If the New York Rangers are “mortgaging their future,” at least their home looked like a mansion on the night of the trade deadline.
The Rangers defeated the Nashville Predators 4-1 on Monday, and while Rick Nash’s empty-netter inflated the score, New York looked more than comfortable against the NHL’s current standings leader.
Speaking of standings, the Rangers stepped into first place in the Metropolitan Division with this win.
They’re tied with the New York Islanders at 84 points, yet they have two games in hand and two more regulation/overtime wins. They’re not that far from the top spot in the East, either.
Really, all the numbers look pretty splendid for a team pushing the envelop. Their +43 goal differential is the best difference in the entire league right now. They’re now 8-1-1 in their last 10 games.
Even this win was more than just its 4-1 score, as the possession was clearly in the Rangers’ favor:
(via Natural Stat Trick)
Keith Yandle didn’t really make much of an impact in his debut (-1 rating, three shots on goal in 19:41 time on ice), but clearly didn’t have to.
The other lingering question is about the Predators. Nashville has now lost three games in a row and five of its last seven, with just one regulation win in that span.
Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli could be labeled as the Preds’ trade deadline gains, but some might be a little more worried about GM David Poile staying put after a loss like this.
On Sunday, it seemed like Mats Zuccarello was on the verge of being traded from the New York Rangers. A day later, he has a shiny new contract extension and already has two assists against the Nashville Predators with about a period remaining.
One of the smallish winger’s more ridiculous nicknames is “Norwegian Hobbit Wizard.” He showed some magical skills on this Chris Kreider goal, which was his second helper of the night:
Moments like these help explain why he’s beloved by a lot of Rangers fans.
Predators forward Taylor Beck might have actually provided the best pass of the night, though, as you can see here:
Jeff Petry looks primed to suit up for the Montreal Canadiens just hours after they acquired him from the Edmonton Oilers on Monday.
Having games on the same day as the trade deadline can be awkward at times, especially considering how visa concerns and other variables often make it difficult for a player to join in with a new team with little delay. Perhaps going from one Canadian team to another made it easier, but either way, the 27-year-old defenseman will face the San Jose Sharks with his new teammates tonight.
The change of team might not be the only reason that Petry may feel a little dazed, either, as he hasn’t played since Feb. 24.
Petry isn’t a household name, yet he was a considerable get for Montreal, and could very well make himself a nice amount of money with a strong run in his contract year. The Sharks don’t stand as an easy assignment, however.
The Canadiens announced that he’ll start off in a pairing with Sergei Gonchar, who could probably give Petry some tips about adjusting to Montreal following a trade.
Mike Weaver gets bumped from the lineup to make room for Petry. P.A. Parenteau’s also getting back into the mix tonight.
The Anaheim Ducks were one of the biggest movers and shakers – some might say winners – of the 2015 trade deadline. GM Bob Murray explained his rationale on Monday night, with the main theme being that the Ducks want to be ready for whatever playoff competition comes their way.
“It was more important to address the ability to play different games against different teams,” Murray said, according to the OC Register’s Eric Stephens.
One specific facet Murray expects newly acquired defenseman James Wisniewski to boost is the Ducks’ power play, which he said has “struggled mightily.”
(Sadly Murray didn’t follow that up with a knucklepuck joke.)
Murray believes that he added speed and skill to a team that already had snarl, making them better prepared to deal with a difficult array of Western Conference opponents.
It remains to be seen if these disparate parts come together to finally give the Ducks a deep playoff run, but Wisniewski is thrilled to join a contender (at least whenever he’s healthy to do so, as he’s recovering from a bone bruise).
Did the Ducks do enough to back up those words?
Back in October, it looked like Dallas Stars defenseman Patrik Nemeth’s season would be over after his arm was lacerated. Instead, his remarkable recovery continues in a big way as the team recalled him on Monday.
It seemed like the 41st pick of the 2010 NHL Draft would see his development paused entirely until 2015-16, but he can make a little more progress toward the future starting now.
Here’s video of that scary scene for the 23-year-old: