By the time this story goes live, it is more than likely that Patrick Kane will have been officially traded to the New York Rangers. After days of waiting and speculation, Kane will finally become a Ranger, the only team he wanted to get traded to. With this likely being the last move the Rangers make, this Rangers team is loaded.
They have a top-six full of star power and skill, a third line with so much potential and talent, and a shutdown fourth line that can play great defensively. They have three solid defensive pairings and they have a Vezina-winning goalie in the net. The New York Rangers are the most talented they have been in recent memory.
Let’s start by checking out the talented top six. The top two lines are ones that fans could only have dreamed about until now. It looks like the first line will consist of Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad, and Vladimir Tarasenko. The second line will be Artemi Panarin, Vincent Trocheck, and Patrick Kane. Kane and Panarin had amazing chemistry in Chicago and if they can find that again in New York, it will be a deadly combination.
Panarin and Trocheck have started to play better together over the past few weeks so if all three players can play great together, then other teams better watch out. Tarasenko has slowly been finding his game in New York. He has had to play with different linemates, but if he sticks on that top line, The Rangers’ top six could be considered the best in the league.
Now, let’s look at the bottom six. The third line remains The Kid Line. We all know how well they play together and they have shown that since being put back together. They are all on pace for career seasons and will be a problem for teams come playoff time. The fourth line is one of the best in years.
Tyler Motte, Barclay Goodrow, and Jimmy Vesey are all defensively responsible and all play on the penalty kill. They can be that shutdown fourth line who you can rely on in the closing moments of important games. You know what they bring and know that you can count on them.
The defense, while questionable at times, has been overall solid this year. The Rangers have three good parings that they can roll out. You know what Adam Fox can bring and he should be a candidate for the Norris Trophy. He and Ryan Lindgren are a phenomenal pairing together. Miller-Trouba and Mikkola-Schneider are two pairings that you can also count on.
The goaltending is solid as usual. Igor Shesterkin, while not playing at the level of last season, is still playing well. He has gone through a rough stretch, but be glad it’s happening now and not in the playoffs. The defense and goaltending will be extremely important as the Rangers head down this tough last stretch of the season and into the playoffs.
If you would have told Ranger fans at the start of the year that they would have both Kane and Tarasenko on the team by the trade deadline, many would have assumed that the Rangers would have needed to trade a top prospect of a young roster player. It looks like none of that will need to happen and the Rangers will have a “super-team” heading into the playoffs. If this group does not win the Stanley Cup, it will go down as one of the most talented groups to never win. Let’s hope this is not the case and let’s enjoy the ride while we have it.