The past weekend couldn’t have gone any worse for the Rangers.
After losing back-to-back games against the Flyers and Bruins, two tough Eastern Conference rivals, the Blueshirts dropped down to seventh in the conference and third in the Metropolitan Division. The schedule doesn’t get any easier for the team, which holds a one-point lead over the and Red Wings (eighth) and Capitals (ninth).
The Rangers return to the ice tomorrow night against the Maple Leafs, who entered last night as the East’s No. 5 seed. The fate of captain Ryan Callahan, who has been the subject of trade rumors for weeks, will be determined by then — the NHL trade deadline passes at 3 p.m. tomorrow.
If all that wasn’t enough cause for concern, a tough upcoming schedule and the shaky play of goaltender Henrik Lundqvist are even bigger issues for the Rangers. Lundqvist gave up 10 goals on 64 shots over the two losses for a .844 save percentage.
With the Rangers dangerously close to falling out of the current playoff picture, he will need to play at the top of his game for the final 20 games of the regular season. Overall, the Blueshirts play seven of their next 10 and 11 of their next 16 games on the road, with two pairs of back-to-back games.