Grades for New York Rangers at the 2014 Winter Olympics so Far

Jeremy Fuchs@@jaf78Correspondent IIIFebruary 17, 2014

Grades for New York Rangers at the 2014 Winter Olympics so Far

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    Seven New York Rangers are playing at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, and for the most part, playing pretty well.

    With every country now finished with group play, it's the perfect opportunity to look back and give a grade to every Ranger.

    Which players have stood out? Which players need to improve their game?

    Read on to find out the grades for every New York Ranger at the 2014 Winter Olympics so far. 

Henrik Lundqvist: A

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    Henrik Lundqvist has been simply fantastic for Team Sweden.

    He has let in just five goals and has a save percentage of .936.

    Lundqvist was particuarly good against Switzerland, where he stopped all 26 shots.

    Other than Jonas Hiller, who hasn't let in a goal and seemingly never does, Lundqvist has been the best goaltender in the tournament.

    Remember when many were questioning whether Lundqvist had lost his game? Well, he's certainly found it. Since the beginning of the year, Lundqvist has resumed his place as one of the best goaltenders in the world. 

    Sweden has been besieged by injuries, so if they want a chance to medal, they'll need to rely on Lundqvist. So far, he's been up to the task. He has definitely earned his grade of an A. 

Carl Hagelin: C

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    Carl Hagelin has a limited role on Team Sweden as a fourth-liner.

    He's only played 25:51 in three games for Tre Kronor. The eight-and-a-half minutes he averages in Sochi are nowhere near the almost 16 minutes he averages for the Rangers. 

    It's hard to evaluate him in such limited ice time, but it is clear that his speed is a factor on the international sheet. He does have six shots on goal, which is pretty impressive.

    Hagelin obviously doesn't play the same role for Sweden as he does for the Rangers, but he has been effective when he has played.

    We'll give him a C, just because he hasn't really played too much. With all the injuries to Sweden, if Hagelin had made more of an impact, you would see him on the ice more. But he hasn't, and thus his grade is lower. 

Mats Zuccarello: B

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    You have to feel for Mats Zuccarello.

    He is by far the best player on Norway, but the Norwegians have been overmatched in every game they have played. It's no surprise that they are 0-3.

    They work hard, but there is just a lack of overall talent.

    Zuccarello has played well, with 10 shots in 67 minutes of ice time. But he has no points and is minus-two.

    Zuccarello is built for the big ice and has shown the trademark speed and creativity that has made him the Rangers leading scorer.

    But again, on a team like Norway, there is only so much he can do. He is not a transcendent talent that can carry a team all by himself. 

    We'll give him a  for his overall effort, but we do have to recognize that he is scoreless. 

Ryan McDonagh: A

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    As I predicted multiple times before the tournament started, Ryan McDonagh has established himself as the best defenseman on the roster not named Ryan Suter. 

    McDonagh has one goal and is plus-two. After averaging a little over 18 minutes against Slovakia, McDonagh played 23:39 against Russia (which was second on the team, behind Suter) and 19:38 against Slovenia (again second on the team, behind Suter). 

    He is on the top pairing with Suter, playing on his off side. He is consistently shutting down the best offensive players in the world.

    Look, observers of the Rangers know this—Ryan McDonagh is one of the best defensemen in the game. It is not surprising that he is playing this well in Sochi.

    Of course, the grade for McDonagh is an A. Other than Ryan Suter—who is truly otherworldly—McDonagh has been America's best defenseman. 



Ryan Callahan: A-

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    Forget about the trade rumors or the contract talks.

    Ryan Callahan has proven in Sochi that he is a valuable player.

    Whether it's a nifty assist on a David Backes goal against Slovenia, or frustrating all of Team Russia, Callahan is making his presence known.

    In 14-and-a-half minutes of ice time per game, Callahan is blocking shots, throwing his body around and making things happen. His energy and forechecking against Russia was really important to help the Americans stay in that game. Even though America won, Russia outplayed them for large stretches of the game. Every time Callahan was on the ice, he had a hit and got in someone's face and changed the energy.

    In fact, the last three games have been three of the best games Callahan has played all year.

    In a short tournament, you need players like Callahan to leave everything on the ice. He has certainly done that. We'll give him a grade of A-. 

Derek Stepan: Incomplete

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    Derek Stepan did not play in Team USA's first two games and played just five minutes in the win over Slovenia.

    We can't really do anything with that. He wasn't particularly noticeable and did not have a shot on net.

    We have to make this grade an incomplete, for now. I said all along that Stepan would not see the ice that much, and I'm surprised he was even in the lineup against Slovenia.

    I highly doubt Stepan plays again, unless there's an injury. We'll keep his grade at an incomplete for now. 

Rick Nash: D+

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    After starting on the second line with Patrick Sharp and Jonathan Toews, Nash found himself on the fourth line with John Tavares and Sharp by the third game of the tournament. 

    And despite playing well in the third period against Finland, Nash only played seven minutes in the overtime victory.

    Other than having a goal waved off against Finland, Nash has not done much. He's been used less and less. After playing over 12 minutes in the first game, Nash played just seven in the third game

    Nash has been a bit of a disappointment. Remember, Nash was coming into the tournament hot, with 11 goals in the month of January. 

    And Nash was selected because of his fine international play. Headed into this tournament, Nash had 53 points in 54 international games.

    It's only three games, so Nash has the chance to breakout, especially as Canada likely shifts its lines. It wouldn't be entirely surprising to see Mike Babcock try Nash with Sidney Crosby.

    But he does need to step up his game, because right now, Nash is not doing much to help Team Canada. Because of that, we'll give him a grade of D+.