The New York Rangers were busy in the hours leading to the NHL trade deadline, selling future assets to land players — specifically Keith Yandle — who can make an impact right away, as they look to get back to the Stanley Cup Final.
And you can certainly debate this “all-in” mentality, weighing the cost of trying to go for it all now and selling prospects and draft picks — including a first-round selection — to do so.
But as of Wednesday, the Rangers, even without Henrik Lundqvist in goal, are challenging for the Metropolitan Division and could once again go on a long run in the post-season.
On Wednesday, they lost 2-1 in overtime to the Detroit Red Wings. Marek Zidlicky, making his debut for the Red Wings after being a trade deadline acquisition, scored on the power play for the win, with Derek Stepan in the penalty box for a hold.
The single point puts the Rangers in a tie with the rival New York Islanders for tops in the Metropolitan. They’re fighting, too, for top spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Rangers outshot the Red Wings 40-31, forcing Jimmy Howard to make 39 saves. In terms of puck possession, New York dominated for the most part, with 61 shot attempts compared to 50 for Detroit, according to hockeystats.ca.
The Rangers decided to take the positives out of this one.
“I liked the way we played, especially in the second period,” Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault told NHL.com. “Unfortunately, we got a penalty late, and they were able to score in overtime.”
“…Play like this every night, we have a good chance of winning,” Mats Zuccarello told Andrew Gross of The Record.
There could be promising news on the horizon for New York’s goaltending situation, too. Cam Talbot, who has been solid since taking over the starting duties for an injured Lundqvist, could be back in the back-up role when the Swedish netminder comes back.
Lundqvist has been skating on his own and could return in 10 to 14 days, according to Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie.