Papa John's Files for Bankruptcy After Rangers Promo

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Dave Rogers

Editor-in-Chief at Cleared for Contact
Writer, photographer and a lifelong New York Rangers hockey fan.
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No, Papa John’s is not actually filing for bankruptcy because of the Rangers promo, but they may be regretting offering it up right about now.  It probably seemed like such a good way to sell an inferior pizza to Rangers’ fans.  Anytime the Rangers score three or more goals, Papa John’s offered those in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut areas 50% off their regular priced pizzas the following day using the promo code “Rangers3” online. This promotion has been in place for a few years now. After the 2013/14 season, this may have seemed like a good idea. The Rangers were averaging just 2.61 GF/GP that year. It may not have even seemed too terrible when the Rangers put up 3.02 GF/GP and then 2.84 GF/GP in the 2014/15 and 2015/16 seasons respectively. I wonder what their marketing executives think about it now, though, with the Rangers scoring at seemingly impossible 4.24 GF/GP through 17 games this season. The Rangers, have tallied enough for half off pizza for their fans 13 times so far. It’s a good thing for Papa John’s that they didn’t offer up the other 50% to give free pizza if the Rangers doubled that goal total in a game since they’ve scored six goals or more three times.

Ok, enough Papa John’s. Seriously, one slice is probably too much. What about the Rangers goal scoring, though? Should we take a look at their numbers in all their glory? You can see their game-by-game results over at our Schedule/Results page. That’s one way to look at the production that has placed the Rangers at the top of the standings. Here are some other ways to put the Rangers production this season into context:

  • The Rangers have scored 72 goals so far this season, the next closest team is the Montréal Canadiens with 56.  That’s 16 more goals.
  • Not surprisingly, the Rangers also lead the league in 5-on-5 goals with 49, 12 more than second place Montréal.
  • The Rangers Goal Differential — how many more goals they’ve scored than given up — is +34. Montréal is second at +18.
  • The Rangers have scored 17 goals in the first period (tied for 4th in the league), 31 goals in the second period (1st) and 24 goals in the third period (2nd). They haven’t played any over time games.
  • The Rangers, at 4.24 GF/GP would need to be shut out in the next 5 games in a row to get under the Canadiens’ 3.29 GF/GP.
  • To get down the league median 15th place Detroit Red Wings at 2.47 GF/GP, the Rangers would need to be shut out in their next 12 games in a row.
  • Over their first 17 games last season, the Rangers had 20 fewer goals total (52).
  • The Rangers have 6 players on pace for 30+ goal seasons right now.
  • Michael Grabner, the team leader with 10 goals only had 8 in 80 games last season.  He is currently tied for second in the NHL in goals.
  • Jimmy Vesey is 2nd in the NHL among rookie goal scorers with 7.  Patrik Laine, the one player ahead of him with 12 goals for the Winnipeg Jets was the 2nd overall pick in this year’s draft.
  • Brady Skjei currently leads all rookies in assists (10).  He’s currently 4th in the league among all defensemen.  Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh is 3rd with 11 assists.
  • Brandon Pirri and Dan Girardi are tied for the team lead in Game Winning Goals (3)
  • Only three regular Rangers players have not scored a goal yet this season (Ryan McDonagh, Brady Skjei and Kevin Klein).

There has been a lot of chatter around the league and among Rangers fans alike about whether this production rate is sustainable. It’s likely not. The last team to average over 4.0 GF/GP was the 1995/96 Pittsburgh Penguins.  That Penguins team benefited from three generational talents in Mario Lemieux (161 points), Jaromir Jagr (149 points) and Ron Francis (119 points). No one would put anyone on the Rangers’ current roster not named Henrik Lundqvist alongside any of those three, and Hank’s never been much of a goal scorer. Since the 2004/05 season was lost to a lockout, the highest GF/GP belonged to the 2009/10 Washington Capitals at 3.82. The Rangers’ shooting percentage is 14.6% so far. They lead the league in that department last season, too, but at just 10.0%.

With the talent, speed and chemistry they possess, don’t expect them to completely drop off the goal-scoring cliff anytime soon, though. If they slip back to shooting at the 10.0% they managed last season for the remaining 65 games and keep up their middle-of-the-league 29 shots per game, they’ll end the season with another 189 goals scored, for a total of 261 on the year. That would put them among the top-5 goal producing teams of the last half a dozen seasons. Either way, regardless of whether their scoring drops off or not, I sure wouldn’t want to be Pappa John’s right now. They’re still in business, so that means someone is eating their pizza, but those who do and live in the New York Tri-State area have been eating it on the cheap so far this hockey season.

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