When you think of the New York Rangers and some of their important players guys like Panarin, Shesterkin, Kreider, Fox instantly leap to mind. Ryan Lindgren has quietly gone under the radar and I would suspect that is is exactly how he likes it.
Just because he does not get talked about the way his defense partner Adam Fox does, does not make him any less important to the success now and future success of the Blueshirts. Lindgren plays an extremely tough and demanding game as a defenseman and the kind of game that has become lost in this current NHL for a d-man. The hot buzzword around the league has become “puck moving defensemen” and those are extremely critical to have but having a player like Lindgren still is heavily important to a team’s success.
When the Rangers traded Rick Nash away in February 2018 to Boston most Ranger fans didn’t know what to expect out of the return. Many were shocked that Jeff Gorton was able to get a first round pick for a clearly diminishing asset in Nash just due to all the injuries he had suffered before landing in Boston. The most underrated part of the package that brought Ryan Spooner to Broadway, later traded to Edmonton for Ryan Strome, was adding Ryan Lindgren. Not many fans knew much about Lindgren other than he was a 2016 2nd round pick who had gone to The University of Minnesota.
Now I’m not much into tracking college prospects so when the deal went down the first thing I did was look into Lindgren to see what I could learn about the newest Blueshirt.
The biggest thing that popped off the screen to me was how good of a skater Lindgren was for a player that played with the edge that he does. Perhaps the biggest thing that came off the screen was the fact that unlike many other players who love to make big hits, Lindgren rarely, if ever, will take himself out of position when looking to make a big hit. Many players when they’re looking to make a huge hit they will sacrifice their positioning for the sake of the hit which is not good because if they miss it will create an odd man rush. Lindgren has always been smart about when and where to distribute his hits and to make sure that his hits won’t come at the sake of his positioning.
Lindgren being so sound defensively is also what allows Adam Fox to play a little bit looser offensively and take chances in the offensive end knowing that he has a shutdown defensive partner with him. That’s a skill that can’t be undervalued.
Ryan Lindgren is everything that Rangers fans said and believed Dan Girardi was. For a fanbase that loves the “warrior” type mentality who can play the gritty grinding style of play, Ryan Lindgren not fits that mold but he plays that role extremely well. Lindgren has silently become one of the best and most important Rangers on this roster due to his silent physical play.Embed from Getty Images