2021 NY Rangers Player Report Card: Ryan Lindgren

What a year for Ryan Lindgren. Last year, the numbers showed he may have benefited from playing with Adam Fox. Who wouldn’t though? This year, Lindgren solidified himself as a top pairing defenseman, whether or not he was with Fox. Left defense was a giant question mark heading into the 2021 season. But the emergence of Ryan Lindgren completely changed the outlook, and that is what his report card will be based on.

A different type of defenseman

When we think defensemen in the new NHL, we think puck movers. Guys who make that great first pass, can lead a rush, and are great skaters. Lindgren is certainly capable of all this –and he is great with that first pass and a solid skater– but he excels in closing gaps, reading the play, and delivering a punishing hit without taking himself out of the play.

Lindgren’s 1-15-16 line isn’t sexy, but it goes beyond that. Lindgren, Jacob Trouba, and Brendan Smith were the blue line trio tasked with being defensively responsible while also dolling out that “grit” the Rangers have mentioned. It is no coincidence that when he and Trouba were out, the Rangers looked soft. The Rangers missed them both.

Not a one trick pony

Ryan Lindgren has two qualities that set him apart from a Dan Girardi. Both are warriors, and both apparently go to the same cyborg parts store mid-game. But Lindgren is a far better skater than Girardi was, and Lindgren is a far better puck handler. This leads to significantly better metrics in puck possession, both offensively and defensively.

Lindgren was a big net positive at both ends of the ice. What may be the surprise is his 10% net positive on offense, which is consistent with his good puck control and skating. The +17% impact on defense is expected. Lindgren has emerged as a top pair defenseman for the Rangers. He might be one of the more underappreciated defensemen in the league as well.

Lindgren’s separated out stats show exactly how he was able to be a net-positive at both ends of the ice. It’s consistent with everything we’ve already discussed above. He limited quality and quantity in the defensive zone, and was ok at moving the play offensively. It is worth noting that his GF/60 was higher than his xGF/60, a sign that he may have had a little bit of offensive puck luck while on the ice. This means the Rangers scored more than expected while he was on the ice. It’s not a big difference, but it’s worth noting and watching for next season.

Final Grade

Ryan Lindgren’s report card grade is based off expectations versus productions. Even those who didn’t share the same concerns didn’t expect the season Lindgren had this year. The offensive impact was a very pleasant surprise, and the defensive impact was better than expected. It’s tough to call this season anything but an amazing success for Lindgren. Now let’s hope he can free Jacob Trouba if/when the Rangers shake up the top-four pairings.

Ryan Lindgren 2021 Report Card Grade: A.

Show More
  • I absolutely agree with Dave’s A rating for Ryan Lindgren. He plays the game while adding grit and character to the position. He is never afraid to work in the dirty areas and is on his way to being the Rangers prime shut down defenseman.

  • Absolutely makes the Rangers a better defensive team, and line mates better defensemen. Solidifies the team’s defensive effort.

  • Can’t add anything to what has been said other than Lindgren has been really good and should be signed long term.

  • Agree with all of the above and Drury was very wise to get Lindgren signed to the new 3 year deal.

  • Great point about the “soft” Rangers while Lindy and Trouba were out. I forgot about that amid all the ‘soft’ hype. Bringing those two, especially Lindgren, will be addition by doing nothing before they add outside help.

    Not sure they should put the two most physical D together, trying to turn one into more of an offensive D. IMO Trouba is more valuable to THIS team at THIS time as a stalwart D zone D willing to play physical D 1st and chip in on offense second. They should not try to get more O out of him to validate the contract. The contract sucks, and that’s okay.

    Finally Dave notes: “Ryan Lindgren’s report card grade is based off expectations versus production” and I agree with this method. But why was that not applied to Miller’s report card. I still say B-, against expectations, was not a good grade. B+ at worst and I gave him A- “based off expectations”.

  • Lindgren is all the good things about tough defensive hockey rolled into one player. And he had tough luck with his own offense this season—I thought he showed a lot of skill offensively this year that didn’t translate into points. Could be a 40-point player someday on top of all that skating, hitting, and intelligence.

  • Can’t ask for much more out of the guy.
    Him and fox are bread and butter for The long run.
    Only wish for him is to take boxing lessons in offseason to defend himself After big hits like That time against Kadri.
    Great deal by Drury.

  • Can’t argue with any of this. He’s a throwback d’man that any team would be happy to have in their lineup. A

    • Love the dude…A for the season and E for having the loins not to back down from anyone…….I would like to see him take boxing lessons……

      • Everyone on the team should take boxing lessons (on skates) — you never know when you’ll have to defend yourself or a teammate. Best to be prepared for any eventuality, especially with the department of Player Safety being so unsafe now.

  • Lindgren may be underappreciated around the league but certainly not by Ranger fans. and to be fair half of his career so far has been a season where he didn’t even play outside of his division so not too surprising that he may not be a household name.

    also perhaps not so surprising his offensive success given he played nearly 80% of his even strength ice time with Adam Fox? this does not diminish the accomplishment at all, I think the evidence is that they both make each other better.

  • A is the only grade he should get. This kid is a warrior, and fearless.
    Just as important is how well he works with Fox.
    Getting back to his physicality, as most all of us here agree on, this team needs more grit/toughness/abrasiveness. Contrary to what some here feel, going into this season we weren’t completely void of toughness. We started this year with Lemieux, ADA, Trouba, Lindgren and Smith. YES, we need(ed) more up front, but we were not completely soft as a team as some have stated.
    ADA,was ADA and banished. With the arrival of Krastov, Lemieux saw that he was going to be stapled to the fourth line, and asked for a trade. Trouba and Lindgren go down with season ending injuries, leaving Smith as the sole physical force.
    I got some thumbs down when I said that Miller needs to become more physical. I stand by that statement. I gave him a pass this season in the physicality department because he was a rookie. Next year he needs to not only rely on his reach and stick checks, but take the body far more than he did this past season.

    • Couldn’t agree more Jerry.

      Only thing I don’t like about the guy is his nickname. Lindy. I know a lindy in RL and he’s a big softy. Also… Lindy ruff. Just hearing the name irks me

    • Despite Lemieux’s request, they didn’t have to trade him … but I think they realized they were going to lose him in the expansion (clearly they weren’t going to protect him), might as well get something.

      • For the record, getting a fourth round pick for someone you are going to lose in the draft is dumb. I certainly would not trade Kevin Rooney for a fourth round pick for example and he or someone similar will be what the Rangers lose in the draft, something that would have been avoided if Seattle had taken Lemieux.

        There were two reasons to trade Lemieux. Malcontents hurt the whole team. When signing people, having a reputation for wanting players to be happy in their situation is a good selling point. It was good PR to trade Namestnikov, Graves, Lemieux and to let Sean Day go to Tampa. Hanging on to such players is penny-wise and pound-foolish.

        If Nils Lundqvist waits one more year, he can become a free agent. With Fox and Trouba already here and lots of other prospects, he could be the odd man out with the Rangers. Maybe he should wait, stay in Europe one more year. Awareness that the Rangers treat players fairly could make signing now more appealing.

        • Trading Graves for a scrub isn’t good PR and it isn’t good for the system. Letting go of Day is the same thing.

          Drury(and this is on him as he ran Hartford at that time) is basically saying “I can’t get through to these kids” which calls into judgement not only his evaluation skills but his man management chops.

          Just because you know what it takes to become a champ doesn’t mean you know what it takes to get a talented person to get to the level to figure out how to win.

          Hopefully Grier is much better at this stuff.

  • He’s making Marchand’s words that he won’t have a long career in the NHL look stupid now. But then again, Marchand is scum.

  • “Even those who didn’t share the same concerns didn’t expect the season Lindgren had this year.”

    With this, I strongly disagree. Those of us who did not share your concerns expected exactly what we got from Lindgren this year. At least I did.

  • i am tired of hearing ..why did we let Jasper Fast go.? would not have mattered ..he would have been injured as he always is for many games..Blackwell gave us as much..Buchnevich was adequate replace on penalty kill..
    biggest problems 1/2 season Zybanijad no show..Pannarin out 1/2 season.
    Quinn had no clue how to formulate lines or use the kids….
    (he even had Pannarin on the right side of power plays for 15 games..stupid) he let the veterans stay out 1 1/2 minutes front of power play..stupid. He did a poor job developing the kids. many bad decisions..

    and despite what everybody wants to believe the goaltending was not that great.
    Lundquist used to steal 3 or four games a year.
    I can’t think of one game that was absolutely “stolen” by a goalie this year.
    …..but the biggest failure by Quinn was inability to coach or “inspire” or
    “calm down” players during last minutes of games.

    we lost four winnable games that way. 8 points that despite all would have us in playoffs.
    I’m a fan since Andy Bathgate centered Dean Prentice and Andy Hebeton.

    The wasted talent this year was the worst ever.
    most underachieved team

    • Blackwell couldn’t hold Fast’s jockstrap and anyone who suggests otherwise is, in that limited case, being a fool.

  • by the way Lindgren was great…love him…I know you won’t like this but over the last twenty games, though very “unspectacular” Hadjak was just as good as the other defensemen (except fox/lindgren) and to tell the truth he made less mistakes and “less glaring” mistakes.
    Don’t throw him on the garbage pile yet!

  • Slightly related news: Nils Lundkvist has left Tre Kronor at worlds to see a doctor about his knee jury suffered the other day.

    From the video it looks like a groin strain, but could be anything. Now is the point where the Rangers should look to sign him so they can have their docs look at things.

    • NY Ranger medical staff was sooo good, they let Hank play with a heart problem; so lets not overstate their expertise. I’m sure they’ve contacted his medical care and have a read on his injury. And the severity will determine whether they feel the need to get him over here, or….worse case scenario…walk away.

      • There’s NO proof of that, we just have the word of a rival GM — and if it were really true we would have heard about it ad nauseam.

        • The kind of heart problem that “suddenly” appeared when he left the Rangers didn’t develop over night. Real world much?

          • Thank you!!! Just common sense!!(google it!).
            If you believe a world class athlete develops a serious enough heart problem overnight to force his retirement; after years of examination by his own team doctors…without them detecting any problems at all, well… then I guess you still put teeth under your pillow for the tooth fairy.
            And even if the team doctors, after examining him all these years somehow missed it…wouldn’t that validate my point in my original post about their competency?
            But you go right ahead, reacting in typical, ignorant fanboy form. Whatever does it for you.

          • Heart problems may not occur as you say overnight, that doesn’t mean that over the course of a full year they can’t develop enough to be detectable — and we’re talking a year between testing … or did that convenient little fact escape your “common sense”?!!

          • A heart problem that causes a guy to more than likely retire isn’t something that appears without symptoms. You DO understand that he is an athlete, subject to invasive examinations by team doctors not only in training camp but during the season. He is a major investment for the team in terms of his financial cost.
            Have you ever heard of something called “insurance” and “liability?” Again, google it, and educate yourself as to how the REAL word operates.
            And, to repeat(’cause I know repetition is the only way to get through to simpletons such as yourself)if they somehow missed it, or downplayed it…that validates my comments about their competency!
            To blast another GM as just a “rival” is just more childish nonsense.Ever think that he was just amazed and appalled at either their incompetence, or worse?
            Of course you didn’t! Just pick up your pom poms and start waving.
            Instead of trying to flame me, for reasons that have nothing to do with my post, maybe try growing up a bit a get an understanding of how things really work.

      • Unless the right knee had a grenade stuck inside it, no reason to walk away. Even if he tore the groin muscle clear off the bone(and it didn’t look like that) you wouldn’t. The only thing that may have changed is his arrival on Broadway.

        As for doctor care, please note Daniel Bernhardt. Went 2 years from injury to surgery(I hope.) Luleå has no legal responsibility to care for him as he is out of contract, SIHF insurance gets you Bernhardt levels of care.

      • Awwww…still got your panties in a bunch from our last sterling encounter? You need to move on with whatever passes for a life for someone like you.Something where you don’t keep embarrassing yourself…if thats possible.

          • As he gives himself another thumbs up after checking for responses……. 2 days later !!!! Really..why you want to keep setting yourself up for embarrassment when obviously your well beyond your depth, is a mystery. Anybody with some dignity would have walked away by now. But look at me…forgetting for a moment, just exactly what kind of a tool I’m talking I’m talking to!

  • Off topic
    In today’s Washington Post, Ken Dryden has authored a terrific piece on the stupidity of hockey fighting. It is quite worth a read. He speaks about the insipid reasoning for a fight after the accidental injury to John Tavares, and the weak response by the league and Player’s Association to incidents like Tome Wilson on Buchnevich. Since putting a link would make the comment wait for moderation, here’s an excerpt from the end of the piece:

    “The Code has nothing to do with being tough. Hockey players are right-through-the-line-up, all-the-time tough. No sport has players who are tougher. Sidney Crosby is tough, Connor McDavid, Alex Ovechkin, Auston Matthews — they go into the corners and in front of the net, where they know they’re going to get slammed and chopped, shift after shift, game after game. They are tough in all the ways that hockey fans love hockey. But they aren’t stupid-tough. Not often.

    The Code has no cure for stupid. An eye for an eye easily escalates to two eyes for an eye. It pushes players to do what the Code expects, whether that’s good for the players, their opponents, or the game itself. In our own lives, we have cops and judges, but in almost everything we do, we police our own behavior because there can’t be cops and judges everywhere. And mostly it works. But when it doesn’t, cops and judges intervene. Where is the league? Where is the Players’ Association?

    The Rangers-Capitals mess in their rematch just looked like anarchy. Tavares’s frightening concussion didn’t come from anything malicious. It was an unavoidable, unfortunate accident. In both cases, the Code kicked in. And what followed was ridiculous.”

      • I think that Lindgren skates much better than Girardi. And Ryan is actually developing an offensive game.

        • Ehh” I think that Lindgren skates much better than Girardi. And Ryan is actually developing an offensive game”

          Spitting distance at best. Lindgren skating as a whole plus his shorter legs isn’t a good combo. Girardi had the size and power to shutdown the league’s best player.

          • Come on, Girardi, I mean I love him to death for what he did for the team, was a non-mobile D man.

            He fit Torts’ stifling D concept to a “t.” But I think that Lindgren will be a lot better player over the long run.

      • What a terrible comparison. Lindgren is more physical, more athletic, a better skater, and far more of a tough player than Dan Girardi. Girardi was three inches taller, 10 lbs heavier, and right-handed. By next season Lindgren will already be a better player than Girardi.

        • “Lindgren is more physical, more athletic, a better skater”

          Did you see that forearm shiver that Mcd was using all during the last series? That was a play from Girardi’s tool kit. If Lindgren tried that, he would break his wrist and get burned. His straight line D (closing the gaps in the nz/dz, poke checks and breaking up rushes) could never compare to what G use to bring.

          Just like Lias Andersson, I think both of these dudes are on the wrong side of their weight classes. I think it’s safe to assume that neither of these two will have a impacts like the Ryan Callahan’s and Brian Campbell’s of the league. Short but sturdy/wrecking balls, imo Lindy is more of a pretender. If he doesn’t gain enough momentum before impact, he becomes the ragdoll 80% of the time.

          Lindgren relies heavily on the Mohawk turn. That is a sure way to lose your legs and acceleration before you reach your late 20s.

          • Lindgren never stood by and watched a teammate get pummeled like Girardi did with Carcillo & Gaborik. I loved Girardi as a Ranger, but he was terrible from 2014 Cup Final onwards as a Ranger. The Kings exposed G’s lack of speed, and burned him throughout the Final.

            Lindgren is a better skater than Girardi. Not even close or debatable. But then, I’m talking to the president of the Kevin Hayes Fan Club, so I shouldn’t expect anything other than delusional BS as a response.

  • Back to top button