Here’s what we know: By playing 53:21 in New York’s triple-overtime win against Washington on Wednesday, Ryan McDonagh logged the most ice time of any Ranger in 25 years.
Here’s what we’re trying to figure out: Where does McDonagh’s feat rank in Blueshirt history?
Onto the facts…
— Last night’s game was the fifth-longest in Rangers franchise history. The longest took place during the 1930 playoffs when the Blueshirts dropped a 2-1 decision to Montreal in quadruple overtime.
— There have been five other triple-OT games in Rangers history:
Apr. 29, 1971 — Rangers 3, Blackhawks 2
Apr. 2, 1939 — Bruins 2, Rangers 1
Mar. 21, 1939 — Bruins 2, Rangers 1
Mar. 27, 1938 — Americans 3, Rangers 2
Mar. 26, 1932 — Rangers 4, Canadiens 3
— McDonagh’s ice time per period went like this: 8:11 (first), 10:52 (second), 9:01 (third), 9:02 (first OT), 10:56 (second OT), 5:15 (third OT).
Now, as impressive as those numbers might be, it’s tough to figure if McDonagh played more than the high-minute Rangers of the 30s. Rosters were way smaller back then — exclusive of goaltenders, teams were allowed 12-15 skaters.
It wasn’t until 1952-53 that the league upped it to 16 (at home, that is — teams still had to dress 15 on the road.)
Today, that number is 23. (Note: This is the roster size, of course. Teams can only dress 18 skaters, two goalies.)
Still, you do have to consider the Rangers only played with five defensemen last night as Stu Bickel received just 3:24 of ice time. If you want to go even further, you could say the Rangers really played with four-and-a-half — Anton Stralman played just 28 minutes, less than all of the Caps defensemen (and Rangers defenseman not named Stu Bickel.)
If you’d like to continue this enthralling debate, feel free to inundate the comments section.
For now, I’m leaving it at this: Regardless if he set a record or not, what McDonagh did last night will forever be etched in Rangers lore.