The Rangers’ mindset as the NHL trade deadline nears

TAMPA, Fla. — The outside noise around the NHL’s trading close, which is Monday, is never easy to ignore, but the Rangers are doing their best.

It certainly helps that they are in a very different position than they have been in the recent past. Instead of worrying about who might be on the way to another team, there’s an expectation of who might be coming into the dressing room. President and general manager Chris Drury made a move, bringing Frank Vatrano forward via a trade with the Panthers on Wednesday.

Whether there will be more signings remains to be seen, but the Rangers remained focused on two key matchups against Tampa Bay and Carolina this weekend.

“I think we have faith in our group,” said Barclay Goodrow, who moved to New York from Tampa Bay during the offseason Saturday’s 2-1 win over the Lightning. “Our job is to go out there and play and play to execute the game plan that the coach has laid out for us and play as hard as we can. We cannot control what will happen in the next 48 hours, it is not our responsibility. It’s Dru’s job to take care of it and our job is to go out and play.

“In space we are confident and whatever happens, happens. We move on and are ready for the stretch run.”

Barclay Goodrow #21 of the New York Rangers celebrates his goal
Barclay Goodrow
NY Post: Charles Wenzelberg

The last time Mika Zibanejad can remember the Rangers getting reinforcements at the close was in 2016-17, his first season with the organization, when they acquired Brendan Smith from the Red Wings to prepare for the postseason. The Rangers eventually lost to the Senators in six games in the second round.

“We’re playing today and tomorrow, so I think we have games to worry about,” Zibanejad said. “It’s hard to say how that’s going to affect the group because — I mean, Frankie’s here now, but we don’t have anyone else. I think it will be more a question of when and if new people will join.

“Try not to focus on that now, it’s not our job to do it anyway. We only care about the games and what we can do on the ice and then the rest is not up to us.”

Goalie Igor Shesterkin got the go-ahead on Saturday, meaning backup Alexandar Georgiev can be expected to be in the net against the Hurricanes on Sunday in Raleigh, NC

Head coach Gerard Gallant has yet to use Shesterkin in back-to-back competitions this season, which the coach says is to be expected earlier in the year. Even though Shesterkin hasn’t seen that much playing time in recent games, Rangers are likely preparing to face the keeper in every possible playoff game. Resting Shesterkin, on the other hand, is clearly a priority.

The Rangers on Saturday signed undrafted Nebraska-Omaha defenseman Brandon Scanlin to a two-year, $1.85 million deal, per CapFriendly.

Scanlin, 22, just wrapped up his third season with the Mavericks. In 38 games this season, Scanlin has scored six goals and provided 25 assists. The Rangers’ mindset as the NHL trade deadline nears


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