How different will the Rangers look by the end of Wednesday’s trade deadline?
The Rangers are a good hockey team, regardless of what some naysayers continue to spout on blogs or social media. You can’t with a straight face say that this team is horrible just because you don’t like Dan Girardi or Marc Staal on defense. It’s silly!
This team has the sixth most points in the NHL with 82 points, just 7 points shy of league leading Washington. It boasts great young talent like Brady Skjei, J.T. Miller, Kevin Hayes, Jimmy Vesey, and Pavel Buchnevich. The mix of youth and vets is a winning formula that could win the Cup with a fortunate (healthy) run as easily as any other team currently in the playoff picture. And Lundqvist….that helps.
What Do They Need?
There are two distinct areas that stand out for improvement and they are somewhat related.
DEFENSE and PP
The Rangers need to add a PP QB on the blue-line. They simply lack a defenseman with the vision and the shot to engineer a successful PP. Enter in Kevin Shattenkirk. This is the defenseman that fits the bill for the Rangers this season.Of course, will the Rangers be able to get him by Wednesday? From everything I’ve learned from my sources to all the information out there, it looks very likely. It does boil down to who blinks first and if another team is willing to fork over the 1st round pick and prospect without any guarantee Shattenkirk will sign before free agency this summer.
I highly doubt it and that means St. Louis will take a good package from the Rangers and make sure they get something for the 28 year old offensive defenseman. The package will likely be very fair too, possibly Lindberg and Klein which the Rangers can afford to part with.
Beefing Up for Playoffs
Another area I think the Rangers will try and improve is size on the 3rd and 4th lines. Alex Burrows is a name that just won’t go away and he could be had for a mid to low draft pick. The move makes sense to address that issue.
Listen, whether you believe in the “grit” and “toughness” factor or not…it is a real factor in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Sure, you don’t want one dimensional skaters who are out there to just hit and fight, which is why you target those tough agitators that can actually play.
The playoffs are a physical grind and it takes a toll on everyone. The objective is to be able to be the aggressor in a series. Just because you have the better skaters doesn’t mean you will win a series. You got a glimpse of that yesterday when a lesser talented Columbus team just played really physical and bent the Rangers to their will. In a seven game series, every hit takes a toll and wearing down the opposition’s defense could be the difference in winning or losing a game 7.
So, whether it is Burrows or not the Rangers will be looking to add a player like that to this team as well.
The deadline is Wednesday but I believe the answers (including Shattenkirk) will be answered today or tomorrow.