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Rangers' Ryan Lindgren Needs to Develop Spatial Awareness on Ice


Scott

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1. Don’t look now, but perhaps Ryan Lindgren needs to be looking over his shoulder a bit more often in the wake of three successive games last week in which No. 55 was crushed as if he were Petr Prucha and unaware of where he was on the ice.

 

Tuesday, Lindgren was nailed by Toronto’s Jake McCabe before Mika Zibanejad— in as substantial a role reversal as you could imagine — stepped in for his teammate and challenged the Leafs winger. Friday, he took a big blow from Max Jones.

 

And then Saturday, the 25-year-old was crushed from behind into the rear boards by David Pastrnak in a continuation of a feud that apparently originated last season on Nov. 3, 2022 in a match at the Garden.

That was the night on which Lindgren caught Pastrnak unaware and drove the brilliant winger into the wall. Later, Pastrnak delivered a blow from the blind side in open ice that knocked the defenseman out of the game with a shoulder issue that sidelined him for the next two matches.

 

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Toughness is not in question. But that is also not the point. Lindgren may be the toughest guy on the block, but taking repeated substantial blows the way he did last week surely takes a toll and exposes this suddenly vulnerable athlete to serious injury.

 

The comparison with Prucha — smashed out of the league within six years after recording 30 goals as a rookie in 2005-06 and 22 as a sophomore — is somewhat fanciful but a more apt one is likely Ryan McDonagh, who took repeated blows up against the boards, suffered a string of injuries, including a pair of shoulder separations, and leveled off his final three seasons on Broadway.

 

Lindgren needs to have, as Bill Bradley might phrase it, a slightly better sense of where he is on the ice and who is coming for him. As he gets another shot at McCabe in Toronto on Tuesday, he needs to be more aware of lurking danger.

 

He's not wrong. There's some other stuff about Mika, Igor and  a reminder that with Hajek's contract being terminated with Wilkes-Barre there's not even a crumb left from the McDonaugh, J.T. Miller trade. 

 

https://nypost.com/2023/12/17/sports/rangers-ryan-lindgren-needs-to-develop-spatial-awareness-on-ice/

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It’s not just Lindgren. He’s been the most recent obvious recipient of some nasty hits. Every player needs to be aware. 
 

At the same time, the ‘infractor’ needs to feel pain too. Suspension. Loss of pay. $5,000 fines mean nothing when guys have $10,000 dinners with teammates. IDK what the amount should ultimately be but how about start at $20k and increase 10-15,000 with each additional infraction. This one’s extreme but a day-by-day suspension matching the other players inability to play due to injury. That won’t fly past the players union but ruining careers should be a heavy penalty. 

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10 hours ago, 4EverRangerFrank said:

It’s not just Lindgren. He’s been the most recent obvious recipient of some nasty hits. Every player needs to be aware. 
 

At the same time, the ‘infractor’ needs to feel pain too. Suspension. Loss of pay. $5,000 fines mean nothing when guys have $10,000 dinners with teammates. IDK what the amount should ultimately be but how about start at $20k and increase 10-15,000 with each additional infraction. This one’s extreme but a day-by-day suspension matching the other players inability to play due to injury. That won’t fly past the players union but ruining careers should be a heavy penalty. 

The $$ fines are a joke. $20k is a good starting point. I like that idea.

 

 

Lindgren is a battle tested warrior for sure but he surely is not built for the long haul in his career with the way he plays. See Dan Girardi, Ryan Callahan; guys giving their body for the play or fearlessness to get involved. Hope he can stay healthy but maybe some work on that spatial awareness could be useful. They have enough coaches to figure out how to teach it.

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4 minutes ago, Phil said:

Funny, Prucha is exactly who I thought about after the last one with Pastrnak. Lindgren isn't just getting hit, he's getting blown up at least once a game. I have no idea what you do to work on this, but he needs to.

Funny story;

Im at the last game of the year at the garden years ago with my buddy (they missed the playoffs that year). After the game we go to the bar (forget the name) sitting up in that plaza directly across from the garage the players exit from. A bunch of players filter in and take a table at the corner. My buddy and I are at the bar talking with some other fans. My buddy says "Peter Prucha is such a pussy" and then gets a tap on his shoulder. Its Peter Prucha who heard the entire conversation. My buddy says listen im sorry man, Peter with a grin on his face, to his credit says "Its OK I am a bit of a pussy" and proceeds to buy us a round of drinks and heads back to where the players are after he got his drinks.

 

 

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Defensemen know what they are doing. They show their back to protect the puck. They don't want to bail and give up the puck and hear it on the bench.

 

That said, this is another thing that makes me ask "Where's Dan Muse here?" IMO he's had the least amount of impact based on what we were told he is here for.

 

 

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If you ask a lot of ex-players like Methot, the onus is on the person receiving the hit to not get hit from behind, not the person delivering the hit. I don't even really necessary disagree, Lindgren is clearly putting his body on the line to make a play.

 

"Take a hit to make the play" is a mantra, especially in the NHL; so as long as that's the case, I don't see what defensemen are supposed to do. With that play, if Lindgren plays it to avoid all contact or limit contact, he probably gets his pocket picked and gives the Bruins a scoring chance - that's obviously not good. If he tries what Methot is suggesting, "get the wall and absorb", he turns the start of a breakout into a 50/50 puck battle. Pretty dumb, IMO. Protect the puck a bit, draw the forechecker in, take the hit, and move it along the boards.

 

Pasta didn't have to board the shit out of him. He's still just mad he got rocked 2 years ago because he's a bitch. 

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I want to say that Marek (?) went in on this idea in a recent episode of 32 Thoughts: even though it's not safe, it's likely calculated. Defenders know better, but the tradeoff here is pretty significant versus the risk the defender takes. If the player stops short, or lays a weak hit, the defender gets to make the play. If he doesn't, there's a strong likelihood of a penalty, although there's also a reasonable likelihood of injury.

 

What happened here is 100% what the defender sees as a "perfect outcome." Lindgren walks away; Pasta gets five and the game. You couldn't script it better for Lindgren.

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I hate to bash Lindgren because he’s so very good and plays so hard and just gives you everything he has, night after night.

 

But Larry is right.

He exposes himself regularly and puts himself in a position to get hit like this far too often.

You hate to fuck with a guy that’s effective, but he does need to seriously look at some of the things he does out there and really make an effort to modify this, or there’s a very serious injury coming.

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The guy is a warrior.

 

However, the degree to which he gets blown up to me is more than risking losing a couple years off the end of his career and leaving the game with parts and pieces that ache or even hurt some days the rest of his life. The cumulative impact of all these should lead to the concern of possibly something worse like cte. 

 

It's cool when he blocks a shot limps off and doesn't miss a shift. Gets cut by a stick and comes back in 5 mins, this shit is something totally different.

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16 hours ago, jsrangers said:

The guy is a warrior.

 

However, the degree to which he gets blown up to me is more than risking losing a couple years off the end of his career and leaving the game with parts and pieces that ache or even hurt some days the rest of his life. The cumulative impact of all these should lead to the concern of possibly something worse like cte. 

 

It's cool when he blocks a shot limps off and doesn't miss a shift. Gets cut by a stick and comes back in 5 mins, this shit is something totally different.

Which I'm in the camp to trade him while he has value.  Yeah he's a warrior, but he's missed significant shifts, he's missed significant games, and as he keeps going, he's going to miss more time during crunch time.  He's 25, will he last to 31?  Rangers can't give him a long term contract when he'll barely be able to move at 29-30-31 years old.  

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Let’s also trade panarin since he’s getting older. Shesty since he’s due for a big raise. Miller since his value is high. Fox since he has been getting hurt a lot. Etc etc…. 
 

csn we just enjoy having good players for once without worrying too much about 5 years from now? For all we know the cap will double in that time. 

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43 minutes ago, siddious said:

Let’s also trade panarin since he’s getting older. Shesty since he’s due for a big raise. Miller since his value is high. Fox since he has been getting hurt a lot. Etc etc…. 
 

csn we just enjoy having good players for once without worrying too much about 5 years from now? For all we know the cap will double in that time. 

Make sure you put Edstrom as the 1C too… cause he’s really big and scored in his 9 minutes of NHL action

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Edstrom actually looks like he's going to be a decent player.  I'm not sure what his ceiling is, but he sure as hell didn't look out of place out there.  I know it's only one game, but he seems to move really well for a guy that 6' 8" andf 230 Lbs.

 

I'd like to see him on a 3rd or 4th line one day with us.  I think he's shown some good potential!

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25 minutes ago, Ozzy said:

Edstrom actually looks like he's going to be a decent player.  I'm not sure what his ceiling is, but he sure as hell didn't look out of place out there.  I know it's only one game, but he seems to move really well for a guy that 6' 8" andf 230 Lbs.

 

I'd like to see him on a 3rd or 4th line one day with us.  I think he's shown some good potential!

He looked like he could be an nhl player in that one game but at this point it was 1 game I don’t think we can make any assumptions yet. 

 

1 hour ago, RangersIn7 said:

Make sure you put Edstrom as the 1C too… cause he’s really big and scored in his 9 minutes of NHL action

Nah we should trade him now because he might command more money in the future 

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2 hours ago, siddious said:

Let’s also trade panarin since he’s getting older. Shesty since he’s due for a big raise. Miller since his value is high. Fox since he has been getting hurt a lot. Etc etc…. 
 

csn we just enjoy having good players for once without worrying too much about 5 years from now? For all we know the cap will double in that time. 

It’s like everyone has forgotten that the window is open for the next few seasons and that now is probably the best time to actually worry about winning. 

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Here's the thing, you can ask him "protect himself" or don't "reach for the puck" etc etc

 

If Ryan Lindgren isn't putting himself in vulnerable positions to make plays, he's not going to be an NHL D Man. That's his whole shtick. Lindgren going through motions and dialing it back is a 2nd pair AHL D Man. I'm pretty sure he's very aware of this.

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21 minutes ago, Dunny said:

Here's the thing, you can ask him "protect himself" or don't "reach for the puck" etc etc

 

If Ryan Lindgren isn't putting himself in vulnerable positions to make plays, he's not going to be an NHL D Man. That's his whole shtick. Lindgren going through motions and dialing it back is a 2nd pair AHL D Man. I'm pretty sure he's very aware of this.

good point. 

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33 minutes ago, Dunny said:

Here's the thing, you can ask him "protect himself" or don't "reach for the puck" etc etc

 

If Ryan Lindgren isn't putting himself in vulnerable positions to make plays, he's not going to be an NHL D Man. That's his whole shtick. Lindgren going through motions and dialing it back is a 2nd pair AHL D Man. I'm pretty sure he's very aware of this.

Totally nailed it. As a defenseman, playing scared is a surefire way out of the NHL - especially if you don't have any other skills to speak of, as is the case with Lindgren.

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"Protect yourself"... Another cliche from 15 to 20 years ago, along with "keep your head up".

 

Different game, different league, these mantras don't apply anymore. I'm sorry some people don't like it. It's the direction the sport is going, if you're looking for something else, there's always MMA. 

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