Take a deep breathe New York Rangers fans, this franchise’s date with destiny has arrived.
For the first time in three years the New York Rangers will contest a postseason game when they meet the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 1 of a Best-of-Five Qualifying Round.
Today has been a long time coming for the NHL who have done an outstanding job of resurrecting the 2019-20 season amid the COVID-19 pandemic, while it has been even longer for the Blueshirts.
Rewind back to Feb. 8, 2018 when the Rangers Front Office, led then by General Manager Jeff Gorton and former President Glenn Sather released an open letter that made it clear a rebuild was on the horizon.
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Few would have predicted back then that the New York Rangers would be here right now, preparing for a chance to punch their Stanley Cup Playoff ticket with a Hart Trophy finalist on the roster in superstar Artemi Panarin.
Then again, even fewer could have foreseen hockey being played in a Bubble in Canada in August after a global pandemic
That’s just 2020 for you.
But here we are and the Rangers have five games to slug it out against the Hurricanes and extend their season.
It won’t be easy given some of the potent weapons at Carolina’s disposal, coupled with the fact that the Hurricanes have recent experience of postseason success having made it to the Eastern Conference Finals last year.
However, the current vintage of these Blueshirts were building something special prior to the pause and they have the firepower to cause some significant damage this summer.
Fast starts will be crucial in a Best-of-Five series too so, on that note, we decided to map out the Three Keys to taking Game 1 against the Carolina Hurricanes today.
Let’s delve right in…