This was not supposed to happen for the Rangers. They “blew it all up” at the Trade Deadline, giving away a good portion of their assets that would have allowed them to make a run. Players like Rick Nash, J.T. Miller, and Ryan McDonagh were all dealt out.
However, the strong goaltending of Henrik Lundqvist this season, in combination with a drop in competition for the surrounding teams in the standings, put the Rangers in contention still. It was still a largely good move for the Rangers to have the activity they did on the Deadline.
Some part of you still has to think that the Rangers’ attitude toward throwing the rest of the season in the garbage is going to catch up with them. However, the fact that they’re still remaining competitive is still more than teams like the Isles and Wings can say.
The next two games on tap for the Rangers, the Bolts and Canes, are going to be a real test for them. Tampa Bay is still the top team in the league and just defeated the Panthers yesterday. Meanwhile, the Canes are a divisional opponent fighting for their lives.