So I watched as Pekka Rinne, the estimable 38-year-old Nashville goaltender, took a victory lap round his dwelling ice to a standing ovation following the May 10 shutout of Carolina in his 683rd — and maybe, final — sport for the franchise.
And all I used to be pondering was: This is the way in which Henrik Lundqvist deserved to exit as a Ranger — with cheers and gratitude ringing in his ears from the adoring Garden devoted, and never with the anticlimactic buyout that adopted The King’s slide into close to obscurity these ultimate months of 2019-20.
But that’s not all. Because it’s my perception normal supervisor Chris Drury and the Blueshirts ought to goal the approaching free agent Rinne to fill the position as backup goaltender to Igor Shesterkin subsequent season if he’s in the marketplace. Yes, after all, that would entail dealing Alexandar Georgiev, however that may be a transfer that would serve the perfect pursuits of each events.
The Rangers want an infusion of management in all corners of the room. The subsequent coach can deliver solely a lot of it. They additionally have to stabilize their goaltending state of affairs after a season during which each Shesterkin and Georgiev have been making an attempt to ascertain themselves within the NHL.
That was a process carried out significantly better by Shesterkin following an insecure first few weeks out of the gate, however to a big diploma he should do it another time in what would be his first 82-game season. To a bigger diploma, so would Georgiev, who by no means discovered a suitable stage of consistency.
Georgiev would possible profit from a change in surroundings if the Rangers might transfer him and his $2.425 million cap hit, which is fairly dear for a backup goalie. The Bulgarian-born netminder most likely must go to a staff that perceives him as at the very least a co-No. 1, whereas the Rangers want a veteran to help Shesterkin.
If Rinne — whose Predators will face the Hurricanes the primary spherical of the playoffs following a late-season surge — chooses to proceed his NHL profession elsewhere, he would examine the entire bins. As Nashville transitioned to 26-year-old Juuse Saros as No. 1, following 12 years with Rinne because the standard-bearer, the elder Finn was wholly supportive of his youthful mate. Plus, Rinne offered sturdy goaltending, successful three straight to assist kick-start his staff’s cost.
Rinne has 369 profession victories, fifth within the hard-cap period behind Marc-Andre Fleury, Lundqvist, Roberto Luongo and Ryan Miller. It would be factor for the Rangers if Rinne received to No. 370 carrying the Blueshirt.
Will Lundqvist get a gig at Turner or ESPN if the goaltender is compelled to retire earlier than subsequent season? Is that need he would need to do?
But earlier than any choices are made in that regard, shouldn’t Drury place a name to Lundqvist and invite him to attempt on a administration chapeau? Only essentially the most fashionable, after all.
And after all Drury ought to.
It strikes me how so many superior stats try to measure occasions by quantifying issues which may have occurred or ought to have occurred through mathematical formulation versus occasions that really did occur. What else does xGF (anticipated objectives for) try to find out?
I discover it unusual that if a participant’s manufacturing falls far under his xGF, the rapid fall-back rationalization is that he has been “unlucky,” fairly than “underachieving.”
We must be so lucky to get a Toronto-Edmonton second spherical confrontation that would put the highlight on a Connor McDavid-Auston Matthews matchup that hopefully will develop into the next-gen Sidney Crosby versus Alex Ovechkin.
McDavid, who’s the one and solely cause to simply accept returning to a schedule underneath which every staff visits each different metropolis at the very least as soon as, has 104 factors with one sport to go within the season. That equates to 1.89 factors per sport, essentially the most within the hard-cap period, which commenced in 2005-06.
Matthews’ 41 objectives got here at a tempo of 0.79 objectives per sport, tied with Ovechkin’s 2007-08 price, during which the Washington winger scored 65 objectives in 82 matches for the perfect of the period.
It stands to cause that if these gamers, with their skill-levels, had performed within the Nineteen Seventies and Eighties, their numbers would have been off the charts matched in opposition to comparatively inferior goaltending by an period when backchecking was typically an elective train and bottoms of lineups have been usually suspect.
Matthews’ output of 41 objectives leads runner-up McDavid by eight, or 24.24 p.c. In 1952-53, Gordie Howe led the league with 49 objectives (in 70 video games), 17 greater than runner-up Ted Lindsay’s 32. That represented a 53.125 p.c discrepancy. But that’s not the best margin in historical past.
No, that got here in 1990-91 when Brett Hull’s 86 objectives have been 35 higher than tri-runners up Theo Fleury, Cam Neely and Steve Yzerman, representing a staggering 68.63 p.c margin.
That’s not one thing that ought to have occurred. It is one thing that did occur.
And McDavid’s 104-point output leads runner-up Leon Draisaitl by 21 factors, for a 25.3 p.c benefit. That is, by the way in which, lower than half the margin posted by Wayne Gretzky in 1985-86 when The Great One’s 215 factors have been 74 higher than Mario Lemieux’s, for a 52.48 p.c edge.
The solely factor to regulate could be your eyes.
You know the way McDavid’s and Matthews’ numbers have produced some raised eyebrows due to the allegedly dramatic inferior defensive play of their opponents within the All-Canadian division?
Well, simply noting that there have been 5.86 goals-per-game in that division versus the identical 5.86 per within the East, 5.78 per within the West and 5.66 within the Central?
Does the three.5 p.c unfold skew issues that a lot? At all?
OK, so you might have all these younger facilities Emile Francis traded away, however you’re awarded a mulligan and get to maintain one by unwinding one deal.
Your decisions: 1. Red Berenson, traded to St. Louis with Barclay Plager for Ron Stewart and Ron Attwell; 2. Syl Apps, traded to Pittsburgh for Glen Sather; 3. Don Luce, despatched to Detroit for Steve Andrascik; 4. Curt Bennett, traded to Atlanta for Ron Harris; 5. Bryan Hextall Jr., chosen by California within the enlargement draft; 6. Juha Widing, traded to Los Angeles with Real Lemieux for Ted Irvine.
What say you?