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AV on McDonagh: ‘Obviously, he hasn’t played very well’

May 8, 2014, 2:22 PM EDT

Lee Stempniak, Ryan McDonagh AP

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.

  1. c9castine - May 8, 2014 at 3:10 PM

    the goal was nothing. stempniak toasted him and walked in on net before getting hooked and going to the powerplay.

    great defender. something is either wrong, or hes simply playing bad at the wrong time.

  2. jkay1818 - May 8, 2014 at 4:01 PM

    he is clearly hurt, i have been to every playoff game at MSG and it’s obvious he is injured. even the way he is holding the stick on certain plays.
    If this wasn’t the postseason I would think he would still be out injured.

    • c9castine - May 8, 2014 at 4:35 PM

      my guess is dislocated or seperated shoulder.

      i have a long history of shoulder dislocations and have finished a game after doing it. its extremely uncomfortable, and although (depending on severity, history, etc) you can usually still use it, it is weak, limited in motion, and painful the more time goes on from the injury.

      finished that one and sat the next two. biggest thing is you have no trust in it, especially after its happened a few times. constantly thinking “maybe i shouldnt hit that guy, make that poke check, wind up for the one timer”. if thats the case, hes a tough customer, but maybe your hurting more than helping.

      • barkar942 - May 8, 2014 at 5:55 PM

        Who wants to take odds that immediately after the Rangers are eliminated, he goes in for massive shoulder surgery and won’t return to the lineup until sometime in November?

  3. 950003cups - May 8, 2014 at 4:34 PM

    Nothing is wrong. He’s hurt. He’s one of my top 5 favorite defenders in the league. Considering he’s on a team I hate, that says a lot.

  4. muckleflugga - May 8, 2014 at 4:44 PM

    c9castine

    bankhardt’s repair … can’t beat it

  5. maalea - May 8, 2014 at 4:45 PM

    I felt that the cracks would show during this series, with the limited off days.

    The schedule maker helped him in the 1st round, they had back to back off days twice in that series.

  6. rushledger - May 8, 2014 at 9:16 PM

    He’s definitely playing hurt, it’s very obvious he has a shoulder injury. Same thing with Brandon Prust for Montreal, mark this comment when both teams playoff runs are done expect those separated shoulder announcements.

  7. billiam55 - May 8, 2014 at 9:38 PM

    i think hes injured. but for an injury he still is playing pretty good.

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