Thursday night provided just the latest example of a Rangers victory not aligning with the peripheral numbers that are supposedly meant to measure a team’s true performance, independent of the scoreboard.
So while the Rangers beat the Capitals, 4-1, while in command most of the match, in which every goal came at full strength, they came up short in the five-on-five attempts share (41.56 percent), shot share (38 percent), scoring chances (44.19 percent), high danger chances (45.45 percent) and expected goals (44.01 percent), as measured by Natural Stat Trick.
MSG-TV analyst Steve Valiquette, using numbers from his own company’s operation, went on Twitter to call it a “stolen win,” by virtue of Igor Shesterkin outplaying Ilya Samsonov.
Overall, the Rangers reside in the NHL’s nether regions pretty much across the board when it comes to analytics, with the most ardent believers having issues legitimizing the 33-13-5 record the team will take into its Saturday afternoon confrontation at Pittsburgh.
And while the Rangers, of course, do want more puck possession and would like to limit chances against, they have found a formula for consistent success. If Shesterkin, whose save percentage of .940 is veering into historic territory, is a large part of that equation, his teammates are not apologizing for that.