Hockey is Almost Back as the New York Rangers Prepare to Play the Islanders in an Exhibition Game


The New York Rangers have arrived at their bubble in Toronto.

The NHL announced that they have had zero positive tests out of 4,256 given.

It looks like we will see summer hockey starting on Wednesday when the Rangers face their cross-town rival Islanders. Puck drop is set for 7 pm, with the game being televised on the MSG Network. This game will not only give us a taste of what we can expect from the Blueshirts after a four-month layoff but also what the game experience will be like without fans in the stands.

How will the New York Rangers treat this Exhibition Game?

This game will probably look more like a regular-season game than most of your typical exhibitions. With only one game to play before the playoffs, coaches and players will need to use this game to get back, as closely as possible, to how they were playing for the pause.

The players are mentally more than ready. In Sunday’s media availability, Marc Staal said: “Now that the day is here, everyone’s pretty excited. The energy around the room was giddy and guys were excited to get here. I think everyone’s itching to play competitive hockey again.”

Head coach David Quinn summed it up in one little sentence: “We are here to win.”

That mindset will start with Wednesday’s game.

Just in case you need to get caught up, here are the expected lines for tonight’s game and possibly going into the playoffs.

Chris Kreider-Mika Zibanejad-Pavel Buchnevich
Artemi Panarin-Ryan Strome-Jesper Fast
Phil Di Giuseppe-Filip Chytil-Kaapo Kakko
Brett Howden-Greg McKegg-Julien Gauthier
Brendan Smith-Jacob Trouba
Ryan Lindgren-Adam Fox
Marc Staal-Tony DeAngelo

Power play 1:
Zibanejad, Panarin, Kreider, Strome, DeAngelo.
Power play 2:
Buchnevich, Kakko, Chytil, Fox, Trouba

PK forwards:
Di Giuseppe-McKegg

PK defensemen:

Igor Shesterkin is expected to make the start, but many are thinking that Henrik Lundqvist may see some time in net. On the other hand, the Rangers will probably get to see Seymon Varlamov for the entire game. The NHL will allow and Forward and Defenseman for this game, but only two goaltenders.

On Monday, the Rangers practiced at the Ford Performance Centre, a four-rink complex where the Maple Leafs and Marlie’s train, as they start experiencing what life will be like in their bubble facilities.