For the New York Rangers, this season was a strong one for the emerging talents on the backend. All six guys that are expected to play in game one had fantastic seasons, and the 7th defenseman on this team has a great story of fighting back to get into the show. It was a good year and it seemed to show the Blueshirts take a step forward in their own end throughout the entire team.
Whether that is just due to the adjustments made by the coaching staff or if the players themselves have just shown that level of progression to no longer have to rely so heavily on their elite shot-stopper behind them, this was a good year. There’s still plenty of time left for things to get even better for this Blueshirts’ blue line but we have all seen the positives from this roster to this point.
For the youthful side of this core, there was a fantastic breakout year for a left-shot defenseman, there was a right-shot defenseman who made himself look right at home lower down the defensive core and may have an argument to be made about moving up the lineup and getting more ice time, and there have been no arguments with the elite production from the Rangers star defenseman who just also happens to be one of the best in hockey.
For the veterans, it was good too. One of the defensemen on this team laid a hit so big it destroyed the season for one of the most successful teams of the salary cap era. There was so much to like from the 82 games this rosters backend played and we will need to see more from it if the Rangers are going to knock off New Jersey, but for now, let’s talk about this Rangers’ defensive unit.