Hockey Prospectus, www.puckprospectus.com, is the hockey sibling in the famous Prospectus sports advanced stats analytics family. Some of their writers not only appear on the home site, they also do guest features on ESPN and other sports sites. They do a great job of analyzing the sport through the prism of advanced stats.

Tom Awad, one of the talented scribes and stat analysts on the site, developed a metric whose baseball comparable would likely be Runs Above Replacement-level (RAR). Awad called his player evaluation stat, “Goals Versus Threshold” (GVT) and with it determines a player’s on-ice contributions relative to a “threshold” or “replacement” player. (Before I go further I want to thank Tom for the help he has given me as I try to understand the GVT metric. Sometimes I just can’t grasp the nuts and bolts of these advanced stats. Tom has gone above and beyond in helping me to better understand.)

If you are a fan of baseball you may have heard of the RAR stat. This stat is a close comparable to GVT in that it represents a player’s value above a “replacement” or “threshold” player in a term (runs for baseball or goals for hockey) fans are familiar with. A “threshold” or “replacement level” player would be defined as the top AHL/minor league player in the organization or the highest ranking free agent on the market in-season (not a prospect) and carries a GVT or RAR value of zero. Basically the guy a club would go get in the event one of their regular players went down to injury or something to that effect. For Rangers fans think Chad Kolarik, Andre Deveaux or Kris Newbury.

The GVT metric takes into account the offensive, defensive and shootout contributions of skaters and the goaltending and shootout performances of netminders. The calculations are done separately based on position; forward, defense and goalie. That’s because the responsibilities associated with each position and the stats that accompany them are inherently different. Forwards tend to be expected to produce goals; the blueliners are tasked primarily with goal-prevention; and of course goalies are supposed to stop the puck from crossing their goal line.

The complex formulation also weighs ice time and the quality of that ice time. Obviously players who receive the most ice time have a better chance of accruing the type of counting stats that would help boost his GVT. Factoring the quantity of a player’s ice time serves to normalize his GVT. Just as important as considering the quantity of ice time is factoring for the quality of that ice time.

Clearly ice time is not created equally. For example; it is much easier to score goals while on the man-advantage than it is to score a goal while killing a penalty or at even strength. Thus the formula weighs the different types of ice time differently. It doesn’t punish a PK guy for allowing a goal as much as it would that player at even-strength or the PP. Conversely a player isn’t rewarded quite as well when scoring a marker on the PP as he would if scoring at even-strength or on the PK.

As part of a project I was working on at the time, I attempted to quasi-reverse-engineer the GVT stat so I could track players’ real time performances. Unfortunately, Hockey Prospectus has not been able to make that available to its readers… yet. Mr. Awad told me in an email that they hope to have the GVT stat live on the site by October.

Regardless, I quickly learned just how complex and comprehensive the stat is. I can’t imagine any potentially useful data that may have been omitted from this calculation. At the end of the day, I learned two things: One being that I had a love/hate relationship with Microsoft Excel; the other being that Tom Awad put a ton of work into the GVT metric. He accounts for offense, defense and shootout performance for skaters while factoring for a goaltender’s performance for regulation and in the shootout.

Here’s how some of our favorite Rangers ranked in GVT this past year and for comparative purposes I’ll include the finalists for this year’s Hart, Norris and Vezina trophies.

[jcolumns]Rangers ForwardsRyan Callahan – 7.8

Brandon Dubinsky – 9.6

Marian Gaborik – 10.2

Artem Anisimov – 7.5

Brad Richards – 17.5

Mike Rupp – 1.4

Brian Boyle – 8.0

Brandon Prust – 6.3[jcol/]

Hart Trophy FinalistsCorey Perry – 23.3

Daniel Sedin – 26.2

Martin St. Louis – 20.4[/jcolumns]

---

[jcolumns]Rangers Defensemen Marc Staal – 8.7

Dan Girardi – 9.9

Ryan McDonagh – 4.6 (in roughly half a year)

Michael Sauer – 7.1[jcol/]

Norris Trophy FinalistsNicklas Lidstrom – 16.1

Zdeno Chara – 12.8

Shea Weber – 12.7[/jcolumns]

---

[jcolumns]Rangers RookiesMats Zuccarello – 5.5 (in roughly half a season)

Derek Stepan – 7.0[jcol/]

Calder CandidatesJeff Skinner – 13.9

Logan Couture – 16.1

Michael Grabner – 16.8[/jcolumns]

---

GoaltendersHenrik Lundqvist – 29.6

Tim Thomas – 40.0

Pekka Rinne – 36.5

Roberto Luongo – 27.3

What I find interesting is that the Rangers had seven players with a GVT between 7.5 and 10.2. Gaborik was the highest rated skater at 10.2 but he wasn’t close to any of the Hart candidates. This suggests that the Rangers were a balanced club but lacked players who performed at a truly elite level.

Given that Hank rated slightly higher than Roberto Luongo, it stands to reason perhaps he deserved a Vezina nomination rather than the Canucks backstop. Regardless, even GVT backs up the voters awarding of the trophy to the Stanley Cup winning Tim Thomas.

I was surprised that Zuccarello rated so highly considering he played just half a season. Since GVT is more-or-less a counting stat, it is feasible that if the “Norwegian Hobbit” had played a full schedule he would have finished with a GVT around 11; or twice what he earned in half the campaign. That figure would have led Ranger skaters.

GVT is the one player evaluation metric that is close to being perfect. Unlike PC, GVT doesn’t appear to overvalue goaltenders quite like Ryder’s PC metric and it’s hard to argue either with the sheer volume of data included in the formula or with the actual mathematics behind it.

[jbutton color="red" link="http://www.snyrangersblog.com/category/advanced-stats/" size="xsmall"]CLICK HERE[/jbutton] to see the Advanced Stats section.

Tags: Advanced Stats

The Penguins defeated Ottawa in double OT during last night's Game 7 to win the Eastern Conference Final for the second straight year.

The Penguins are aiming to to be the first team since the Red Wings in 1997 and 1998 to win the Stanley Cup in back to back years.

They will face the Predators starting on Monday in Pittsburgh.

The Rangers felt, after being eliminated by Ottawa, that they still should have been playing.bu

Read More

 (Andy Marlin)
(Andy Marlin)

Brandon Pirri played in 60 games for the Rangers this season, netting 8 goals, 10 assists, 96 shots, 201 shot attempts, a minus 8 rating and 12:17 per game.

Pirri played in the Rangers first 32 games of the season before being scratched for two games.

He then:

Tags: Brandon Pirri
Read More

Feb 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers right wing Kevin Hayes (13) carries the puck as Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson (7) trails the play during the third period at Nationwide Arena. New York beat Columbus 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports (Russell LaBounty)
Feb 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers right wing Kevin Hayes (13) carries the puck as Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson (7) trails the play during the third period at Nationwide Arena. New York beat Columbus 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports (Russell LaBounty)

Larry Brooks wrote, when the season ended, that the Rangers need more consistency from Kevin Hayes moving forward. (NY Post)

Brooks wrote that Hayes has not been "forceful enough" in using his size, reach and puck skills in getting to the net. (NY Post)

He did note that Hayes adapted well to being put in different positions by Alain Vigneault, including more time in the defensive zone. (NY Post)

Alain Vigneault said in February that Kevin Hayes is "rounding out as a player" and starting to better understand the game at both ends of the rink.

Read More

Apr 9, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) and defenseman Dan Girardi (5) congratulate goalie Magnus Hellberg (45) after the 3-2 win over against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Apr 9, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) and defenseman Dan Girardi (5) congratulate goalie Magnus Hellberg (45) after the 3-2 win over against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Magnus Hellberg has reportedly signed with Kunlun Red Star of the KHL, who play in China. (Elite Prospects)

Kunlun's head coach is former Rangers head coach Mike Keenan.

For Hartford this season, Hellberg was 12-15 with a GAA of 2.95 and save percentage of .903.

Tags: Magnus Hellberg
Read More

Mar 18, 2017; Saint Paul, MN, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei (76) shoots during the second period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)
Mar 18, 2017; Saint Paul, MN, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei (76) shoots during the second period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)

Brendan Smith said during the playoffs that he had been "really impressed" with Brady Skjei since joining the Rangers and that he is sometimes "in awe" of the plays that Skjei makes. (NYR)

Smith said that Skjei is "wiser" than his age and that he doesn't see the kind of mistakes that other rookie defensemen tend to make. (NYR)

Smith said that Skjei is "strong" at both ends of the ice and "that's what you need from a defenseman." (NYR)

Tags: Brady Skjei
Read More

New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad scores a goal past Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson during the second period in Game 6 of the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. (Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad scores a goal past Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson during the second period in Game 6 of the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. (Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports Images)

While speaking about Mika Zibanejad on breakup day, Alain Vigneault said that Zibanejad is at a crossroad in his career and needs to "figure it out."

Vigneault said that Zibanejad has the "tools and capabilities to be a high end center in this league and needs to put it together."

He said that Zibanejad is in a phase of figuring things out and understanding how to play in different situations and what those situations may require him to do.

Tags: Mika Zibanejad
Read More

 (Danny Wild)
(Danny Wild)

JT Miller said earlier this season that the Rangers expect him to bring his "A" game on nightly basis and that is what he also expects of himself. (CBC)

He said that he challenges himself to be better every year and that he has high expectations for how he wants to perform. (CBC)

  • Larry Brooks writes that Miller was the Rangers best forward through the first 50 games of the season before going through an "unfortunate slide." (NY Post)
  • Miller had 16 goals and 19 assists in the first 49 games this season, prior to the All-Star break, and 6 goals and 18 assists in the 45 games that followed, including the playoffs.
  • In 24 games in January and February, Miller had 7 goals and 15 assists.
  • In 19 games in March an April, Miller had 3 goals and 5 assists.
Tags: J.T. Miller
Read More

Defenseman Neal Pionk said that he chose the Rangers after visiting with the organization, meeting the management team and speaking with Alain Vigneault. (Duluth News Tribune)

It was reported when he signed that around 20 teams were interested in Pionk.

Pionk said that he likes the Rangers style of play as well as the success they have had the past few years. (Duluth News Tribune)

Tags: Neal Pionk
Read More

May 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Oscar Lindberg (24) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Ottawa Senators during the second period of game four of the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports  (Brad Penner)
May 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Oscar Lindberg (24) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Ottawa Senators during the second period of game four of the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

In 5 games at the World Championships, Oscar Lindberg had 2 assists, a plus 6 rating and 18:10 per game while helping Sweden win the Gold Medal.

Lindberg spent most of the tournament on a line with Washington's Nicklas Backstrom and Toronto's William Nylander.

Sweden's coach Rikard Gronborg said that despite Lindberg playing more of a defensive role with the Rangers, they view him as an offensive player who fit in well with Backstrom and Nylander. (HockeySverige)

Tags: Oscar Lindberg
Read More

New York Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) looks to make a pass against the Philadelphia Flyers during the second period at Madison Square Garden. (Danny Wild)
New York Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) looks to make a pass against the Philadelphia Flyers during the second period at Madison Square Garden. (Danny Wild)

Mats Zuccarello said that the hopes to be able to play for Norway in the Olympics next year despite the NHL saying that they won't shut down their season. (Nettavisen)

Zuccarello said that he would like to have a chat with the Rangers about possibly playing in the Olympics and that if the decision is up to him then he will go." (Nettavisen)

Asked why he didn't go play for Norway in the World Championships after the Rangers season ended, Zuccarello said that the team was doing well without him and that he wanted to take some time to relax. (Nettavisen)

Henrik Lundqvist has said that he would like the chance to play in the Olympics again.

Tags: Mats Zuccarello
Read More

Apr 2, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Brendan Smith (42) is honored as one of the stars of the game after scoring a goal to help beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)
Apr 2, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Brendan Smith (42) is honored as one of the stars of the game after scoring a goal to help beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)

Brendan Smith's agent Anton Thun told Larry Brooks that Smith enjoyed his time playing with the Rangers and that he would "certainly consider" signing a new contract prior to becoming a UFA on July 1. (NY Post)

Thun noted though that Smith has not told him to "get a deal done" with the Rangers and that Smith will be looking for a "good fit with a good organization in his next contract. (NY Post)

He noted that the Rangers definitely "qualify" as a good fit but that for Smith to pass up free agency he will need to sign a contract that "reflects market value." (NY Post)

Tags: Brendan Smith
Read More

Dan Girardi and Marc Staal watch the final seconds during the third period of a first-round NHL playoff game. (Gene J. Puskar)
Dan Girardi and Marc Staal watch the final seconds during the third period of a first-round NHL playoff game. (Gene J. Puskar)

Alain Vigneault was asked on breakup day about Marc Staal an Dan Girardi and if they are both still 20 minute a night players.

Vigneault said that if you were to ask the players that question then they would likely say yes, while adding that from his perspective everything will sort itself out at training camp.

  • Girardi played 63 games this season, scoring 4 goals, 11 assists, 19:06 per game, 44% of the shot attempts at 5 on 5. He played in all 12 playoff games, 2 assists, 22:06 per game 45.4% of the shot attempts at 5 on 5.
  • Staal played 72 games this season, scoring 3 goals, 7 assists, 19:11 per game, 46.6% of the shot attempts at 5 on 5. He played in all 12 playoff games, 0 points, 19:15 per game, 44.9% of the shot attempts at 5 on 5.

He added that there are some players who are "taking strides" and deserve more minutes and that would mean that other players would get fewer minutes.

Asked about his season, Girardi said that it was definitely an improvement over his 2015-16 season but that he wishes he could have done more in the playoffs. (SNY)

Tags: Dan Girardi, Marc Staal
Read More

Sep 25, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Team Sweden goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) during a break in the action against Team Europe during a semifinal game in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey at Air Canada Centre. Team Europe defeated Team Sweden 3-2 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports (John E. Sokolowski)
Sep 25, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Team Sweden goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) during a break in the action against Team Europe during a semifinal game in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey at Air Canada Centre. Team Europe defeated Team Sweden 3-2 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports (John E. Sokolowski)

Henrik Lundqvist said that he suffered a knee injury in Saturday's semi-final win over Finland.

Lundqvist said that around lunch time on Sunday he did not think that he would be able to play but the pain "disappeared" after undergoing acupuncture treatment. (Expressen)

He said that some pain returned to his knee about halfway through the game but said that all he was thinking about was stopping the next shot.(Expressen)

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
Read More

 (Andre Ringuette)
(Andre Ringuette)

Following his win in the Gold Medal game of the World Championships, Henrik Lundqvist said:

  • What does winning mean, "so many things. Sitting in NY ten days ago, this is what I pictured myself, to be here with my brother, to hold this trophy. What a game, so exciting. It's been an amazing week, to be part of this team, this group, to spend time with my brother and then play exciting hockey, that is what I was looking for. It was very disappointing being in New York, the way we ended it. This really, makes me feel a lot better." (IIHF)
  • What was going through your mind in the shootout, "stay calm." (IIHF)
  • Is the trophy heavier than you thought, "yes. Not the medal, but the trophy is pretty heavy." (TSN)
  • What part of the experience will you take with you, "everything. I think 5-6 reasons why I came here and it turned out to be an amazing time for me. To come and play with my brother and win this. It's a great group to be part of, I knew that coming here. To play for your country and to see the flag go up, it's just an amazing feeling. It was very disappointing end in New York the way we did but I recharged and wanted to play with my brother again and come here and experience this was awesome." (TSN)
Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
Read More

Sep 14, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Team Sweden goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) takes to the ice prior to Team Sweden game against Team Europe during a World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament game at Verizon Center. Team Europe won 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)
Sep 14, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Team Sweden goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) takes to the ice prior to Team Sweden game against Team Europe during a World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament game at Verizon Center. Team Europe won 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)

Henrik Lundqvist and Sweden defeated Canada 2-1 in a shootout to win the Gold Medal at the World Hockey Championships.

Lundqvist stopped 42 of 43 shots during regulation and OT including 20 of 21 in the third period and OT.

He also stopped all four shots he faced in the shootout and was named the Player of the Game. 

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist, Oscar Lindberg
Read More

Dec 11, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei (right) celebrates after scoring his first NHL goal against the New Jersey Devils during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Dec 11, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei (right) celebrates after scoring his first NHL goal against the New Jersey Devils during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

While speaking about the defense on breakup day, Alain Vigneault said that the Rangers are "definitely" looking at bringing in another young defenseman next year.

Dan Girardi (33), Kevin Klein (32), Marc Staal (30), Nick Holden (30), Steven Kampfer (28), Ryan McDonagh (27) and Brady Skjei (23) are all under contract for next season.

The Rangers signed Alexei Bereglazov (23), Vince Pedrie (23) and Neal Pionk (21) this spring and had John Gilmour (24) and Ryan Graves (21) in Hartford this past season.

Brendan Smith (28) is a UFA and Adam Clendening (24) is an RFA.

Read More

 (Rick Osentoski)
(Rick Osentoski)

While writing about the center position and potential moves this offseason, Larry Brooks writes that the Rangers could try and use Derek Stepan to land a top-pair right defenseman. (NY Post)

Moving Stepan would also allow the Rangers to give Oscar Lindberg a bigger role at center as well as protect him in the expansion draft. (NY Post)

Brooks notes that potentially moving Kevin Hayes, as opposed to Stepan, likely wouldn't bring "close to the yield" that the Rangers could get for Stepan. (NY Post)

He writes that Lindberg has been under-utilized so far in his time with the Rangers and that it would be a "shame" to lose him in the expansion draft because of limited ice time. (NY Post)

Tags: Derek Stepan, Kevin Hayes
Read More

Sep 25, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Team Sweden goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) warms up prior to the semifinal game against Team Europe in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports  (John E. Sokolowski)
Sep 25, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Team Sweden goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) warms up prior to the semifinal game against Team Europe in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports (John E. Sokolowski)

6:22PM: Lundqvist reportedly made an "acrobatic save" in the final moments of the third period and had to receive treatment after the game.

Reports indicate that as of now Lundqvist should be able to play in the Gold Medal Game. (Expressen)

3:27PM: Sweden defeated Finland 4-1 today to advance to the Gold Medal Game at the World Championships.

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
Read More