The New York Rangers made the decision to get grittier this offseason, and one of their most significant moves was signing Barclay Goodrow to a six-year, $21.85 million contract. The Blueshirts made a big commitment to him even though he has never finished with more than 26 points or eight goals in a season, but so far this season he has exceeded expectations.
Goodrow’s Play Before Signing With the Rangers
After going undrafted, Goodrow signed with the San Jose Sharks and bounced back and forth between the Sharks and the San Jose Barracuda of the American Hockey League (AHL.) During the 2017-18 season, he earned a permanent spot on the Sharks roster and became one of their top penalty-killers. He also chipped in offensively despite spending the majority of the season on the fourth line, finishing with seven goals and seven assists in 47 games. Additionally, he won 58.8 percent of his faceoffs.
During the 2018-19 season, Goodrow played in all 82 games, finishing with seven goals and 10 assists while winning 53.7 percent of his faceoffs. He consistently forechecked effectively and continued to excel on the penalty kill. In the postseason, he scored a clutch overtime goal in Game 7 of San Jose’s first-round series against the Vegas Golden Knights.
The Tampa Bay Lightning acquired Goodrow in a trade during the 2019-20 season and he became a key member of the fourth line. His grit, physicality, and strong defensive play made him very valuable and he averaged 18:15 in time on ice per game during the postseason. He finished the postseason with one goal and five assists along with 103 hits and 31 blocked shots in 25 games as Tampa Bay won the Stanley Cup.
Last season, Goodrow once again stepped up for the Lightning in the playoffs. His relentless forecheck helped create scoring chances while he continued to play with physicality and excel defensively. He finished the postseason with two goals and four assists in 18 games (including one goal and three assists against the Montreal Canadiens in the Stanley Cup Final) as he helped Tampa Bay win the Cup for the second year in a row.
Goodrow’s Play With the Rangers
Goodrow helped add much-needed grit to the Rangers lineup and he has been one of the driving forces behind their outstanding penalty kill this season. The Blueshirts have killed 85.6 percent of penalties, which is the third-best percentage in the NHL. He has come up with timely blocked shots and has won 48.9 percent of face offs (which isn’t stellar but is still a better face off percentage than any Rangers center has, except Mika Zibanejad.)
Early in the season, Goodrow played on the fourth line with Kevin Rooney and Ryan Reaves and they consistently outplayed opponents while generating scoring chances. The line has played an important role in the Blueshirts’ ability to win close games and hold on to leads. Goodrow scored a clutch game-winning goal late in the third period in a game against the Ottawa Senators in October.
Goodrow has also spent time on a line with Ryan Strome and star winger Artemi Panarin. He has driven to the net and shown he can capitalize when his linemates set him up. He has seven goals and 10 assists in 36 games this season and is on pace to set career-highs for both goals and assists. His strong forechecking and defensive play made him a good fit on the line and the trio played very well before the Rangers placed Goodrow in COVID-19 protocol.
For Goodrow Moving Forward
The Rangers have certainly missed Goodrow in their last few games and Panarin’s line has made some defensive mistakes. Goodrow has already proven that he’s a great defensive player, but he has also contributed offensively and shown that he can be used as a top-six forward if that’s what the team needs.
The Rangers announced that Goodrow has cleared COVID-19 protocol and he should provide a boost to the team upon his return to the lineup. He is proving that the Blueshirts can rely on him and he is certainly off to a strong start in his first season with the Rangers.
I grew up in Brooklyn, New York, rooting for the Rangers, Yankees, Giants, and Knicks. When my dream of playing shortstop for the Yankees fell short, I started writing about sports instead. I’m a proud graduate of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland.