Previewing the New York Rangers schedule for November
The New York Rangers set a franchise record by sweeping their first five-game road trip, collecting wins against the Seattle Kraken, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Vancouver Canucks, and Winnipeg Jets. Although New York only beat two potential playoff teams (Canucks and Jets) on the road, they are 7-2-0 with 14 points, good enough for first place in the Metropolitan Division. Furthermore, they have the second-best record in the Eastern Conference, trailing the Boston Bruins by three points.
“It’s awesome,” coach Peter Laviolette commented on the historic road trip to close out October. “Anytime you can grab a record it’s special. This franchise has been around a long time, so that’s a pretty big record.”
Considering the Rangers have already played seven road games, the upcoming schedule in November will be more manageable on the travel, with only two games outside of the Eastern Time Zone. However, when we start to dig through the 12 games on tap this month, these upcoming opponents will test New York, and by December 1, we should have a better understanding of whether this year’s team is a legitimate contender or not.
So, let’s take a look at the Rangers’ schedule for November 2023.
New York Rangers November Schedule
- Home Games – 7
- Road Games -5
- Games vs Opponents .500 or better – 7
Carolina Hurricanes (Nov. 1, 2023)
Since the start of the decade, 2020-21, the Rangers and Hurricanes have played eight regular season contests against one another, with New York sporting a 4-4-0 record. However, there is still some bad blood between the two franchises, especially since the Rangers beat them in Game 7 of the second round in the 2021-22 Stanley Cup playoffs.
Surprisingly, the Hurricanes sit just two points behind New York in the standings, adding some extra importance to the first meeting of the season. Even though it is super early in the season, this contest is a must-win for the Rangers. Ultimately, the goal for this game is to keep the division on notice by defeating the three-time defending division champions, who are considered Stanley Cup favorites.
At Minnesota Wild (Nov. 4, 2023), & Minnesota Wild (Nov. 9, 2023)
Currently, the Minnesota Wild find themselves in unfamiliar territory. They earned a 3-4-2 record in October and are a couple of points out of a wild card spot in the Western Conference. Although the lineup didn’t undergo significant changes in the offseason, the Wild were contenders for the Central Division last year and hope to maintain that status in 2023-24.
Additionally, after a spectacular season in 2022-23, Filip Gustavsson and Marc-Andre Fleury are struggling to keep the puck out of the net, giving the team a minus-6 rating after nine contests. Interestingly, since 2020-21, the Rangers have a 2-2-0 record against Minnesota, playing them in a home and home in five days.
Detroit Red Wings (Nov. 7, 2023 and Nov. 29, 2023)
After struggling to collect wins and points for the past six seasons, the Detroit Red Wings appear ahead of their rebuild, especially with the addition of Alex DeBrincat over the summer. Surprisingly, heading into November, the Red Wings are the highest-scoring team in the league, averaging 4.0 goals a game.
However, New York and Detroit are very familiar with each team scoring just a bit more than they are letting up and are only separated by a single point in the standings. Furthermore, in the past three seasons, the Rangers have a 3-1-2 record against their Original Six rivals in six contests, hosting them at the Garden twice in November.
Columbus Blue Jackets (Nov. 12, 2023)
After failing to win the Draft Lottery in 2022-23, the Columbus Blue Jackets had an eventful summer anyway, with a coaching change days before training camp. Despite having Johnny Gaudreau and Patrik Laine in their lineup, the Blue Jackets continue to struggle and find themselves near the bottom of the Eastern Conference.
Ultimately, goaltending is one of their weak points. They have given up 30 goals in nine games, which ranks them 13th in the league. Unsurprisingly, the Blue Jackets are always a trap team because opponents take them lightly and end up with a loss. Whether the goaltender rotation stays intact by this time or not, this is the contest that Jonathan Quick should start to give Igor Shesterkin a night off. Overall, since 2020-21, the Rangers are 5-3-0 against Columbus.
At New Jersey Devils (Nov. 18, 2023)
New York will begin another week-long road trip this Saturday night when they cross the river to visit the red-hot New Jersey Devils. Despite losing in Game 7 against their division rivals in last year’s playoffs, the Rangers are 10-5-1 against New Jersey in the regular season dating back to 2020-21.
Statistically, Jack Hughes leads the NHL in scoring, with Jesper Bratt fifth in the Art Ross Trophy race. Moreover, it seems the Devils got better over the summer with the addition of Tyler Toffoli, who is almost scoring a goal a game, while Hughes is scoring 2.25 points a game. Realistically, outside of the Hurricanes game, this will be the first actual test for the Rangers in 2023-24, and even though it is one game, it could be a defining moment for the squad.
At Dallas Stars (Nov. 20, 2023)
After facing the Devils, the Rangers must fly to Texas to play the Stars, one of the Western Conference’s top teams. In October, the Stars lost only once in regulation. Interestingly, New York has yet to lose to the Stars this decade, sporting a 3-0-1 record. However, this will be a fun contest since both teams appear to be contending to sign free agent Patrick Kane when he returns to action.
Ultimately, Dallas is another formidable opponent with veteran leadership and young snipers who continue to pile up the goals. Meanwhile, Jake Oettinger is one of the league’s best netminders, making a matchup against Shesterkin must-watch TV. Overall, this particular game is the furthest west the Rangers have to travel during the month.
At Pittsburgh Penguins (Nov. 22, 2023)
The Pittsburgh Penguins made a big splash in the summer by acquiring Erik Karlsson, but they have stumbled to begin the season, sitting dead last in the Eastern Conference after October. Although they were pegged to be Stanley Cup contenders this year, that hasn’t been the case yet. However, the franchise remains a formidable opponent for the Rangers outside of the 2021 playoff series; New York is only 7-6-3 in 16 games since 2020-21.
Considering the Penguins employ several future Hall of Famers, including Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang, they remain a threat to beat any team on any given night. However, it is taking this year’s team an extra long time to find their game, which could serve the Rangers well when they meet towards the end of the month.
At Philadelphia Flyers (Nov. 24, 2023)
The Rangers will wrap up their only road trip of the month with a stop in Philadelphia, one of the league’s early surprises thus far. Even though they finished October with a .500 record, they begin the year with three wins in their first four games and are not a bottom dweller as expected.
Although the Rangers haven’t had any issues with the Flyers since 2020-21, they have an excellent 10-3-2 record against their divisional rival. Furthermore, former Rangers bench boss John Tortorella coaches them, so there is a lot of familiarity between these two franchises, which have been no strangers to intense battles dating back to 1967.
Boston Bruins (Nov. 25, 2023)
After returning home from a four-game road trip, the Rangers will face the Boston Bruins, one of the top teams in the NHL. Right now, nothing is slowing the Bruins down as they sit atop the Eastern Conference, the same spot they occupied for the entire 2022-23 season. Additionally, they have gotten the best of the Rangers in recent years, with New York earning a 5-8-1 record against one of their Original Six rivals.
Even though the Boston lineup isn’t as star-studded as last year, Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman continue to stop the puck at historic numbers, which could pose a problem for the Rangers despite their 3.11 goals per game. At the end of October, the Bruins’ goalies gave up 14 goals in nine contests for 1.55 per game.
Buffalo Sabres (Nov. 27, 2023)
The Buffalo Sabres appeared to be a team on the rise after 2022-23, but thus far, in the new season, they haven’t made any new strides to take that next step. After nine games, they finished October with a 4-5-0 record and scored 27 goals while giving up 27. Interestingly, the team employs some young netminders who have yet to turn in solid performances regularly.
Furthermore, the Rangers usually feast on the Sabres, as evidenced by their 11-1-3 record since 2020-21. However, as always with teams loaded with young talent, no one can ever underestimate them because they enjoy playing Original Six franchises like the Rangers and embrace the role of spoiler. Even though it appears to be an easy two points, sometimes contests like these are close and involve extra time.
Overall, the Rangers will play 12 games in November, seeing the Red Wings and Wild on two occasions and skating seven of these games at The Garden. Since 2020-21, New York has a 60-33-13 record against these opponents and will look to improve upon their overall home record (65-35-12) and road record (68-36-13). Even though it is early in the season, wins and losses at this stage are crucial for playoff seedings in April, so there’s never a night off in the NHL, and no opponent should be taken for granted.