Although much of the drama and discussion surrounding the Rangers has been regarding who’s not currently on the team, the players that are on the team will be playing a hockey game this afternoon. The Blueshirts are set for a Saturday matinee against the Metropolitan Division rival Washington Capitals as they look to snap out of their 0-2-1 funk.
The Capitals appeared primed to make the playoffs for a ninth consecutive season as recently as a few weeks ago, but a downturn in play has changed the equation. Entering today’s game losers of five straight games and eight of their last eleven, the Capitals have begun selling off pending unrestricted free agents for draft capital. Defenseman Dmitry Orlov and forward Garnet Hathaway were shipped to the Boston Bruins earlier this week, with forward Craig Smith and his bloated contract being the only NHL player coming back the other way. Something’s gotta give in this battle of slumping teams.
Player to Watch: Artemiy Panarin
The theme of last year’s trade deadline seemed to be trading for Jacob Trouba’s friends. Between the acquisition of Vladimir Tarasenko and the nonstop rumors of Patrick Kane’s impending arrival, Panarin’s friends are making their way to Broadway for the stretch run this time around. Keep an eye on Panarin as he does what he can to get New York back in the win column.
Enjoy the game!