By the time the Rangers take the ice Thursday night in Montreal, there will only be about 92 hours left of skating on eggshells. Ever since management let it be known on Feb. 8 that it would be open for business — for deals focused on the long-term and not saving this season — there has been an underlying feeling of uncertainty for the Blueshirts, not knowing what teammate might be in the room one day and gone the next. The first move finally happened Tuesday when the Rangers sent defenseman Nick Holden to the Bruins in exchange for blueliner Rob O’Gara and a 2018 third-round draft pick. And while they wait for the next deal to be made — potentially involving Rick Nash, Michael Grabner or even Ryan McDonagh — the Rangers still have three games left to play before the Monday trade deadline. “It’s tough to really express what’s going on right now,” coach Alain Vigneault said after practice Wednesday. “This is a little awkward, in the sense that we came out and we said it. A lot of times teams do it but don’t say it. So it makes it a little bit more challenging as far as team dynamics.” Since the white flag was officially raised — in the form of a letter to fans and a press conference from general manager Jeff Gorton and president Glen Sather — the Rangers are 2-4-0. They had lost four straight games in regulation leading into the announcement, and now enter a game Thursday against the Canadiens on another four-game skid. Before this month, they hadn’t dropped four straight in regulation since 2011.
Rangers trying to stick together while waiting to be torn apart
New York Post | Feb 22