Archive for Ryan McDonagh
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.
Sam Rosen announced on the broadcast that Ryan McDonagh will not return to the game tonight for precautionary reasons. McDonagh received a vicious headshot from Leo Komarov at the end of the first period. You can view three angles of the hit here.
Per Andrew Gross, concussed defenseman Ryan McDonagh will return to the lineup tonight. It is unclear who will sit,
but the smart money is on Dylan McIlrath taking a seat again. Marc Staal is with his wife who is due, so he may be scratched.
For what it’s worth, Dan Boyle was at the morning skate today after sitting yesterday out with the flu.
Per Sean Hartnett, neither Rick Nash (leg) nor Ryan McDonagh (head) are on the ice for this morning’s skate. It is likely that both will be out tonight against the Devils. No call up has been made, so Dylan McIlrath will probably get in the lineup tonight. Right now, it is unclear which right-handed defenseman will play the left side, but my bet is Dan Boyle.
Update: It has been confirmed that McDonagh has a concussion, and there is no timetable for his return. The concussion came on this sucker punch from Wayne Simmonds.
Early in this season the Rangers defense was in crisis, hemorrhaging shot attempts on a nightly basis and struggling to breakout of the zone cleanly. It was obvious during this period that Dan Girardi and Marc Staal were struggling, but perhaps most surprising of all were captain Ryan McDonagh’s struggles. Of course lately we’ve seen the Rangers tightening up their blue line, with their overall possession game trending upwards and their dangerous habit of giving up massive amounts of shot attempts evening out to reasonable levels. As the Rangers’ process has improved overall, so has the situation of their captain, sort of.
Let’s start with the obvious: Ryan McDonagh has seen less ice time with his usual defense partner Dan Girardi, and his game is better for it. While CF% alone isn’t perhaps the best way to evaluate a player, it is pretty notable that McDonagh’s CF% is 40.5 when the two are on ice together and 55.1% otherwise. Kevin Klein’s play this season has allowed the Rangers the option of splitting McDonagh and Girardi up, and the benefits are plain to see.
Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh has been selected to represent the Rangers in this year’s All Star Game. McDonagh will be the lone Rangers’ representative on the Metropolitan Division team. This year’s All Star Game will be a divisional 3-on-3 tournament. Full rosters can be seen here.