2013-2014 NYR: A Look at the Defense

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Apr. 13, 2013; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) handles the puck against the New York Islanders during the first period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan McDonagh (No. 27)

Well I think we can all agree, Ryan McDonagh became the team’s anchor & go to shutdown defenseman. When McDonagh was on the ice, the Rangers were +13. In a shortened season he was second on the team in PTS with 19 (4g/15a). When Marc Staal went out with an eye injury, Mac became the #1 guy. John Tortorella used him a lot, maybe too much at times. Torts was always famous for shortening a bench in crunch time & it showed with McDonagh averaging 24.21 minutes per game (21st in the league). If your team’s top forwards are on the ice, you bet Ryan McDonagh will be too. We saw him in just about every situation except the powerplay. Not to say he didn’t get PP time, but it was just rare. With a struggling PP all season Torts constantly changed things up. McDonagh has a lot of offensive upside & a pretty big clutch gene. I’d definitely like to see him out there more, even if it is on the 2nd unit.

Now looking ahead, I think he will have a solid season on the blue-line. I’d expect him to be up around the league lead in +/- & Minutes Per Game. I’d say 10-14 goals and 25-30 assists aren’t bad numbers for him to flirt with either. With Staal coming back from his eye injury, Mac Truck is easily the teams #1 D-Man.

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