The New York Rangers finally clinched on Monday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets. It took 2 painful losses before the win on Monday to get us into the playoffs. But this all means that the regular season is ending quickly. Unfortunately, our last couple of regular season games and start to the playoffs will be without our Captain Ryan “MACTruck” McDonagh. He suffered an upper-body injury according to Coach Alain Vigneault and is out indefinitely.
I hope with the playoffs right around the corner, that the fall of our Captain will light a fire and the Blueshirts will play their best hockey yet. I am well aware that there are extremely strong teams that are in the playoffs, but I will have confidence in our team even if they are frustrating at times. What kind of diehard fan would I be if I didn’t stand behind them? They need to play smart and use their speed. They need to shoot the puck as often as they can and not just pass the puck around.
With the regular season coming to an end that means its time for the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award. This year, similar to the last few years, I voted for Mats Zuccarello. Mats Zuccarello leads the team with points at 61. He is the 2nd highest goal scorer on the team with 26 and has 35 assists. He sees plays before anyone else, which is why he has so many assists recorded for the season. Zuccarello stands only at 5 foot 7 inches and is known as The Hobbit on the team as many of you know, but he plays as if he is 6 foot 7 inches. He will check any player into the boards even if they are double his size. He stands up for his teammates whenever necessary. He is not afraid of anyone. He often says, “it is harder to catch a mouse than an elephant.” Not only is he a tremendous asset on the ice, but he also gives back to the community. He is often seen at events for The Garden of Dreams Foundation. Recently, he also started his own charity called The Zuccarello Foundation. Mats feels it is important to be a role model to all children including the ones involved in Norweigian Hockey. He also wants his foundation to help “grow the game.”
Whoever receives the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award will be deserving of it that is for sure. It is such an honor to be named this player. Steven McDonald is such a well-known New York Ranger fan and former New York City Police Officer that was injured and paralyzed on the job in 1986. I would like to thank Detective McDonald for serving our city and for being such an important part of the New York Ranger community.