NEW YORK, NY – We’re two weeks out from the NHL trade deadline and the New York Rangers have all their pieces intact. I’m sure that will change as we get closer to February 25th. By then the likes of Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello, will surely be elsewhere. Wednesday night the Rangers won in a shootout against a Bruins team that looks set to make the playoffs in the Atlantic Division. The Rangers trailed by two goals in the third period against the B’s and stormed back to tie things up. A wide open overtime period didn’t produce any goals even though it looked like both teams were trying to let the other win. Finally after seven rounds in the shootout the Rangers prevailed thanks to Tony DeAngelo. Alexander Georgiev played really well in net, as David Quinn gave Henrik Lundqvist a rare night off. The Bulgarian net-minder made a host of solid saves late in the third period and throughout overtime to keep the Rangers on terms after they put a great third period together to tie things up.
It was a departure from the norm for the Rangers who have been giving up the late goals to lose games. It was nice to see them get back into a game for once. I’m certain that after the deadline the Rangers will be back to giving up late goals and losing in heartbreaking fashion. Not that I want the Rangers to win any more games. They’re on 54 points now, which is good for second bottom in the Metropolitan Division. Out west, the Rangers would be in a wild card slot. They’ll need to lose a lot of games down the stretch to improve their draft prospects. Currently there are 11 teams below them in the NHL standings. The Rangers have a conditional first round pick the got by selling the team to Tampa last year. If the Lightning win the Stanley Cup, it will be a first round pick. Otherwise it’ll be a second rounder. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Rangers trade for another first round pick this year. Kevin Hayes is a likely candidate and could bring a high draft pick to the Garden.
The pieces will fall into place as we get closer to the trade deadline in just over two weeks.
In the meantime…
We can look forward to the upcoming baseball season, as pitchers and catchers report next week. The first week of spring training is always interesting because we get to find out which players have been hitting the Hardee’s drive-thru a little too hard in the offseason. We’ll also get to see which players have been hitting the weights with the help of some shadowy Caribbean fitness supplement companies.
Both the Mets and Yankees have a lot to look forward to this coming season. The Mets and their new GM have been big-time buyers this offseason and seem to be betting the farm on winning this season. The Yankees have added some pieces also in an attempt to bolster their squad to hopefully improve on their ALDS exit last season. It should be a fun season for both New York teams. Spring training is in the air.
Baseball is almost back…. But come back tomorrow for Junoir Blaber, who forgot to wish Angry Ward a Happy Birthday!