway leader and catalyst against the Canadiens in round one, but has dropped 31% to land in the third spot. He is currently 13% below his regular season average in round two, whereas he was 27% above his season average in round one.
Kevin Hayes and JT Miller, were in the top three in round one, but in round two, currently sit in the eighth and tenth spot respectively among Ranger forwards.
Jimmy Vesey has improved 54% from his round one performance and had his best game of the playoffs in game five.
1. Ryan McDonagh has dropped only marginally in round two, but the make-up of his contributions has shifted dramatically. His offense jumped 54% but his defensive contributions have dropped even more, and he currently sits third among Ranger blueliners in defensive proficiency in round two.
2. Nick Holden has been the best round two story among Ranger defensemen, rising 263% to place him just above Girardi. The biggest difference has been his ability to reduce offensive turnovers and defensive mistakes, and allow his great offensive instincts to rack up positive contributions. He is a high event defenseman that creates plenty of positive contributions, and is a great overall contributor when he manages his negative plays well.
3. Dan Girardi’s contributions are near identical from round one, only against Ottawa his offense is up and his defense is down. He is currently the strongest Ranger defenseman in play-by-play defense, leading Staal by 34%.
The Rangers have a 119% play-by-play advantage over the Senators at Madison Square Garden in the series.
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