NEW YORK, NY – The NY Rangers have been playing well of late, last night’s capitulation to the hated Islanders aside. They’ve been keeping pace with the Penguins and Blue Jackets. They’re safe in the first Wild Card slot for now, which would put them on a collision course with Les Canadiens de Montreal in the first round of the playoffs.
Lundqvist has been playing well of late. It seems like the yips that had infected him last moth have all but gone. That can only be a good thing going forward as the Blueshirts get ready to make another playoff push. Antti Raanta hasn’t seen much action of late but he is still a worthy deputy. It will be important for him to play well going forward as the Rangers will need to keep Lundqvist fresh to make a run at the Cup.
The team is finally healthy but they still need help on defense. We’ll see what Rangers GM Jeff Gorton (no relation to the Brooklyn Fish Sticks) has up his sleeve before the March 3rd trade deadline. It would hurt to see one of the forwards that have been playing so well get traded, but the Rangers need to bolster the blue line. Cam Fowler’s name has been thrown around as a Rangers target all season. But we’ll see if anything materializes on that end. There are also rumours (Canadian spelling) that the Flames’ Dougie Hamilton may be on the trading block. If so, he would be a prime target for the Rangers. The Rangers would likely have to give up one of their young forwards. Possibly JT Miller or Kevin Hayes. Losing either would be a blow, but you have to make tough decisions. Losing Mike Gartner in ’94 was as tough a loss as they come. But the Rangers most likely don’t win the Stanley Cup without making that trade.
Onto baseball where hope springs eternal…
Pitchers and catchers reported earlier this week for both the Mets and Yankees. But just days into spring training, the Mets are reeling from a bum elbow on yesterday’s star of tomorrow, Zack Wheeler. “Tenderness” is the term the Mets used but anyway you slice it, it isn’t good news. While the Amazin’s have a wealth of talent in the starting rotation, the potential loss of Wheeler is a blow. We’ll see what the Mets can do with David Wright this season also. Read this. My guess is that his total number of HRs and RBIs will be less than the number of games he misses through injury. It’s time for the Mets to cut him loose. He’s been a good Metropolitan, but he’s becoming an albatross around their necks.
On the other side of town, the Yanks have rid themselves of two of their own big money albatrosses. Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez were jettisoned last season. Then Brian McCann was shipped off to Houston in November and the Yankees are left with a much younger squad. CC Sabathia will be back for his last year as a fifth or sixth starter and the Yankees are set up to make a push with some young talent and some money in their pockets. Can’t wait to see how things play out.
Back to the yips…