Archive for Ryan McDonagh

chris kreider

Has Chris Kreider even been more important than this coming season?

It’s been quite some time since I last wrote for the blog, but with personal things out of the way (amongst other things, work sucks doesn’t it?!….), the new season just around the corner and significant change in Rangerland behind us, now seems a good a time to get back involved. So, please accept my apologies that you will once again have to endure my ramblings.

Usually I fly over from the UK around mid-season for my annual Rangers fix, but this time I’ll be heading over for my first ever opening night Rangers game and I’m absolutely pumped. Here are three things I’m expecting from the upcoming regular season.

Chris Kreider’s true coming out party

Read More→

Categories : Preseason
Comments (55)
ryan mcdonagh

Photo: Winslow Townson/AP

It’s amazing what one summer can do. Last summer, the Rangers transformed their forwards into one of the most potent offenses in the league. This summer, they transformed their blue line from one of the worst in the league to perhaps one of the best top-four in the league. It’s amazing what Jeff Gorton has done.

Ryan McDonagh has been the rock on the Rangers blue line since he joined the team. He’s not quite elite, but he is in the tier right below elite. After dragging around an anchor for a few seasons, he finally has a chance to be free with Kevin Shattenkirk on his right side. Ryan McDonagh is a free elf.

But for how long?

Read More→

Comments (43)

kevin shattenkirk

Last summer Jeff Gorton made the Rangers into one of the most dynamic scoring machines in the league. The forwards were vastly improved and they could seemingly score at will. But that dried up against the good teams in the playofs because the defense simply couldn’t keep up. That made Gorton’s for this summer goal clear: Fix the defense.

By buying out Dan Girardi, essentially replacing him with Kevin Shattenkirk, and re-signing Brendan Smith, the Rangers have what could potentially be the best top-four in the Metro Division. A potential pairing of Shattenkirk with Ryan McDonagh also gives the Rangers what could be a top pairing that is top-five in the league. No hyperbole.

Read More→

Categories : Defense
Comments (83)

ryan mcdonagh

It is not time to sound the alarm just yet, but Ryan McDonagh appears to be out for tonight’s game against the Flyers. McD0nagh did not skate today at the morning skate, and the defense pairings appeared to be set without him.

Marc Staal-Kevin Klein
Brady Skjei-Dan Girardi
Brendan Smith-Nick Holden

Luckily the Flyers are not as good as the Penguins, but they still have some great talent that can burn that right side of the defense. It’s amazing how much of a hole McDonagh leaves in the lineup. Hopefully this isn’t serious, and is just a precaution to not rush him back in meaningless games.

Categories : Injuries
Comments (7)
Jan
10

Midseason report cards: The defense

Posted by: | Comments (65)
ryan mcdonagh kevin klein

Photo: MSG

With the Rangers on their bye week, which was perfectly timed with the halfway point of the season, we are afforded the opportunity to evaluate the Rangers with nothing else going on. Midseason report cards have been a bit of a tradition here at BSB, so let’s keep that tradition going, shall we?

Over the next few days, each of us will be tackling a different aspect of the team, and assigning grades accordingly. I’m batting leadoff here, and I’m going to be discussing the most polarizing aspect of this year’s team: The defense.

Overall, the back line for the Rangers has been relatively bad. The combination of age, injuries, wear and tear, and a shift towards speed has made what was once a strong defense into a bottom-five unit in the league. The slow start by Henrik Lundqvist exposed the defense even more. But it’s not all bad, either.

Read More→

Categories : Defense
Comments (65)
michael grabner

Pavel Bur… I mean Michael Grabner… Photo: NHLI/Getty Images

People talk about the Rangers 5-2 come from behind win against the Pens as a statement game.  For me, the biggest statement games were the significant Blues and Lightning victories a couple of weeks back – I feel they were more complete games even if the comeback against the Pens was very impressive. For me, the Rangers gave up far too many high quality chances against the Pens on Monday. It wasn’t a quality defensive performance.

Michael Grabner could go pointless for the rest of the season and he’d already represent good value. His goal against the Blue Jackets last week summed him up best. His speed gives teams fits, he’s up on the play so quickly and once he’s away you cannot catch him. The way he settled the puck and finished his breakaway underlined the confidence he’s playing with right now. It was a goalscorers finish.

Oh, and another thing: Michael Grabner, Cy Young winner?

Read More→

Categories : Musings
Comments (18)
Nov
07

The resurgence of Ryan McDonagh

Posted by: | Comments (25)
ryan mcdonagh

Photo: Winslow Townson/AP

Suffice it to say, last year was a disaster for Ryan McDonagh. He struggled mightily, and seemed unable to carry an injured Dan Girardi who really shouldn’t have been in the lineup. There were many theories behind his struggles, from no support from his partner (whether it be Girardi or Kevin Klein) to no support from forwards. But part of the onus did fall on McDonagh, who was one of the many players caught running around in his own zone last year.

This year, we have seen a Ryan McDonagh like we have never seen before. We’ve known what he can do in his own zone, but he’s never been one to really rack up the points. McDonagh has nine assists so far, with an eight-game point streak. He’s been eating minutes at all strengths, and looks like the McDonagh of old.

Read More→

Categories : Players
Comments (25)
Oct
17

Trouba and Shattenkirk: Why not both?

Posted by: | Comments (44)
Could Shattenkirk form part of a new blueline core? Photo credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Could Shattenkirk form part of a new blueline core? Photo credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s food for thought: why can’t the Rangers have Jacob Trouba AND Kevin Shattenkirk? I think it is a legitimate option that the Rangers should explore. I am not normally an advocate of blowing your remaining assets to trade for any one player, particularly one (Trouba) who isn’t the finished article and particularly as the franchise is still in replenish the  mode. However there is one circumstance where I’m willing to change my thinking and that is for a young, hard to find player that the team can build around. That player could be Jacob Trouba.

To cut to the chase, the Rangers should try their hardest to get both Trouba and Shattenkirk. There are so many benefits to this. Forget about the likelihood or practicalities of making this happen for a second, and just think about the benefits. A top four containing Ryan McDonagh, Trouba and Shattenkirk would immediately make the Rangers owners of a truly elite, modern blueline. Possession numbers would be better, special teams would be better, better breakouts almost a given and you can argue, having a stronger blueline should extend not just the Rangers’ window of contention but by default, Henrik Lundqvist’s career.

Read More→

Categories : Defense
Comments (44)
sabres.nhl.com

sabres.nhl.com

It’s never fun enduring a long offseason while fans of other clubs get to enjoy a playoff run. This may sound a little spoiled to fans of teams like Edmonton and Calgary, but over the last decade, Rangers fans have been treated to a consistent expectation of contention. Since the Rangers have been eliminated, I have read a lot of great analysis about the importance of this offseason and potential directions for the club to go.

It’s going to be very difficult to handicap the exact moves from an analysis standpoint and hey, that’s up to you guys and gals anyway (shameless plug for the Off-season Plan Contest).   I have kind of a conceptual thought-dump I wanted to share about this coming offseason and to see how you are felt about some of these things…

Read More→

Categories : Musings, Offseason
Comments (106)
Apr
18

Ryan McDonagh a full practice participant

Posted by: | Comments (12)

Some good news for Rangerland today, as Ryan McDonagh was a full participant in practice today. He did not have a non-contact jersey, and he was gripping his stick with both hands. This bodes well for the Rangers, who could use a healthy McDonagh to strengthen their blue line play.

No word on if he plays in Game Three, but it’s the playoffs.

Categories : Injuries
Comments (12)