The time has come for the New York Rangers to head north to Toronto with Phase 4 set to begin on Saturday, Aug. 1.
Hockey has been an afterthought since the league shut down in late March, but now the Blueshirts will pack their bags, so goodbye to their families and head out to their hub city for their Qualifying Round contest against the Carolina Hurricanes. The team will be in their own bubble where they hope to avoid the COVID-19 virus when the playoffs begin next Saturday.
This year’s battle for the Stanley Cup will take 19 wins to see a team hoist the cup around the ice of an empty arena. The 24 teams to participate in the playoffs will do so in front of empty arenas.
Make no mistake about it, the New York Rangers are determined to go far in these playoffs. The young team is determined to “win it all” as they look ahead to playing against a tough Hurricanes team in the best of five-game series.
Roster set for the Playoffs
David Quinn and his team had their final practice on Sunday morning. The projected team 30 players who will travel to Toronto for this year’s playoffs are;
Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad, Ryan Strome, Pavel Buchnevich, Chris Kreider, Phillip Di Giuseppe, Kaapo Kakko, Filip Chytil, Jullien Gauthier, Jesper Fast, Brett Howden, Gregg Mckegg, Steve Fogarty, Tim Gettinger, Vitali Kravtsov, Vinni Lettieri, Danny O’Regan.
Brendan Lemieux will travel with the team but will sit out the first two games against Carolina to serve his suspension.
Jacob Trouba, Adam Fox, Ryan Lindgren, Anthony DeAngelo, Brendan Smith, Marc Staal, Brandon Crawley, Libor Hajek, Darren Raddysh.
Henrik Lundqvist, Igor Shesterkin and Alexandar Geaorgiev.
Coach Quinn has stated that he will not name a starting goalie until Friday at the earliest. The goaltender battle has been a tough one though it appears that Shesterkin has had an early edge with the King pressing hard to get the start in what may be his last run with the Rangers.
Rangers beat writer Vince Z. Mercogliano tweeted that Georgiev did not practice on Sunday with the coaching staff going with Henrik and Shesterkin.
Madison Square Garden Network will be ramping up the new programming this week with some new shows to get the Rangers fans brought up to speed prior to the start of the Qualifying Round.
MSG Networks will be airing a new preview show for the Rangers with the broadcast team breaking down the Blueshirts qualifying matchups. Sam Rosen, Joe Micheletti, John Giannone, and Steve Valiquette will preview the Rangers/Hurricanes series on MSG at 6:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, July 28th, and Thursday, July 30th.
The network will also premiere an NHL-themed trivia show, “MSG Hockey IQ,” on MSG at 5:30 p.m. ET on Monday, July 27th, featuring Sam Rosen, Joe Micheletti, John Giannone, Steve Valiquette, Brendan Burke, Butch Goring, and Shannon Hogan. During the show, the Rangers and Islanders broadcasters will go over all the upcoming action, while answering select trivia questions to get viewers up to date on the league’s return to play.
The upcoming week’s schedule is as follows;
MSG Hockey IQ
Return to hockey trivia show featuring Sam Rosen, Joe Micheletti, John Giannone, Steve Valiquette, Brendan Burke, Butch Goring, and Shannon Hogan
Debuts on Monday (7/27) at 5:30 p.m. ET on MSG and 6:00 p.m. ET on MSG+
Around the NHL, presented by Chase
Michelle Gingras and Anson Carter with a daily look around the league
Airing weeknights at 6:00 p.m. ET on MSG and 6:30 p.m. ET on MSG+ premieres on Monday (7/27).
Rangers Return to Play Preview
Sam Rosen, Joe Micheletti, John Giannone and Steve Valiquette preview the Rangers/Hurricanes series
Airing on Tuesday (7/28) and Thursday (7/30) at 6:30 p.m. ET on MSG.
The Rangers will have their only pre-Qualifying Round game on Wednesday, July 29 against the New York Islanders. The game can be seen on the MSG Network at 8 p.m. with Sam, Joe, and the entire broadcast team calling the game from the MSG Studios in New York City.