For all the heat Rick Nash is taking from the fans and Martin St. Louis is taking from himself, there’s another high-profile Rangers player that’s failing to live up to expectations in these playoffs.
“Obviously, he hasn’t played very well,” is what New York coach Alain Vigenault had to say about defenseman Ryan McDonagh, per ESPN’s Craig Custance.
McDonagh has just one assist in 11 playoff games, with a minus-5 rating. This after a regular season in which he racked up 43 points in 77 games and received a good deal of Norris Trophy buzz.
Now, it’s certainly possible that McDonagh is still feeling the effects of a late-season shoulder injury (courtesy Vancouver’s Alex Burrows), but would Vigneault be so blunt in his assessment if he thought McDonagh was physically unable to be better? Remember that Vigneault also called on McDonagh to find “another level” in the first round versus Philadelphia.
Safe to say, Pittsburgh’s second goal last night at MSG was not McDonagh’s finest defensive moment, as he had ample opportunity to get back and tie up Brandon Sutter:
Hurt or not, there’s a guy in Washington who would get absolutely killed for back-checking like that.
And the guy in Washington isn’t a defenseman.