[Ed. note: As part of the build-up to the first round playoff series between the Capitals and the Rangers, Japers' Rink will be looking at some of the important but lesser-known players on the Rangers and how they might impact the series.]
#38 / Defenseman / New York Rangers
Aug 07, 1987
St. Cloud, Minnesota
40th overall, 2005 by New York
|Assets||Has good size and a propensity to use it to his advantage. Moves the puck up the ice and out of danger most of the time.|
|Flaws||Must overcome injuries in order to maximize his National Hockey League potential. Lacks top-end offensive ability.|
|Career Potential||Solid top six defenseman. (Assets, Flaws and Career Potential via SB Nation player page)|
Why you should know who he is - Sauer and fellow rookie Ryan McDonagh form the Rangers' second defensive pairing (behind huge-minute guys Marc Staal and Dan Girardi) and the two led the Rangers in plus-minus (albeit in relatively soft minutes and thanks to a huge PDO). He gets some minutes on the penalty-kill, but isn't leaned on heavily there, and can chuck knuckles a bit when called for.
How the Caps can stop him - His next NHL playoff game will be his first, and away from Madison Square Garden John Tortorella won't be able to line-match and protect his young pair as effectively as he will be able to at home, so it's incumbent on the Caps to throw everything they've got at Sauer and McDonagh when they're on the ice. Let's see if they can handle it.