The New York Rangers will be deprived of their roaring fanbase at Madison Square Garden as 13 of their first 18 games to start the 2023-24 regular season will be on the road.
The Rangers Have an Early Storm to Weather
Just because the Rangers won’t enjoy 20 thousand white towels waving in unison for the majority of their opening stretch doesn’t mean they’ll have to throw in the towel. As New York Post reporter Larry Brooks highlighted, their schedule poses advantages from midseason onward:
“Plus, the five-game, 12-day tour — which includes a visit to Seattle — will give the team time to bond. Bonding and constructing a family-type atmosphere is big on head coach Peter Laviolette’s list of priorities, right up there with the neutral zone lock.”Larry Brooks of The New York Post
The Seattle Kraken are the only playoff team that New York will face in their first four road games. Matchups against the Edmonton Oilers and Winnipeg Jets will turn up the heat, as the Rangers went 2-2 combined against the two franchises last season.
An ensuing three-game spell at home pits the Rangers against two sub .500 teams from last year in the Detroit Red Wings and Carolina Blue Jackets before a four-game road stint concludes the most enduring portion of their calendar.
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A Major Hurdle To Clear Before the Rangers Get a Break in Stiff Competition
The Boston Bruins come into town on Nov. 25 along with their high-powered offense, which will test New York’s strength on defense and in goal. The Rangers conceded 12 goals to the Bruins and were swept 0-3 in their 2022-23 season series.
Further, there was a 36-20 shots on goal discrepancy in their 5-2 blowout loss on Nov. 3, 2022. Though the Rangers produced the seventh-highest power play percentage at 24.1 percent, the Bruins’ NHL-leading 83.8 percent penalty kill percentage gives them a perfect counter on defense to stymie the Rangers’ attack and look to score down the ice.
Getting past the reigning President’s Trophy winners opens the door for nine defenses of home ice in a 14-game stretch from Nov. 27 to Dec. 27. They’ll see their most time at the Garden with four home games from Feb. 12-20.
New York will get a home stand at the perfect time as six of their final eight games will be played in the Big Apple.