The New York Rangers 6-3 win over the New Jersey Devils only makes life more complicated for the Blueshirts as they get closer to decision day, the 2020 NHL Trade Deadline.
Jeff Gorton woke up this morning with a headache. The New York Rangers general manager has a bevy of problems that were highlighted by the win over the Devils. Fortunately, these are “good” problems to have, but they will make his life increasingly complicated as the season moves on.
Problem #1: Playoffs contention
The Rangers won again, moving within six points of the Philadelphia Flyers with a game in hand. Yes, after 43 games, the playoffs are a possibility, but a slim one. The last five years, it has taken from 95 to 98 points to sneak into a wild card spot in the East. Let’s be optimistic and say that the wild card cut off will be 95 points. That means they will need to get 49 points in their last 39 games or have a record of 24-14-1. Do-able? Yes. Likely? No.
What it does mean is that as long as the team is in contention, Gorton has to decide whether to go for it or gut the roster at the trade deadline, again. We will know a lot more after the next five games including three against the Islanders, one against the Stanley Cup Champions and one against the resurgent Blue Jackets.