With Dan Girardi tiring in the last few games (not a criticism) and Marc Staal clearly still struggling for consistency following his return, has Ryan McDonagh emerged as the Rangers best defenseman?
It’s a valid question and perhaps just another way of heaping praise on McDonagh for the way he has developed since his call up midway in to last year. A lot of people don’t pay much attention to the plus/minus statistic but even the biggest critic of that stat has to acknowledge McDonagh’s impressive +39 over his first 112 NHL games. That’s more than just being on the ice at the right time.
McDonagh is still learning and he’s still making mistakes; he’s not perfect. The way James Neal picked his pocket in the Pens game a few games ago shows that he’s certainly not perfect but he has progressed at an incredible rate.
The offensive side of McDonagh’s game has developed the most, visibly. However that is because he has such a solid foundation defensively that it allows him to get involved...