The New York Rangers are on a roll.
After an awful start to the season, the team has won seven of their last nine. So we can throw away the beginning of the season—this is the true Rangers team.
Now that they're winning, the Rangers are starting to put together some impressive stats. What are the five most impressive stats of the 2013-14 season?
Read on to find out.
*All stats from NHL.com and reflect the numbers entering Sunday's game*
The Rangers have had 34 power-play opportunities.
That's good for ninth in the league.
The team has done a good job of converting, too, scoring a power-play goal 18.9 percent of the time, a big increase over last year's 15.7 percent.
Getting that many opportunities shows that they charge hard to the net. It shows they frustrate teams and wreak havoc in the offensive zone. They could probably convert more chances, but it's a huge upgrade.
The Rangers have scored a power-play goal in five of their last seven games. The more opportunities they get and the more they convert, the better off they will be.
The Rangers have only missed 181 shots this season.
It may seem like a lot, but it's actually ninth-best in the league.
Los Angeles, by comparison, has missed a league-high 254 shots.
It seems obvious, but missed shots are missed opportunities. The Rangers are not a team that's going to score five goals a game. With Rick Nash out, they're going to need to convert on as many opportunities as possible.
Luckily for the Rangers, they don't miss many opportunities. They may not score on every shot, but at least they're going on net. When it goes on net, good things happen.
The Rangers do a really good job of keeping the puck.
They have given the puck away just 95 times, which is third-lowest in the league.
Now, giveaways—or lack thereof—don't necessarily correlate with wins. After all, San Jose gives the puck away the second-most amount of time in the league, yet they are one of the best teams. Florida, probably the worst team in the league, gives the puck away the fifth-least amount of times.
But it is still important. Because the Rangers don't give the puck away, it means that they can keep offensive cycles going longer. It means that they don't have too many dumb passes in their own zone.
Keeping the puck shows that they are careful. Good teams take risks, yes, but they are also careful when it matters most.
The Rangers need to score first.
When the team puts one on the board before the other team, the Rangers win 87.5 percent of the time.
This shows that the defense can hold up. When you get a lead, the other team is gunning for you. They're trying to do whatever they can to get back into the game.
The Rangers can withstand these charges. That's a good sign for the team. If they are to make the playoffs, getting out to an early lead is essential. But keeping that lead is even more important.
When the Rangers do win, they win in grand fashion.
Of their nine wins, four of them have been by two goals.
That is tied for second in the league, only behind Colorado.
Look, for all the early-season struggles, what's becoming clear is that this may actually be a good team. They needed to time to adjust, both to the hellish schedule and to Alain Vigneault's schedule. Now that they have found their footing, though, they are starting to win and starting to win big.