Throughout the 2010s, the New York Rangers were in the playoff picture seven times, all consecutively.
These seven years included two first and second-round appearances each, two conference final appearances, and one year in the Stanley Cup Final.
The 2010s were nothing short of an impressive decade led by Henrik Lundqvist and company.
Here are my top 5 playoff performers for the Blueshirts over the past decade.
Honorable Mention: Martin St. Louis
In his short time with the Blueshirts, St. Louis had some incredible playoff moments, including his overtime goal against Montreal in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
His name will forever be remembered by Rangers fans when talking about their run for the Cup in 2014 and 2015.
5) Dan Girardi
Girardi played in 122 Stanley Cup Playoff games with the Rangers, and though he registered just 33 points, it was crucial in their deep runs. #5 contributed through his role as a shutdown defenseman, blocking a total of 326 shots in the playoffs spanning from 2006 to 2017.
Additionally, Girardi was a player that could handle high numbers in ice time, as he averaged 23:25 in his playoff career with the Blueshirts, including an impressive 26:52 in the 2011-12 run. Overall, Dan Girardi’s legacy to playoff Blueshirt hockey is just as important as some of the others on this list, although he didn’t contribute to the scoresheet similarly.
4) Derek Stepan
Known obviously for his Game 7 overtime goal against the Capitals in 2015, Stepan was a key performer in the playoffs throughout the 2010s. He sits at 7th all-time in career playoff points as a New York Ranger with 49 in 97 games played. Stepan also averaged just shy of 20:00 minutes of ice time in his 7-year playoff career, a large ask for a forward.
Stepan was a great two-way player, getting ice time on both the powerplay and penalty kill. And we can’t forget about that series against the Capitals in 2015, where he was the hero in overtime and sent the Rangers to their second Eastern Conference Final in two years. Ah, good times.
3) Derick Brassard
Also known as “Big Game Brass”, Derick Brassard definitely lived up to his nickname, racking up 44 points in 59 playoff games with the Rangers. In addition, of his 18 goals, 4 were game-winners. One of his biggest moments in the playoffs was his performance in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final in 2015, stunning Tampa with a hat trick and 5 points in total.
Another timeless memory is his overtime goal against Pittsburgh back in 2014, as the Rangers eventually went on to win the series and make their run to the Stanley Cup Final. Brassard was no doubt a clutch player when it came to the postseason, and also sits at 12th all-time in career playoff points as a New York Ranger.
2) Ryan McDonagh
The former Rangers captain brought it all for the postseason, registering 10 goals and 41 points in 96 games, which showcases not just his defensive skill but offensive as well. McDonagh averaged 25:43 minutes of ice time in playoff games as a Ranger, proving to be a reliable and consistent part of the Rangers’ blueline.
One of McDonagh’s biggest moments as a Blueshirt came in the second round of the 2015 playoffs, as he scored the overtime winner in Game 5 against the Capitals. McDonagh ultimately started the Rangers’ comeback in the series after being down three games to one. #27 displayed great leadership qualities and wore the ‘C’ well, solidifying himself as a key contributor to New York’s playoff success.
1) Henrik Lundqvist
This one is pretty much a no brainer– Lundqvist has been the backbone of the Rangers since he made his debut back in 2005. Since his first postseason appearance back in 2006, the King has posted a .922 save percentage and has been particularly dominant in elimination games and Game 7s.
From 2012 to 2015, Lundqvist had 6 consecutive Game 7 victories, allowing just 5 goals and posting a shutout against the Caps in 2013. Lastly, Lundqvist has the 7th most playoff saves in NHL history with 3,503.
The closest Ranger behind the King is Mike Richter, who had nearly 1,500 less. Even though his time with the Rangers is nearing the end, #30 will go down as one of the greatest playoff performers in franchise history.
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