Found January 14, 2014 on Blue Seat Blogs:
New_york_islanders_33b3
Received three good questions over the past few weeks, so hopefully I can provide three good answers as the Rangers continue to surge in the standings. Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America Do you think the Rangers will trade both Dan Girardi and Michael Del Zotto? What can they bring back in a trade? This really depends on how the Rangers are playing both at the Olympic roster freeze and at the trade deadline. With their recent surge, I don’t think they will be sellers unless they lose ten games in a row and fall four spots in the standings. Since they will be buyers (most likely), I doubt they move Girardi. I understand the concern about getting him signed, but making a big playoff push is more important than getting a good return on the veteran defenseman. As for Del Zotto, he’s playing much, much better of late. He got moved back to the left side of the ice, and he’s been a force on defense since. That said, I think his days in New York are numbered. He’s been wildly inconsistent this year, and Alain Vigneault has made it clear that he doesn’t trust him as much. AV has also made it abundantly clear that he would rather deal with the same type of play from John Moore –who has significantly less NHL experience– than MDZ. In terms of value, Girardi would likely fetch two solid NHL ready prospects, a top farm prospect, and a first round pick (think Marian Hossa deal). If the Rangers fall out of contention, trading him would single-handedly retool the team. MDZ’s value is at an all-time low, but a 24-year-old defenseman who has proven he can play in the NHL while producing is still worth a decent amount. I think you can package him and a lower level prospect (along the lines of Ryan Bourque) for a top-six right-handed defender around the same age as MDZ. Why does this team all of a sudden look so good? As that horrible losing streak was starting to come to an end, the Rangers were doing a lot more of the little things needed to win games. I think they lost the last two or three games just because the puck wouldn’t bounce their way. PDO (SV%+SH%) generally rounds out to 100, but the Rangers had been hovering around 95 for the first half of the season. This was due to Henrik Lundqvist’s struggles, but also because the Rangers were shooting at an abysmal 5%. Neither Lundqvist’s poor play (.900 SV%) nor the shooting percentage were going to remain that low. What we are seeing now is Henrik’s regression to his career mean (roughly .920 SV%) and the Rangers finally starting to get some bounces and have pucks go in the net. Usually one or the other will result in a few wins, but the Rangers have seen them both begin to correct themselves at the same time. When that happens, you get a team that looks dominant. Do you think the Rangers will make the playoffs? The Metropolitan is weak, but the Rangers are very inconsistent. This is a team that will make the playoffs. Not only are they too good not to make the playoffs, but the Metropolitan Division, save for the Penguins, is a tire fire at the moment. The Flyers showed us last night why they aren’t a lock for the playoffs. The Caps don’t play defense. I don’t believe the Blue Jackets will keep up with their recent streak. The Devils can’t score. The Hurricanes probably shouldn’t have even made it this far. And the Islanders are the Islanders. Perhaps the biggest difference now is that the Atlantic Division is starting to come back to Earth. Sure, the top three teams are solid teams that are playoff bound, but the rest of the division is a toss-up. Even the Red Wings are being kept alive by the skin of their Bettman points. There is no guarantee that both wild cards come from that division anymore, which bodes well for the Rangers. Don’t forget you can always email us and ask us questions. We will try to get to them all, and some that require longer answers will wind up in posts like these. Tweet
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Is Benoit Pouliot forcing an extended Rangers stay?

Pouliot: Riding recent success to a new deal? Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Image Inconsistent, journeyman pro, never sticks with one team, will never live up to his draft status. The list of criticisms labelled at Benoit Pouliot is a long one and by and large most criticisms and assumptions about the Rangers winger have been or are true. Pouliot will never live up to being 4th overall...

Rangers ride three-goal first period to rout of Philadelphia

Daniel Carcillo, Rick Nash and Derick Brassard scored less than 10 minutes into the game, and Henrik Lundqvist made 37 saves as the New York Rangers routed the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1 on Sunday night. Chris Kreider netted his team-leading 12th goal in the second period to help the Rangers win their third straight and fourth in five (4-0-1). New York, 8-2-1 in its ast 11, is tied...

Streaking Rangers down Flyers, 4-1

There are many interconnected reasons for the Rangers’ recent strong play. But the simple explanation is Henrik Lundqvist and the one-thing-leads-to-another improvement in his play. “It’s me playing my game, which is deep and patient waiting for the puck,” Lundqvist said. “When you win a couple of games, of course, you gain some confidence. When you have more confidence...

Chris Calder? Kreider Tops The List For 2014 ROY

Chris Kreider (1 G, 1 A, 2 SOG, +1) was having a fairly quiet rookie campaign until recently, but the quiet is fading quickly behind a wall of cheers from Rangers faithful as he settles in on the top line for the Rangers with Rick Nash and Derek Stepan. Kreider burst onto the scene immediately following his senior season with Boston College, diving head first into 2011-12 playoffs...

Lundqvist shines in Rangers’ win over Flyers

A slow start paired with Henrik Lundqvist producing a great game for the opposition led to the Philadelphia Flyers’ 4-1 loss to the New York Rangers tonight. The Blueshirts’ goaltender had a 37-save effort, while Chris Kreider produced a two-point performance with a goal and an assist. Rick Nash and Daniel Carcillo also scored for New York, as the Flyers failed to produce a point...

Rangers, Isles and Devils Gear up for the NHL Stadium Series at Yankee Stadium

This winter the NHL is embarking on a country wide series of outdoor games, the Rangers will face the Devils on Jan. 26, 2014, at 12:30 p.m., and go up against the Islanders on Jan. 29th at 7:30 p.m. Other games around the country consist of  the Los Angeles Kings versus the Anaheim Ducks at Dodger Stadium on January 25th and the Pittsburgh Penguins versus the Chicago...

Bishop steals one at The Garden, halts Rangers win streak

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images This loss is a tough one to really get upset over. Sure, the Rangers got burned on the second goal due to a nine second brain fart. But Ben Bishop made 33 saves –a lot of them very difficult saves– en route to stealing this win in his return to action. The game was actually very evenly matched throughout, with both teams exchanging scoring...

Game 48: We’re going streaking!

Frank Franklin II/Associated Press The Rangers are in the midst of an 8-2-1 streak, and have won three in a row. Tampa Bay comes to town tonight looking to spoil that with the return of Ben Bishop. Tampa Bay has a pretty solid club and are likely playoff bound, so the Rangers will have their hands full. If they can build off their impressive wins against Chicago and Dallas, this...

Rangers’ Del Zotto trying hard to show his stuff

It was just a rainy Saturday practice at the Rangers’ Westchester training center, but when Michael Del Zotto turned the puck over during a drill, he whipped around and shattered his stick over the side boards, tossing its remnants onto the empty bench. He found another stick, slowly skated back out and took a knee, leaning heavily and looking downtrodden. It has been a tough...

Rangers dominate Flyers in key divisional win

Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images The Rangers came into last night’s game in a 7-2-1 stretch and needing a regulation win against the Flyers to leap-frog them in the standings and in the tiebreakers.  They did just that, scoring three times in the first period and then holding off a third period surge by Philly for a 4-1 win. Henrik Lundqvist and Rick Nash played great...

We are all Tortorella

Image courtesy: thestar.com It was like watching Monday Night Raw when the Kings and Canucks went to war yesterday. By now, you have seen, heard and debated all of the incidents that took place, so I won’t rehash each one in detail here. Was the game a moral victory? What exactly constitutes a “moral victory” anyway? Do we care? What I would like to focus on is the fact that...

Broadway Comedy: Rangers rout Flyers behind strong start

Dan Carcillo, who scored the first goal for the Rangers, and Wayne SImmonds exchange words during the Flyers 4-1 loss to the Rangers. (Photo Courtesy of ESPN.com) Sunday night offered a chance at rebound and redemption. Instead it offered embarrassment.  The Philadelphia Flyers have been victimized by slow starts before. But the New York Rangers took advantage in a different way...

Carcillo Helps Rangers Distract Flyers, Win 4-1

[Photo: NHL.com] The Carbomb went off when given the chance to square off against his former Flyers teammates Sunday night, leaving disastrous results for Philadelphia. A ploy that seemed kind of pointless actually paid dividends (literally), as Daniel Carcillo frustrated one of his old teams, knocking them out of any kind of sync, thus allowing the New York Rangers to rag doll backup...

Adam Pelech (OHL Images)Sunday may not have had a lot of games played by the New York Ranger and New York Islander prospects but there was no shortage of offensive display. Sunday was very much an entertaining day of hockey even if the outcomes were not what were the desired ones.The question many who follow the OHL have had was "How would the Erie Otters do in the 2nd half...

Wings Need Points

The Wings had an off day yesterday and will practice today as they prepare for a road game against the New York Rangers on Thursday. Ansar Khan of Mlive with a look at where the Wings stand right now... Only five points separated nine teams before Monday’s games. “We got to win another game; we need points badly,” Babcock said. “We’ll get a bit of a rest and...
NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.