Breaking down the New York Rangers record against the newly realigned Metro Division
The New York Rangers now know the teams they will battle against once the NHL season begins sometime in mid-January. While there’s still some unsettled business with regards to where the St. Louis Blues will play, these divisions are currently looking as follows:
US1: BOS, BUF, NJ, NYI, NYR, PHI, PIT, WAS
US2: CAR, CBJ, DET, CHI, FL, MIN, NSH, TB
US3: ANA, AZ, CO, DAL, LA, SJ, STL, VGK
CAN1: MTL, VAN, CGY, WPG, TOR, EDM, OTT
New York Rangers in the toughest division
The toughest division in the NHL this season appears to be the one the Blueshirts are competing in. For more about what’s going on with realignment check out The Daily Goal Horn.
The Rangers will play all of their 56- game schedule against the Eastern USA division. The division consists of the Buffalo Sabres, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, and the Boston Bruins.
The format has yet to be announced but the realignment aims at reducing the amount of travel between games.
Breaking down the NYR record against US1 opponents
The Rangers had their up and downs against the teams they will be playing this season. Their best record was against the Islanders where they held a 3-1 record. Their worse was against the Flyers where they were winless in three games.
Head to head results in 2019-2020 season with goals for and against:
- Buffalo – 1-1, 8 GF, 5GA
- New Jersey – 2-2 16 GF, 14 GA
- Islanders – 3-1, 15 GF, 11 GA
- Philadelphia- 0-3, 6 GF, 15 GA
- Pittsburgh- 1-0, 3 GF, 2 GA
- Washington 2-1, 12 GF, 11 GA
- Boston – 0-2-1, 7 GF, 13 GA
If the league works out their remaining issues with regards to safety, testing, and travel it looks like the Rangers would play each of their opponents eight times.
What to expect with the “realigned” Metro
Rangers vs. Islanders eight times is going t be fun, but eight times against the Bruins and Flyers will be some hard-fought contests with playoff implications.
Add to that, games against Alex Ovechkin and old friend Henrik Lundqvist and the Blueshirts will not have an “easy” game for the entire regular season.
Need some more things to get excited about at the start of this unique season? How about teams may play games similar to an MLB schedule. The Rangers could head to Buffalo for a three-game set against the Sabres, then travel back to MSG for another three-game set against the Islanders.
The “mini-bubbles” would serve as a safe haven for the teams with less traveling in the hope to contain the pandemic in an effort to prevent rescheduling games.
New Format, Same Goals
Regardless of who or where the Rangers play, the goal remains the same. The team needs to qualify for the post-season, with one of the youngest teams in the NHL and a rookie 19-year old in Alexis Lafreniere who will begin his NHL career in the midst of a global pandemic while most likely playing in empty arena’s.
The challenges to complete this season are engulfed in the safety of the club and its players, the challenges of rescheduling games last minute (ala the NFL) while trying to remain focused on the game at hand every game day.
A Blueshirts team that is now lead by Igor Shesterkin in net, some sophomores such as Adam Fox, Ryan Lindgren, and Kaapo Kakko who look to avoid the big jinx. They will battle along with superstars Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad, and Chris Kreider who have to find a way to keep everyone focused with all of the distractions around them.
The man behind the bench, David Quinn, needs to get the team dialed in and on the same page with a 10 day training camp and most likely no preseason games.
Of course, nothing has been finalized, but based on what the league is looking to do the Rangers will find themselves in a hard-fought battle whenever the puck is dropped at the start of the season.