Ryan McDonagh (2nd on Team in Blocks with 139)
Getting McDonagh back from injury gave the Predators a stroke of good fortune on the injury front. With Roman Josi being out, McDonagh has become the veteran leader for this team.
McDonagh has caught some flack for not being as good as advertised in his first season, but I have to strongly disagree with that sentiment. Sure, he hasn’t lit up the box score with points, but he’s never been that type of offensive defensemen in his entire NHL career.
McDonagh has been a stabilizing force, especially as of late, in keeping the Predators in games despite not providing a lot of goal support.
If McDonagh hadn’t been able to return to the lineup, I’m not confident the Predators could’ve sustained that. Considering that McDonagh basically landed in the lap of the Predators in the offseason, it’s proven to be a major difference-maker at remaining in the playoff hunt this late in the season.