Originally written on Blue Seat Blogs  |  Last updated 2/20/12

NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 04: Marc Staal #18 of the New York Rangers celebrates against the Washington Capitals on February 4, 2010 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Defensive depth in the NHL is tough to come by. In the offseason, the best defensemen get the mega millions. At the trade deadline, defensemen always cost the most. In the new skilled NHL, getting just two defensemen who are capable of playing top-four minutes regularly is tough. The Rangers have five such players. Of those five, three are already capable of playing top-two minutes. This folks, is depth at its finest. Perhaps the Marc Staal concussion was a blessing in disguise. With the injury, Ryan McDonagh was forced into top-two duties, and Michael Del Zotto was forced into top-four duties. Not only have both excelled in the short term, they have proven themselves worthy of staying in those roles. The evidence is in the defense pairings, with Staal playing on the third pairing since his return. Such depth allows the coaching staff to be creative in how to deploy the pairings, and how to fill out that last defensive spot. The top-five in Staal, McDonagh, Del Zotto, Dan Girardi, a...
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