New York Rangers: The ironic turnaround amidst fire sale

MONTREAL, QC - FEBRUARY 22: Alain Vigneault (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
MONTREAL, QC - FEBRUARY 22: Alain Vigneault (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /

The ironic turn of events for the New York Rangers while the fire sale goes on.

Isn’t being a sports fan interesting? The New York Rangers have certainly made things interesting as of late. It seemed like it was all over. Ryan McDonagh was sent away. Rick Nash is gone. J.T. Miller is gone. In their places we see young kids set to rebuild the Rangers. As Jeff Gorton indicated to the fans in a letter, the team was being broken down to build it back up into the next generation of contenders. Even though they were only five points out of a playoff spot the Rangers were looking ahead.

So the team is filled with players that fans aren’t familiar with. The players are looking to figure out their chemistry together to see who should hang around for the future. It’s all about building for next year and beyond with the Rangers playing the string out on the 2017-2018 season. Right?

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Not so fast. It appears that the AV squad has other ideas. They have decided to come together faster, winning their last three games. As it stands right now, the team remains five points out of the final playoff spot.

Let’s be real, it doesn’t hurt to still have Henrik Lundqvist on their side. Having a goalie with the capability of posting back to back 50 save performances in two wins will keep a team in any game. That should put to bed any theories that the King has no gas left in the tank. He has plenty.

The three game winning streak began in Vancouver last week. The team actually put up six goals including an OT game winner by John Gilmour. That was the first of the two 50 save nights for the King. They only got 27 shots off but made the most of them.

Two nights later in Calgary, Lundqvist stymied the opponent 50 times again on the way to a 3-1 Rangers victory over the Flames. The back to back performance marks the first time it was done since saves became an official stat. Young center Ryan Spooner added a goal and an assist in the effort.

A 3-2 win over Edmonton was the third win this past Saturday night. After yeoman’s work over the previous two games, Lundqvist got the night off in favor of his backup Alexander Georgieve who earned his first NHL win that night.

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The exciting part is the fact that the kids aren’t only here for the future, they have become immediate contributors. The Rangers may have prepared for the future, but they also have prepared for the present. They have injected some youth into a team that sorely needed. Backed by an All-World goalie, anything can happen.