NEW YORK, NY – The Rangers were busy at the NHL Trade Deadline on Monday, as they looked to bolster key positions for a playoff run. They didn’t make a big splash by bringing in a marquee right wing, like JT Miller or Phil Kessel, but they did reinforce the bottom part of the roster. They brought in LW Frank Vatrano, RW Tyler Motte, and C Andrew Copp to bolster the third and fourth lines. and they traded for Justin Braun to add a reliable, experienced defensemen to shore up the third pair.
All of the moves strengthened New York’s lineup, as we head towards the playoffs. In the postseason, the top two lines usually cancel each other out and teams with stronger third and fourth lines tend to do better. The Bluehshirts have seen to it that their bottom six are reliable and may even contribute a few goals.
In Justin Braun they get a stay-at-home right-handed defenseman that can play either side. Braun provides dependability to the third defensive pair and a bit of protection for Igor Shesterkin with his ability to limit chances. It was a shrewd move for the Broadway Blues, who didn’t give up much at the deadline.
They gave up Morgan Barron and a slew of draft picks they didn’t really need over the next couple of seasons. The Rangers have a good young team and are looking to win a Cup in the next couple of seasons. Draft picks are always good to have but the Blueshirts can afford to part with them to bring in players that immediately make the team better. On paper, the organisation (Canadian spelling) is definitely better than they were before the deadline. If they can get Kaapo Kakko back before the postseason tourney, then they will be in great shape for a playoff run.
The first game after the trade deadline didn’t quite go as planned. Tuesday night the Rangers took on the Newark Devils. The first period looked like the visitors would waltz to the Stanley Cup. They took a 2-0 lead and dominated the period from start to finish. But then the wheels came off in the second period. The Rangers were sloppy in all aspects and gave up five unanswered goals. It was one of the ugliest periods of hockey I’ve ever seen. The third period was slightly better. The Rangers only gave up two more goals while scoring two of their own. But the damage was done and the post-deadline Blueshirts left the Prudential Center licking their wounds after the 7-4 loss.
The New York Hockey Rangers will look to right the ship tonight against the Penguins, who are ahead of the Rangers by three points in the Metropolitan Division. The Rangers need a win to keep pace and preserve the chance of home ice in a first round series against Pittsburgh. Hopefully tonight’s game goes better than Tuesday’s.
That’s it for now as there is a face-off in the corner. Drop your pucks below or talk any sports stuff that comes to mind.