The 2023-24 season might solely be simply over six weeks outdated, however the Rangers’ drastic enchancment within the faceoff circle is a exceptional incidence that has evaded the membership for years.
Even of their 1-0 win Wednesday night time over the Penguins, who personal a NHL-leading 55.3 faceoff win proportion this season and have been fairly strong within the dots through the years, the Rangers had been proper there with them.
Whereas Pittsburgh gained 52.5 p.c of the attracts, the Rangers took 47.5 p.c.
Each of the Blueshirts’ prime faceoff takers, Mika Zibanejad and Vincent Trocheck, gained over 50 p.c of their attracts, with the Swedish middle posting a 57.1 faceoff proportion (12 of 21) and the American middle profitable 52.9 (9 of 17).
Many gamers have credited assistant Michael Peca for his contributions to the workforce’s enchancment within the circle.
“Truly, it’s all of the gamers,” head coach Peter Laviolette mentioned in response after morning skate on Wednesday. “They’re those within the scrums and the centerman within the preliminary battle. I believe we simply known as consideration to it to work on it. The gamers, they must have that buy-in. I believe the workforce has to have that buy-in. It’s a possession. Puck’s up for possession. I believe that the workforce normally has helped dictate the place the puck’s going.
“I believe all people shares a bit little bit of that to be the place we’re at proper now. It’s nonetheless one thing it’s a must to work at on a regular basis as a result of it’s a protracted season.”
The Rangers’ 54.8 faceoff win proportion this season is sweet for second within the NHL, behind solely Pittsburgh.
The Rangers had an off day as they traveled to Philadelphia, the place that they had a workforce Thanksgiving dinner forward of their matchup with the Flyers on Friday.
Alexis Lafreniere has 4 objectives within the final 5 video games for eight on the season, which is the third-most on the Rangers.
His six objectives at five-on-five are second on the workforce behind Artemi Panarin’s seven.