Heavyweight battle on tap as Rangers visit Maple Leafs

NHL: New York Rangers at Toronto Maple Leafs
Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers have a very difficult schedule in March starting with a visit to Scotiabank Arena to take on the Toronto Maple Leafs.

It’s a heavyweight battle between two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference, as both are considered Stanley Cup contenders this season. However, there’s also the possibility that former Rangers enforcer Ryan Reaves may look to give it a go with rookie Matt Rempe. At Leafs’ practice on Friday, he made some interesting comments regarding the hype surrounding Rempe, who has taken the League by storm with his bombastic fights.

“Good on him,” Reaves remarked, “He’s got some attention … see how long it lasts.”

Whether or not these two big guys throw down remains to be seen. In the Rangers last game, Rempe avoided a rematch with Columbus’ Mathieu Olivier, who wobbled him pretty good leaving a black eye for a keepsake. Instead, he played a solid fourth-line role and helped the Blueshirts beat the Blue Jackets 4-1.

The 21-year-old has had three fights in six NHL games to date, all of them were discussed during pre-game warmups. Will that be the case again or will Reaves try a run a Ranger forcing Rempe to defend a teammate?

“I don’t have the game script, but you never know,” Reaves said with a smile.

Here’s today’s game and broadcast info:

New York Rangers (40-17-3) vs Toronto Maple Leafs (34-17-6)
Date/Time: March 2, 2024 @ 7:00 PM ET
Arena: Scotiabank Arena
Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM

Note: Subject to change, updated for each game

Related: Former NHL enforcer John Scott has some advice for Matt Rempe

New York Rangers projected lineup

NHL: New York Rangers at Toronto Maple Leafs
Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s the expected lineup versus the Flyers:

Kreider – Zibanejad – Kakko
Panarin – Trocheck – Lafreniere
Cuylle – Brodzinski – Vesey
Edstrom – Goodrow – Rempe

Lindgren – Fox
Miller – Trouba
Gustafsson – Schneider


Note: The Rangers will hold a morning skate at 11:30 a.m. ET as Scotiabank Arena. Peter Laviolette is expected to address the media at that time. Check back here for updates.

New York Rangers vs Toronto Maple Leafs

The Rangers’ 83 points remains the best in the Metropolitan Division, giving them a five point cushion over the second-place Carolina Hurricanes. Overall, the Rangers are one point behind the Florida Panthers and Boston Bruins for the Presidents’ Trophy.

New York closed out the month of February with a 10-1-0 record earning their 40th win of the season in their last contest. By hitting that mark in game number 60, they tie the 1972-73 squad for the fewest games needed to reach that milestone.

On Friday, Igor Shesterkin was named the NHL’s Third Star for the Month of February after going 7-0-0 with a 1.72 GAA and a .953 save percentage.

As for the Maple Leafs, they sit third in the Atlantic Division and fifth overall in the Eastern Conference. One thing is certain, coach Peter Laviolette knows this is going to be a tough match up.

“I think they’ve only lost a couple of games in their last 10,” he said. “They’re finding ways to win. So it will be good to go up there and test ourselves.”

Toronto is 8-2-0 in their last 10 contests to set up a major battle between two heavyweights.

And it should also be a good hockey game (wink-wink).

Upcoming Rangers Milestones

  • Jonathan Quick is 1 win away from tying Dominik Hasek (389) for 15th all-time
  • K’Andre Miller is 2 points away from 100 career points

Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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