Toronto Maple Leafs (32-23-8) at New York Rangers (33-26-3)
|Date & Time||Wednesday March 5, 2014, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: New York Rangers -173 / Toronto Maple Leafs +157 --- Over/Under: 5.5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
With just hours remaining until the NHL's trading deadline the Rangers and captain Ryan Callahan still haven't come to terms on a contract extension that would keep the winger in blue for at least another six years. New York still hasn't traded their captain but there could be a lot of things that factor into Wednesday night's match up with the Toronto Maple Leafs at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night. Callahan is a leader for this Rangers club but at the end of the day each team needs to weigh what the player brings to the table against what they will cost on the salary cap. If Callahan is resigned it will no doubt be an overpayment, but perhaps a necessary one for New York if they want to make a run this post season. After a solid win over the Chicago Blackhawks coming out of the Olympic break the Rangers lost twice in regulation over the weekend. The Philadelphia Flyers jumped ahead of the Rangers in the Metropolitan Division with a 4-2 win on Saturday afternoon and then New York let one get away from them against Boston on Sunday night. It was a dominant first period for the Rangers that saw them outshooting the Bruins 15-1 at one point. Unfortunately for the home team it didn't reflect on the scoreboard as the teams were tied 1-1 and things fell apart from there in a 6-3 loss to the B's. With the standings so tight at this point the Rangers can't afford to let this losing streak linger any longer. One of the teams they're competing with for a potential playoff spot is the Toronto Maple Leafs. It has been a very good season for Toronto to this point but it has to be difficult for the Maple Leafs when they know everyone is just waiting for them to collapse down the stretch here. With all that pressure the Leafs have returned from the break and loss three consecutive games. The good news in Toronto is that two of those have come in extra time, allowing the Maple Leafs to acquire two very important points in the standings. With a West Coast road trip coming up and six of their next seven games on the road this is definitely make or break time for Toronto moving forward. Monday night the club got a strong game in goal from James Reimer but it wasn't enough to overcome two second period goals from the Columbus Blue Jackets. Mayson Raymond scored his 17th goal of the year with under five minutes remaining but it was too little too late for Toronto in the 2-1 loss. This is going to be an uptempo hockey game between two desperate teams and it should be a lot of fun. The Rangers are over priced a bit in this one but they're still the play regardless of the Callahan situation looming over their heads.