Monday, May 23, 2011

The NYR Facts Of Life: #27 Ryan McDonagh

For each player who suited up in a Blueshirt this season we will take the good, we will take the bad and take them both and see what we have. And this time around we started with the high numbers and are up to #27, Ryan McDonagh.

#27's #s: 40 games, one goal, eight assists, +16, 14 PIM (5 playoff games, no points, even, 4 PIM).

Take the good: For his first professional campaign, McDonagh was remarkably consistent. He put up nearly the same numbers in the NHL that he did in the A; he played 38 games in Hartford, had one goal and seven assists and was +1 with 12 PIM. But the numbers don't really tell the story: McD combined with Michael Sauer to give the Rangers a surprisingly stable and shockingly confident second defensive pairing. It was spectacular seeing him score his first NHL goal against the Devils, at the Garden.

Take the bad: Unlike Sauer, McD did have rookie moments. Perhaps they were due to the speed of the play around him, the fact he played far more games than he had with Wisconsin or were due to simply simple mental lapses, who knows? As long as he learned from them we will be ok. And while Matt Cooke's elbow was not his fault - at all - did he just have no idea that Cooke was coming?

Take them both and then we have: A reason to be thankful for Scott Gomez? Slam Sather all you like, he turned the MexiCan't (his own mistake) into Higgins - who became Prust - as well as late camp cut Pavel Valentenko and McD. At the time many said that Ryan was the steal of the deal and he proved it to be true, far faster than expected.

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