Rangers Roundup: Playoff chances improve but still a reach; Blueshirts unlikely to acquire players at the deadline; and more

david quinn team usa
Jan 26, 2021; Buffalo, New York, USA; New York Rangers head coach David Quinn (center) gives instructions to his team in the third period game against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers at one point this season were 1-4-1 on January 26th. Rock bottom came on February 16th with a 5-2 loss to the Devils and their record hitting 4-7-3. The turning point of the season may be the Blueshirts 3-2 shootout win against the Flyers with Alexandar Georgiev in net on February 18th. Since then they’ve gone 13-8-1 and currently sit three points out of playoff spot.

New York Rangers playoff chances

A majority of their wins from February 18th on came with Artemi Panarin on leave, Jacob Trouba out with a broken hand, Igor Shesterkin’s groin injury, and the entire coaching staff on COVID protocol. Impressive but unfortunate they took so long to get it together.

According to the website MoneyPuck.com the Blueshirts currently have a 37.7% chance to make the playoffs in the East. This is primarily due to the Bruins still holding a three game advantage. However, it isn’t insurmountable as long as the Rangers can keep it to three or four points by the time the two teams face-off twice to close the season.

So hold on tight Rangers fans because the team is going for it and I wouldn’t count them out. A win tonight over the Sabres coupled with a Boston loss to Pittsburgh will increase those odds north of 40%. The Bruins and Penguins face-off at 1 PM E.T..

Rangers unlikely to acquire rentals at the deadline

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Bruce Bennett-POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL Trade Deadline is set for April 12 and according to top insiders, the Blueshirts are being labeled as “neutral” heading towards it. Last month Bob McKenzie described the Rangers approach to the deadline saying, “Jeff Gorton is going to be looking for hockey deals.” At this point he doesn’t see the Rangers as buyers this season and they don’t have much to sell.

The consensus belief around the team is that players like Brendan Smith, Kevin Rooney, and Colin Blackwell may have some value around the league. Collecting mid-level picks for any of them would be good asset management but the Rangers are not in any rush to do so at this time.

Another issue is the log jam at forward which made Brendan Lemieux ask for a trade and the return being a 4th round pick. The Rangers may very well make deals at the deadline; but from what I’ve been explained it would be similar to the one they did with Lemieux. Accumulating draft picks for a busy summer I was told.

Vitali Kravtsov is going to debut and a team source said to me they want to eventually call up Morgan Barron. Tarmo Reunanen is also likely to see playing time again in New York.

NHL Rumors

Check out the latest NHL Rumors which includes some news on Ryan Strome here.

Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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