The Rangers need a big season out of Ryan Lindgren

New York Rangers, Rangers, Ryan Lindgren
Nov 21, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren (55) celebrates his go-ahead goal with one second left against the Buffalo Sabres during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

When thinking of the New York Rangers’ defense, most fans immediately think of either Adam Fox or Jacob Trouba. Fox is a two-time Norris Finalist and one-time winner of the award, while Trouba is the team’s hard-hitting captain. One of the most underrated and talented defensemen on the Rangers, however, is Ryan Lindgren. If the Rangers want to succeed this upcoming season and make a deep playoff push, he’ll need to step up and make a huge impact.

Ryan Lindgren needs to stay healthy this season

The 2022-2023 season was a rough one for Lindgren, who only played in 63 out of 82 games. After suffering an upper-body injury early on, the Rangers were forced to rely on other defensemen for a large portion of the season. It was the handling of this injury that many fans believe led to the firing of long-term athletic trainer Jim Ramsay, as Lindgren probably should have been placed on IR long before he was.

Last season’s injury wasn’t Lindgren’s only health concern throughout his career. In the 2021-2022 season, the Rangers were forced to begin round one of the Stanley Cup Playoffs without Lindgren. It didn’t go very well, as the Blueshirts found themselves down three games to one in the series against Pittsburgh. When the defenseman returned from injury, the Rangers were able to turn things around, completing the comeback, and advancing to the next round.

It was during that series that the Rangers learned just how impactful a player Lindgren was. A gritty, hard-hitting defensive defenseman who isn’t afraid to lay down in front of a flying puck. He’ll need to stay healthy and ready to play in a full season if the Rangers want a chance at winning the Metropolitan division and making a deep playoff run in 2023.

The Rangers’ defense is too offensive-minded

It is always a plus when your defensemen are able to join the offensive rush and tally some points, but it seems as if the Rangers’ defensive core has become too involved in the action. Fox is spectacularly offensive, scoring 72 points in 82 games last season. Playing alongside a stay-at-home defenseman like Lindgren allows Fox to make such an impact offensively.

When Fox takes the puck up the ice and joins the rush, it creates a vulnerable situation where the opposing team could intercept the puck and have a scoring opportunity for themselves. The reason why Fox is so comfortable allowing this to happen is because Lindgren is more defensive-minded, trailing behind to prevent any opposing rushes.

The K’Andre Miller and Jacob Trouba pairing has shown this flaw many times in the past, where both defensemen have tried to partake in the goal-scoring and cost their own team a goal. The offense-defense combination of Fox and Lindgren is a perfect balance, but only if Lindgren continues to perform at an elite defensive level.

“You won’t see Lindgren lighting up the scoresheet like his defensive partner Adam Fox or possessing the effortless speed of K’Andre Miller but the intangibles and willingness to sacrifice his body is what makes Lindgren possibly the most important man on the Rangers blue line.”

Forever Blueshirts
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