Have the New York Rangers considered keeping Keith Yandle?
That was a rhetorical question, Rangers fans. Stand down.
The Yandle situation has been a source of consternation for Rangers fans since the season began. He's in the final year of a big contract on a team that can barely fit him under the cap as it is. Why should they make an effort to squeeze him back in this summer when he hits free agency?
Once again on Wednesday, Yandle let his play answer that question. He was the best player on the ice for the Rangers in a big 5-2 win over the Boston Bruins, and set up two goals with some of the best offensive work from a defenseman in the league this year.
Very few defensemen can bring those skills to the table. With 40 points in 74 games this year, he's about on pace for his yearly averages in points. Players like Yandle are often the difference between a win and a loss, much like he was on Wednesday.
Considering New York's cap situation, however, it's understandable if he ultimately walks. But for a team so desperate to win a Stanley Cup before their window slams shut, it'd be disappointing if they didn't at least give him their best shot.
Rangers 5, Bruins 2
* * *
* * *
3 things we learned
1. The Islanders are back on the right foot
That four-game slide was concerning, especially since the Philadelphia Flyers showed only slight signs of slowing their charge on them in the Wild Card race. When in doubt, good teams lean on their best players to bail them out. John Tavares did just that for the Islanders, setting up a three-goal second period that buried the Senators for good and righted New York's sinking ship.
2. Dan Girardi can pull off a hat trick in one shift
As long as the hat trick involves turnovers and not goals.
3. Ja Rule is that glass-banging hockey fan you hate
And he should feel bad.
Who broke the losing skid? Ja Rule. pic.twitter.com/1kCK7VihqY— IslesBlog (@IslesBlog) March 24, 2016
Welcome to the big leagues, Jean-Francois Berube. Were you a shortstop in a past life?
Stat of the Night