Dominic Moore has been the anchor of the Rangers 4th line since last season, and his importance to the team, can be under appreciated.
Moore has played in 80 games this year and has posted 9 goals and 16 assists, which is his best output since 2010-2011, when he recorded 32 points. Moore has been hot as of late recording 4 points in his last 4 games, but his best work comes on the defensive side of the puck, where he provides defensive ability and veteran experience.
According to NHL.com, Dominic Moore is 11th among centers in short handed time on ice this season, with 172 minutes and 5 seconds played. He plays 2:09 a game on the penalty kill and is one of the reasons the Rangers have the 5th best penalty kill in the NHL. Moore is known for his sound positional penalty killing. He is the kind of center who angles the attacker off, whereas penalty killers like Ryan Callahan dive in front of every shot. The video below is one of Moore’s short handed goals this year. You can see how he has the presence of mind to challenge the defender one on one and not just dump the puck and change.
According to War on Ice, Dominic Moore has more starts in the defensive zone than anyone else on the Rangers. He has assumed this role, by being a reliable presence inside the zone. Moore has a terrific ability to make plays in his own end and join the play shortly after. In addition to being a respectable two-way center, Moore provides some veteran grit. He won’t fight, but he will go to the dirty areas, mix it up in the corners, and draw attention to himself. Rangers Head Coach Alain Vigneault told Tal Pinchevsky of NHL.com back in September, when the Rangers were hit with injuries, that they may have to turn to Moore for help, “I think he is ready to assume a bigger role, and I know that’s what he’d like,” Vigneault continued, “I do know that when we needed him last year to pick up some ice time he came through for us.” Vigneault was referring to the previous post-season where the Rangers moved Moore into a top 9 role when players like Derek Stepan and Derick Brassard went down with injuries. Moore has 69 games of career playoff experience and has come up with some huge goals like the one below.
Moore is 54.6% on Face-off this year which is best on the Rangers. When the playoffs roll around, face-offs tend to become more important as they help generate possession, and this has been an area where the Rangers have struggled this year. The Rangers currently sit 29th in the NHL in face-off percentage on the season. They may not seem like a big deal now, but when it is late in a 1 goal game, you will hope that your team could put someone on the ice who can win a draw.
Moore is a sound all around player, and if the Rangers are going to make a deep run in the playoffs, they will need him to do some heavy lifting. He is that Rangers main guy on defensive zone face-offs, a key penalty killer, and he has enough offensive ability to move up the lineup if the Rangers need him. If he plays to his full potential he will be a nightmare for other teams to handle.