After watching last night's game, I contemplated who had the deeper scoring depth of the two Eastern Conference Finals teams. Off the top of my head, I couldn't decide who has more scoring depth.In the regular season, the Rangers had the likes of Marian Gaborik (76 pts), Brad Richards (66), and Ryan Callahan (54); while the Devils had Ilya Kovalchuk (83), Patrik Elias (78), and Zach Parise (69). Now that it's the playoffs, have the same top players stepped up? Does one team have a leg up on their hated rivals in scoring depth? Check it out after the jump.
Let's start with looking back at regular season scoring. For those who just like nice short articles: the Rangers have the better scoring depth in the regular season. Everyone else, read on!
The Rangers and the Devils both had four players over 50 points. The top four Devils players over 50 points amassed more points overall, but still, we are looking at scoring depth for the entire team. Below is a chart of players each team has over a certain points threshold:
And a bar chart with the top ten scorers on each team (regular season):
The Devils scoring depth is the same from players with 40 to 20 points. On the other hand the Rangers have almost 60 percent more scoring depth at 20 points than the Devils. In a probable seven games series, this may prove to be a problem for the Devils. I decided to show it in bar chart form too, I think it shows the problem the Devils may face if their secondary and even third line doesn't chip in vs. the Rangers. In the regular season, there is 82 games in order to weed out the bad teams and for good players to show they have a nose for putting pucks in the net. In the playoffs, there is far fewer games, and your entire roster needs to be prepared to chip in when needed. The playoffs are an entirely different beast, and the scoring depth for these two teams also shows.
It took the Rangers 16 games to get to today, while it only took the Devils 14 games. Therefore, the Devils will have lower point totals by their skaters. Even with the Devils playing two less games, they have impressive scoring depth in the 2011-12 playoffs. Check out the chart below.
So, with two less playoff games under their belt, the Devils have more players chipping in on offense. The Rangers have one more player over 10 points than the Devils, but four fewer players that have racked up four points or more in the playoffs.
To fix the problem of the Rangers having played two more games. I extrapolated each Devils player by their PPG to 16 games. The numbers that changed are the ones in parentheses The Devils would beat the rangers in every category if they had played the same number of games.
Since this is the playoffs, I took this analysis one step further and broke the scoring down by line. I know lines change, but I used the ones I think have been utilized in the playoffs.
34 Points: Zach Parise - Travis Zajac - Ilya Kovalchuk
25 points: Carl Hagelin - Brad Richards - Marian Gaborik
16 points: Patrik Elias - Petr Sykora - Dainius Zubrus
20 points: Chris Kreider - Derek Stepan - Ryan Callahan
21 points: Alexei Ponikarovsky - Adam Henrique - David Clarkson
9 points: Ruslan Fedotenko - Brian Boyle - Brandon Prust
12 points: Stephen Gionta - Ryan Carter - Steve Bernier
10 points: Artem Anisimov - John Mitchell - Mike Rupp
Devils: 23 points
Rangers: 32 points
Quick takeaway from these lines: The Devils are rolling deeper lines, while the Rangers are getting a lot of support from their defense. Who knows what will be more helpful in this series. I'd love to hear what everyone has to say about scoring depth from these two teams. In my eyes, it's a coin toss. What are your takeaways and should either team change up their strategy to account for the ways the other team is scoring? Thank for reading... let's hope the Devils continue to #SwarmItUp!