Ryan McDonagh has developed greatly for the New York Rangers over the past two years. With John Tortorella as his coach, he learned how to shut down opposing teams top players. Now with Alain Vigneault as his coach, we are beginning to see how great he can be when he has the puck on his stick.
The Rangers are a more offensive team this year. Vigneault expects his defenseman to step up into the play and get shots and generate offense. McDonagh is thriving in this new system. His skill is beginning to show more than ever. In the game last night against the Florida Panthers he pulled of a video game like toe drag and then made a great pass to Chris Kreider. Kreider then passed the puck to J.T. Miller and before you knew it the puck was in the back of the net.
McDonagh can also be attributed with boosting the Rangers power play. He is back on the point with Brad Richards.. He makes quick decisions once the puck is on his stick. He very rarely gets his shot blocked and is scoring goals at a career high pace. He is tied for second place amongst defenseman in goals scored. The best part about this is how his offensive game has developed but his defensive game has still been great. He struggled early in the season, as did the entire Rangers team. But he has his swagger back and is making highlight reel plays on a nightly basis.
He is virtually a lock for the U.S. Olympic team in February. There is no question anymore that he is the Rangers best defenseman and is beginning to break into the discussion as one of the leagues top defenseman.