Since Ryan McDonagh entered the league, it was clear to many that he had great potential. Now the New York Rangers captain, McDonagh has been leading a flawed defense and is still excelling in his role.
Before divulging into anything, did you know the New York Rangers once acquired Ryan McDonagh for Scott Gomez? I know, crazy stuff.
Anyway, Ryan McDonagh has clearly earned his role as the number one defenseman on the team and one of the best two-way defensemen in the league as a whole. It has never been easy for McDonagh, especially these past two seasons considering who he’s had to play with.
Consistent as Consistent Gets
McDonagh’s best attribute is that he can step up defensively in the biggest moments, no matter who his defensive partner is. There are not many better when it comes to defending one-on-ones and clearing the crease to make life easier for Henrik Lundqvist.
It’s no secret that these past few seasons have forced McDonagh to work with a subpar group of defenders. However, what makes his play even more remarkable is that he’s been able to succeed despite this. Back-to-back 30+ point season working with a defense that has its issues moving the puck up the ice.
When digging up his underlying stats, McDonagh’s been able to have a scoring-chances-for percentage of 53%, an outstanding number considering the anchors strapped to his side.
McDonagh took the role of captain prior to the start of the 2014-15 season and has proved why the franchise gave him the coveted “C” on the jersey.
He’s played through a number of injuries, most noticeably in the 2015 Eastern Conference Final when he played 3 games on a broken foot. Shoulder injuries and concussions have yet to slow down the shutdown defenseman, putting him into “warrior” status.
Players tend to stick out to fans when they are able to stand up in the moment and make a big play. Ryan McDonagh’s taken the reins and become one of the most clutch playoff performers over the years in New York.
Who could forget when he kept the Rangers’ season alive with a game five overtime goal against Washington in 2015? Or putting up 10 points in six games versus Montreal en route to a conference championship in 2014.
Now McDonagh is stepping up his level of play on the big stage once again. On the stat sheet, five points in nine games does not seem like much, but more often than not the Rangers captain has appeared locked in on both ends of the ice. Defending odd man rushes have seemed like a piece of cake so far during this journey. On the offensive side, he’s moved the puck as well as he’s ever have.
The Rangers are fortunate to have Ryan McDonagh be a force on their blue line night in and night out. The good news is it appears not many are taking it for granted and understand the skill seen on a nightly basis. And if the Rangers are going to continue this playoff run, expect McDonagh to carry the team once again.