Every season the injury bug bites a handful of franchises far too frequently, usually ruining any chance they may have had to be competitive. This season one of its favorite targets has been the New York Rangers. Somehow the resilient team has leveraged its well-stocked farm system and carefully chosen collection of role players not only to stay afloat, but to thrive.
Using GVT we can quantify the exact toll injuries have taken on the Broadway Blueshirts, figure out exactly how they've managed to excel and see if we can expect it to continue.
Hockey Prospectus 2010-11 raised more than a few eyebrows this summer when we confidently projected that the Rangers would be the NHL's most improved team. Everyone already knew that New York was a tough team, regularly among the league leaders in hits, and one of those shot-blocking, defensive teams whose consistently elite goaltending kept it in practically every game. But beyond the great Marian Gaborik, did the Rangers have enough puck-handling offensive talent to be legitimate contenders? Clearly, the answer is a resounding yes.