The selling is complete. Now comes the hard part: post-sale hockey.
The New York Rangers embark on what could be their most stressful era since the pre-lockout era, with the remainders from the trade deadline embarking on a three-game Western Canada road trip, beginning tonight against the Vancouver Canucks (10:00 PM, MSG).
The Rangers (27-30-6) finally earned a point in their last game, somewhat salvaging Jean Ratelle Night with a 3-2 overtime loss on Sunday night. The point ended a streak of six straight regulation defeats. The Rangers fell behind 2-0, but struck back on a power play goal by JT Miller, who was shipped off to Tampa Bay on Monday. Jesper Fast tied the game in the third period, but Rangers were unable to solve Jimmy Howard further. Trevor Daley wound up with the winner for Detroit with mere seconds to go in overtime, spoiling a strong debut for Ryan Spooner. Acquired from Boston in the Rick Nash trade, Spooner tallied a pair of assists.
Jesper Fast scores, tying it 2-2, assisted by Hayes and Spooner. That's two assists for Spooner tonight pic.twitter.com/YQN2IF0c5g
— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) February 26, 2018
The Canucks (24-32-7) were likewise sellers at the deadline, having wallowed at the bottom of the Western Conference standings for a majority of the season. Their first post-deadline game was a 3-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Monday, with Daniel Sedin scoring the lone Vancouver goal.
This will wrap up the annual pair between the Rangers and the Canucks, with the Rangers seeking a season sweep. On November 26, the Rangers won 4-3 in a shootout at Madison Square Garden, as Jimmy Vesey stole the show. He tied the game in the third period before putting in the necessary tally in the seventh round of the ensuing shootout.
In terms of newcomers, Vladislav Namestnikov will make his Rangers debut tonight, brought over from the trade that sent Miller and Ryan McDonagh to the conference leading Lightning.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490