After coming off a big 2013-2014 season that saw the New York Rangers make it to the Stanley Cup Final, Blueshirt fans endured an extra-long summer awaiting for their team to return to the ice. While games like the season opener against the St. Louis Blues (10/9/14) and the rematch against the Los Angeles Kings (1/8/15) are obvious nights we’re all awaiting, here’s my 3 most anticipated must-watch 2014-2015 Rangers games:
3) October 25, 2014; the Rangers take a flight to Quebec to face the Montreal Canadiens for the first time since May 29, when the Blueshirts defeated the Habs 1-0 at Madison Square Garden to advance to the Cup Final. Canadiens fans haven’t let go of the incident between Chris Kreider and Carey Price, claiming he purposely charged skates-first into the goaltender’s knee, while Ranger fans argue Kreider was tripped up and couldn’t do anything to avoid contact. The Bell Centre will be incredibly loud, and whichever side of the battle you’re on, it’s sure to be an extremely heated match-up that will see a lot of physicality and intense up and down action. The Habs might try to intimidate the Rangers in the early going, but if they don’t take too many retaliation penalties, the Rangers should escape Montreal with 2 important points.
2) November 11 2014; the Pittsburgh Penguins come into MSG looking for revenge against the Rangers, after the boys in blue came back from a 3-1 deficit in the 2014 Eastern Conference Semifinal to win in 7 games. With Dan Bylsma gone behind the bench, Mike Johnston is the new leader, hoping to cure the Penguins of their postseason slumps. Pittsburgh also has a new General Manager in Jim Rutherford, and with new additions of players like Patric Hornqvist (acquired with Nick Spaling in exchange for James Neal) and Christian Ehrhoff, look for the Penguins to come out hard in search of goals while piling up the hits. If the Rangers can neutralize the first 10 minutes, look for them to take over control later in the game.
1) November 17, 2014; some familiar faces in different jerseys come to the Big Apple in search of 2 points. Ryan Callahan, Brian Boyle, and Anton Stralman will play in Madison Square Garden once again, but this time, they’ll be wearing Tampa Bay Lightning jerseys. Look for no mercy between these teams, as old friends will quickly become mortal enemies on the ice. Don’t be surprised to see a few cheap shots as well, as tension between the new foes can escalate pretty quickly. If the Rangers can keep their cool and not go after players like #24, look for them to capitalize on their man advantage chances and make the Bolts leave the World’s Most Famous Arena empty-handed.
Tags: New York Rangers