Look, we all know it’s not the end of the world if the New York Rangers get outshot in a hockey game. That’s why they pay Henrik Lundqvist the big bucks. They don’t need to apologize for having a great goalie.
But there are limits.
In the Rangers’ last 20 games, a stretch dating back to Feb. 18, they’ve been outshot on 16 occasions. That’s 80 percent of the time. And some of the margins have been extreme, including 37-20, 36-19, 36-23, 43-25, 52-26, and 41-24.
It’s not just about the shots surrendered, either. Only twice in those 20 games have the Rangers managed 30 shots; they’ve averaged just 25.4 in those 20. To put that in perspective, on the season, only the New Jersey Devils have averaged fewer shots (24.4) than that.
The good news is that the Rangers have managed an 11-6-3 record in their last 20 games. Lundqvist has been mostly good, and their scorers have been burying their chances at a high rate.
This is not the first time this team has gone on a high PDO run. They did it earlier in the season, getting off to a 16-3-2 start.
But take away that 16-3-2 start and the Rangers have gone a pretty modest 27-22-7 since. On the season, they’re statistically among the worst puck-possession teams in the league, their score-adjusted Corsi similar to the likes of Calgary, Columbus, and Edmonton.
To be sure, the Rangers could still be a dangerous postseason opponent, mostly because of Lundqvist, but also because of their experience. They’ve won eight playoff series in the last four years, including a trip to the Stanley Cup Final in 2014.
But it’s worth noting that when the Rangers nearly won it all two years ago, they went into the playoffs as one of the best possession teams.
There’s been a significant decline since.