New York Rangers Survive Shark Attack: Now Wait on Trade Deadline Activities

New York Rangers, Artemi Panarin

It might be a little understandable if the New York Rangers looked a little flat on Saturday night. After playing for the fourth game in the past six days, and dealing with constant trade talk, the Rangers slipped past the San Jose Sharks by the score of 3-2. Igor Shesterkin stopped 44 saves to win for the seventh straight time. Artemi Panarin set up a pair of goals with passes that were beyond spectacular, and Jesper Fast broke a third-period tie with his second goal of the night. The Rangers won for the third straight time, the seventh time in their last eight games, and moved to 10-3 since the All-Star break. Also, the Blueshirts are now within four points of the final playoff spot.

Shesterkin magnificent in goal for the New York Rangers

The Rangers came out flat Saturday night against the Sharks, having outshot the Blueshirts 22-3 in the first period. It was pretty much the work of Shesterkin in the net that allowed them to survive the onslaught and regroup for the win.  In getting the win, Shesterkin became just the fourth goaltender in NHL history to earn nine wins through his first 10 career games. He is also the first NHL goaltender since saves were first tracked in 1955-56 to have four 40 or more save games, as well as four 40 or more save wins, in his first 10 career appearances. This has to be even a bit over the Ranger’s expectations when they brought him up and have tried to juggle the dreaded three goalie scenario.

What will the New York Rangers do at the trade deadline?

There are a couple of different scenarios that the pundits have suggested. The first, and the least likely is that the Rangers do nothing before the trade deadline and deal with the impending salary cap issues in the off-season. This scenario could happen as the Rangers are now in contention for a playoff run, and won’t do anything to upset the team chemistry that seems so strong in recent weeks.

So the next issue is Chris Kreider. If they do re-sign him, then almost every other player on the roster, with the exceptions of Panarin and Mika Zibanejad, would be on the block. Some players with higher price tags like Ryan Strome, Pavel Buchenvich, Brady Skjei, and Tony DeAngelo could be the players who are traded, to help deal with the salary cap implications of re-signing Kreider

If the Blueshirts cannot re-sign Kreider, he will most likely be traded, probably for a nice haul. This is the scenario that would seem to hurt the Rangers playoff chances the most as this would upset the team chemistry quite a bit. This becomes even more critical as the Rangers begin a stretch of four games against opponents in the thick of the playoff race in the Eastern Conference.