And the New York Rangers at the trade deadline....stand pat. Good.

There is a lot to unpack. Let's recap...

Jan 2021 record: 2-6

Feb 2021 record: 5-6

Mar 2021 record: 9-7

Apr 2021 record: 3-3

Numbers don't lie.

You're not going to make the playoffs in the Eastern Division, a cauldron of upper tier teams, playing .500 hockey.
Teams are taking away the Rangers' space to create and forcing them to play a physical game. Something this squad is not good at. Their bread and butter is skating and skill. Also this team is dreadful at face offs. How do the Rangers expect to win tight games if their top two centers are atrocious at winning face offs in clutch moments?
Panarin dealing with threats from the Soviet...I mean, Russian President. Mika Zibanejad's COVID recovery. Are the Rangers ready to pay him $11M/season at age 29. Not sure.
True. Not playing some of the garbage teams in the other divisions hurts but to me, this IS the acid litmus test for this young squad against Hall of Famers like Crosby, Ovechkin, Bergeron, etc. Night after night, these young kids are playing against the best of the best.

Break-Out:

Adam Fox: 37 pts in 40 games. Best in NHL defensemen. There is nothing left to say.

Pavel Buchnevich: Captain Happy. Patience. Persistence. Payoff. 35 pts in 40 games. His centering passes are dynamic. Maybe too unselfish.

On the verge of breaking out next season:

Filip Chytil: The injury was a huge setback. 15 points over 27 games may be modest. In April he has 5 pts in 6 games. He's generating chances for his teammates. As a result, the Kids line is starting to get more playing time and raising eye brows.

Alexis Lafrenière: In the Rangers 19 wins, Laf has 11 pts. His totals 13 pts over 41 games don't look significant but he's skating well. It's just a matter of time before he puts it altogether.

Kappo Kakko: Losing games due to COVID quarantine as a precaution because he's at high risk as a diabetic was detrimental to his development. Having said that, he has 5 pts in last 6 games. Finally playing alongside Chytil and Laf has started to develop the chemistry on the 3rd line to really show the promise of tomorrow. I really think, next season he's going to shake all the haters.

K'Andre Miller: The numbers aren't there yet. However his presence is felt on the ice. His reach is ridiculous. He's made some incredible game changing plays.

Underrated:

Ryan Lindgren: Quietly Lindgren has provided glimpses of Mcdonagh-esque grit. His bone-jarring hits in the neutral zone on Bergeron, Marchant, Ovechkin...the toughness sorely needed on the Rangers when opposing teams take away their skill game.

Colin Blackwell: 12 goals in 32 games. He's making the Rangers decisions for playing time extremely difficult.

On a Milk Carton:

Chris Kreider: One goal over his last 10 games. Worst time to have a goal drought. This is crunch time. My only comfort if the fact, a player of his calibur, won't be a top line player in 3-4 seasons.

I've seen enough. Time to go:

Brett Howden: The 4th line is kind of the checking line. I don't expect much. However 5 pts over 66 games is pretty unacceptable for a one trick pony, winning face offs.

Libor Hajek: The kid can hit but the problem is, he doesn't understand how to read what teams are doing. As a result, he's often out of position. He's got a spot until the Rangers bring up Braden Schneider who can hit like a battering ram.

Too many setbacks doomed this Ranger team but the future is bright for this franchise that has endured a complete rebuild. Let's go Rangers!