In the face of some big-time trade rumors, the Rangers
remained inactive at today’s trade deadline and will return to battle tomorrow
night against the Buffalo Sabres with the same troops that got them this far.
is currently the ninth seed in the Eastern Conference, but trails the Rangers
by just five points. The Sabres have
been playing much better lately thanks to improved play from their stars, Thomas
Vanek and Ryan Miller. Buffalo also added some offense prior to the
deadline in Brad Boyes who will likely make his debut tomorrow night. Still, the Rangers might be catching Buffalo at a good
time. The Sabres have lost four of their
last six games to the likes of Detroit, Washington, St. Louis and Toronto. Their two wins came across Eastern Conference
cellar dwellers Atlanta and Ottawa. Buffalo
always plays the Rangers tough, but they’ll have to play much better tomorrow
night than they have lately.
It may have been disappointing for some that the Rangers
chose to stand pat, but it was the right decision (more on BB+). Now, the young guns will be entrusted with taking
the Rangers as far as they can go. This
group should be able to hang onto a playoff spot, and what happens from there
will depend a lot on the first round match up and health.
Tomorrow’s game is a big one for the Rangers. Not only is this a chance for the Blueshirts
to create separation from a team that has three games in hand on them, but it
is a good chance for the current Blueshirts to prove to themselves that they
didn’t need more outside help. Bryan
McCabe and Wojtek Wolski were nice pieces to add, but this team clearly belongs
to the homegrown talent. So far this
season, they’ve overcome numerous obstacles and kept on winning. Tomorrow night will be their chance to kick
start a stretch run that could culminate in the first of many playoff berths
for this group.
Side notes: Martin Biron suffered a broken collarbone during
practice today. Sounded like Glen Sather
made some calls on backup goalies, but the price was too high. Henrik Lundqvist was sure to get the majority
of the starts down the stretch anyway, but the Rangers will ride him even more
with this news. The Rangers have an
awfully busy stretch ahead though, so they’ll need Lundqvist in top form.
Sather also indicated that Chris Drury is probably done for
the season. Nagging injuries derailed
any chance of Drury returning to form this season, and his time with the
Rangers may truly be in jeopardy. He
could well retire after the season.