UNIONDALE, NY - FEBRUARY 24: Casey Cizikas #53 of the New York Islanders lines up Brandon Dubinsky #17 of the New York Rangers at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on February 24, 2012 in Uniondale, New York. The Islanders defeated the Rangers 4-3 in the shootout. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
You probably don't need me to remind you that Larry Brooks of the New York Post speculated that the New York Rangers final two games before the NHL trade deadline would impact the potential Rick Nash trade.
So what impact did the Rangers' 4-3 shootout loss to the New York Islanders have? Honestly, I don't know. The power play scored twice and the offense did put three goals on the board (although against a shaky Evgeny Nabokov it should have been more); but the loss was still a tough one to swallow.
Maybe more importantly, how much will tonight's game matter in the Nash trade talks?
Look, the Rangers are very interested in Nash's services, period. Even if the Rangers beat the Sabres 15-2 tonight, Sather will still be kicking the tires on Nash. There's simply too much smoke for there not to be fire. The question is, how much does Sather and the coaching staff think they need Nash?
That, more than anything, might alter the price of the star sniper. If the Rangers can convince Scott Howson that they can walk away from the table without Nash (and honestly, they should be able to do that no matter what happens tonight) then the price might me much lower (if Columbus even deals him to the Rangers) than if Howson thinks Sather will keep upping the ante.
Personally, I think the Rangers can easily walk away from the table without him and Howson knows it. I don't think tonight's score, no matter what it is, will change that. Plus, Sather get's the benefit of the doubt for deadline deals in my book. I think he'll make the right move in the end.
So what do you guys think? Is tonight's game going to have a ton or little-to-no impact on the Rangers' trade deadline moves?