The New York Rangers have won two games since Glen Sather and Jeff Gorton addressed the media on the heels of a memo which indicated the franchise's commitment toward building a Stanley Cup contender. Management is clear and committed in its vision of the future, but the coaching staff and players are committed to winning in the meantime.
The Rangers for all intents and purposes are still going to look to capitalize on upcoming free agents such as Rick Nash and Michael Grabner, and they would be foolish not to. It is understandable that there is a fear that a winning streak might force management to call an audible, but the odds of someone like Nash being on the roster after the February 26 deadline are slim to none.
The amount of teams interested is simply too high for the Rangers to pull out at the last minute, but stranger things have happened with this franchise before.
For now the focus shifts on the task at hand, and the Rangers (27-24-5) are set to face a challenge as they take on the Wild (30-19-6). The Wild are lead offensively by old friend Eric Staal, 50 points in 55 games, and Ryan Suter is a standout on the back end with 35 points in the same amount of games played. Expect the Wild to come out firing because they currently sit in the second wild card position, one point ahead of the Los Angeles Kings.
The team has played well of late and own a record of 6-2-2 in its last 10 games played. The Blueshirts sit two points behind the Carolina Hurricanes who have 61 points and occupy the second wild card spot.
The Rangers will be debuting a new lineup featuring Ryan Sproul who replaces Steven Kampfer who will miss the next four-to-six weeks with a broken hand.
Try and enjoy the game!
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