Defenseman- 2nd pair, Power Play
Weight- 190 lbs.
Games Played- 81
Avg TOI- 19:24
Penalty Minutes- 26
Blocked shots- 64
For a majority of the season, Anton Stralman had been a model of consistency. Found alongside Marc Staal on the 2nd pair, he gave the Rangers stability and reliability. He played in nearly all 82 games, having missed one game due to a minor injury. His calm demeanor under pressure was depended on by head coach Alain Vigneault. Never known for his offensive talents, his all around play is what made him an asset. His timely stick in the passing lanes, tying up opponent’s in the corners, clearing the puck in the crease, or timely body checks: all helped the Rangers’ defense become one of the top defensive teams in the NHL this season. At the end of the season, the team allowed an average of 2.32 goals against per game. That was good for 4th behind Los Angeles, Boston, and St. Louis, all of whom are Stanley Cup favorites. Though he didn’t have the Duncan Keith nor Drew Doughty offensive numbers, it was his intangibles that made him just as valuable.
At times, Stralman has been a little lazy in his own end. Not a fast skater, he will stay back and cover the net. Not a bulky player, he does have difficulties clearing the man in front of the net. This may be his Achilles’ heel and will need to improve if he wants to remain on the team’s top four defensemen.
Post Season Prediction:
Stralman will elevate his play for the New York Rangers in the playoffs. With each game having greater weight, he will be counted on more by his teammates and coaches. He gives the “right” balance to Staal. They allow each other the opportunity to get involved in the offensive play, but responsible enough to pick and chose those situations.