Archive for Ryan McDonagh
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…
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.
Per Steve Zipay, Dan Girardi is a full participant in practice today after missing the last two games of the season with an upper body injury. Girardi was leveled by Brian Boyle in the third period of that contest.
Ryan McDonagh was on the ice in a non-contact jersey, but holding a righty stick. He’s not close, and AV confirmed he will not play in the opener.
Some notes from practice today, and there were a bunch of them:
- Mats Zuccarello and Viktor Stalberg will not play tomorrow in Detroit. They are both “dealing with lower body issues.”
- Oscar Lindberg will be back in the lineup. A call up from Hartford is also expected.
- No surprise here, Antti Raanta will be in net for the Rangers tomorrow. Giving Henrik Lundqvist rest is much needed, considering the workload this year.
- Dan Girardi will be ready for the playoffs. Neither he nor Ryan McDonagh (hand) skated at practice.
Last night, the Rangers and their fans held their collective breaths as captain Ryan McDonagh, the anchor of their blue line, blocked a shot by Brandon Dubinsky with his hand, and immediately left the game. McDonagh did not return, and will be re-evaluated today, per Alain Vigneault.
While a recall of a defenseman –likely Brady Skjei– is all but confirmed at this point (Update: written before the Skjei recall), the major issue will be how the Rangers deal with the injury in the playoffs. McDonagh and Keith Yandle are without a doubt the two best Rangers defensemen, and perhaps the only two skaters that the Rangers couldn’t lose for a serious playoff run.
Over the course of the season, we, along with many other folks, have beaten to death that the Rangers defense is not what it used to be. While we’ve addressed some of the root causes, we have not addressed what specifically changed from last year. The personnel is the same. The system is the same. So it’s fair to expect similar results.
As with anything in sports analysis, it is very rarely one thing. A culmination of factors can conspire to change something that once appeared static and reliable.
First, let’s take a look at age. The average age on the blue line is 29.7 years old. That is not a young group. Dan Boyle’s spritely 39 years obviously skews things a bit, but Ryan McDonagh and Dylan McIlrath are the only members of the defense significantly under 30 (Yandle is 29). Especially for the less mobile defenseman, there are a lot of miles on those bodies.
After a pretty consistent schedule, the Rangers have enjoyed three days off before they take on the Red Wings tomorrow afternoon at Joe Louis Arena. That will be the Rangers 68th game of the season, so we are coming down to the wire. Once colleagues and clients start irritating me with talk of brackets, upsets and obscure mountain colleges, I know the NHL playoffs aren’t too far away. Anyway, I have some scattered thoughts… Read More→
In addition to Henrik Lundqvist being tapped for Team Sweden yesterday, four other Rangers made the preliminary rosters for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. As expected, Derek Stepan and Ryan McDonagh made Team USA, and Mats Zuccarello was added to Team Europe. J.T. Miller was the surprise, being selected for the U24 (23 and under) team.
I was a little surprised that Rick Nash wasn’t pegged for Team Canada. He may still get added to the roster when they are finalized.
Both Ryan McDonagh and Marc Staal are set to return to the lineup tonight, with Marek Hrivik potentially out with the flu. If Hrivik can’t go, then the Rangers will go with 11F and 7D in St. Louis tonight. McDonagh returns after the Leo Komarov cheap shot. Staal missed one game after tweaking something.
The Daniel Paille experiment is over in New York. The Rangers waived the winger today, and will send him to Hartford once he clears. Paille was signed a month ago to help “address the penalty kill issues.” It was a signing that ignored the core issues with the unit and tried to throw a band-aid on them. The signing was met with general dislike, not because of the player, but because of those ignored process issues.
With Rick Nash still on the mend, the Rangers will need a call up from Hartford for Sunday night’s game.
In some good news, Ryan McDonagh passed concussion protocal, but will be out tomorrow. He does not have a concussion, but does have jaw/neck issues. Concussion free is the best possible news for the Rangers and McDonagh.