My Islanders Account

NEWS

 
  • PRINT
  • RSS

Islanders D-man Comfortable in Any Role

MacDonald feels 100 percent, and can shut down the opponent's top line or produce offensively

Thursday, 08.2.2012 / 4:09 PM ET / News
By Travis Betts
X
Share with your Friends


Islanders D-man Comfortable in Any Role

Islanders defenseman Andrew MacDonald is in the midst of a totally different offseason than he was last summer.

After battling through a hip injury late in the 2010-11 campaign, team doctors decided with seven games remaining to shut MacDonald down for the rest of the season. The 6’1, 196-pound blueliner underwent an operation to repair a torn labrum in his hip, and was shelved for the first two months of the offseason.

“It was tough because I really couldn’t train until June,” MacDonald said. “At that point you should be well into your training, and I fell behind the eight ball. I tried to have a really strong summer, but it was tough.”

As challenging as it was, MacDonald was medically cleared to play at the start of training camp and the hip didn’t cause him to miss any time during the 2011-12 season. In his first 22 games, MacDonald scored only one point (a goal). After missing seven games in December due to an unrelated leg injury, he returned to score 17 points (four goals, 13 assists) in his next 42 games. Because of the operation and the long recovery process necessary to strengthen the muscles around his hip, it took the 25-year-old a couple of months of game action before his mobility was back to 100 percent.

“That was probably the major concern,” MacDonald said. “There was still some discomfort, especially to start training camp. We gave it as much rest as possible because it had a tendency to flare up if it was used a lot. It was frustrating because I wasn’t playing at the level I wanted to; that I knew I was capable of.”

The two weeks MacDonald missed in December was the only time he spent on Injured Reserve all season, an impressive feat considering his tendency to sacrifice the body. MacDonald led the Islanders and tied for fifth in the NHL with 185 blocked shots and among team defensemen, only Mark Streit played more games (82) than MacDonald’s 75.

Most of those 185 blocks came against the opposition’s top lines; the players he and defense partner Travis Hamonic are responsible for shutting down every night. Still, MacDonald has proven he is dangerous offensively as well. When Streit was sidelined for the entire 2010-11 season, MacDonald stepped in on the power play and led team defensemen with 23 assists and 27 points.

As a player you always want to take on new challenges and try to take advantage of every opportunity that’s given to you. - Andrew MacDonald

In fact, MacDonald says offensive responsibilities come naturally to him. He posted over 100 points during two seasons of junior hockey from 2005-07, and prior to making it to the NHL full-time, had a similar impact with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, leading the team’s blueliners in scoring during the 2008-09 season. But MacDonald, the consummate professional, has embraced his adapted role as a shut-down defenseman in the NHL.

“I think when you make it to this level, a lot of times you’re not going to be the player that you were before,” MacDonald said. “Sometimes the team will call upon you to play a different role, and you’ve got to adapt your game.”

And who knows – the Islanders may call upon MacDonald to take on more of an offensive role again in the future. And if that opportunity presents itself, MacDonald hopes to seize the opportunity just as he did before.

“As a player you always want to take on new challenges and try to take advantage of every opportunity that’s given to you,” MacDonald said. “Two years ago when Mark was out, I really tried to help fill the void that was left. Last year, I was asked to step into a bit of a different role. It’s all about doing what you’re asked, and if for whatever reason, they ask me to do it this year, I’d be happy to do my best.”

This summer, MacDonald is back to a normal workout schedule – not one filled with rehab and caution, though he does a lot of hip activation exercises before his workout to decrease the possibility of a future injury. Unlike a year ago, MacDonald is enjoying being able to work on the same things as his teammates.

“I think this summer there’s a lot of emphasis on functional movements and getting a good range of motion back,” MacDonald said. “It’s been very beneficial for me. There’s a lot of new things that I’ve learned this summer and it’s been great.”

With a clean bill of health, MacDonald is looking forward to the start of the 2012-13 season. And while he undoubtedly will be relied upon to keep the opposition’s top lines in check, he’ll also be ready to answer the bell and produce offensively if that’s what the team needs.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 9 6 5 0 11
K. Okposo 9 1 6 0 7
F. Nielsen 9 3 2 -1 5
B. Nelson 9 1 4 -4 5
T. Hickey 9 1 4 -4 5
A. Quine 9 1 4 0 5
S. Prince 9 3 1 1 4
R. Strome 6 1 3 3 4
N. Leddy 9 1 3 3 4
C. Clutterbuck 9 2 1 -1 3
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Greiss 5 4 1 .930 2.34
Transportation
Pro Shops
Islanders TV
Iceworks
NewYorkIslanders.com is the official Web site of the New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P. and NewYorkIslanders.com are trademarks of New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P.  NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2016 New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

Privacy Policy |  AdChoices |  Terms of Use |  Contact  Us |  Employment |  Webmaster |  NHL.com Terms of Use