On The Road With The Rangers
A common goal amongst many sports fans is to visit all of the arenas that make up their favorite league. After becoming a huge hockey fan in high school, I decided that since I love to travel and love to watch hockey, it would be awesome to visit all 31 NHL arenas. Living in New York, only about 20 miles north of Manhattan, it’s pretty easy to visit a handful of arenas in the northeast. I guess I am somewhat privileged. Being a New York Ranger fans, I had obviously visited Madison Square Garden but from there I wanted to begin to expand.
A short drive down to Philadelphia made a trip to see the Philadelphia Flyers play at the Wells Fargo Center easy and affordable. A few months later, myself, my brother, and a friend headed down to Florida over our winter break. In Florida, we were able to make our way to Sunrise and see the Florida Panthers play the Boston Bruins at the BB&T Center. Crazy enough, about a week later, some friends and I made the trek up to Montreal for an original six matchup as the Canadiens took on the Rangers. What an experience that was, despite the Rangers losing the game. Later that year, I hit up The Rock aka The Prudential Center and got to see a Hudson river rivalry as the Devils took on the Rangers. The Rangers lost, but overall, it was a very fun and intense game to experience. Later on that same year and season, I was fortunate enough to head back up to Montreal for a playoff game against the one and only Rangers. Unfortunately, we lost the game but ended up winning that series (thank god). Now, here we are in 2018. About a month ago I finally made my way to Brooklyn to the Barclays Center and got to see the Islanders play.
After visiting these arenas in the east, I decided it was finally time to take the next step and plan a trip that would be bigger than ever and involve flying across the country. After taking a look at the Rangers schedule for the season this past fall, I found a game that would allow me to visit a new arena and see the Rangers play at the same time. Then, I found some friends that were willing to make the trip with me and booked everything up that was needed. From there, the countdown began. On January 18th, myself and two friends would fly out to Denver for the weekend in order to see our Blueshirts take on the Colorado Avalanche on the 20th.
Once we were out in Colorado, gameday came quick. It was exciting. I don’t know who wouldn’t be excited after flying more than halfway across the country for their favorite team. The game was an afternoon game that began at 1:00. Of course, we got to the Pepsi Center early because warmups are a must on any Rangers road game. Unlike the Garden, at the Pepsi Center, they are much more lenient when it comes to letting fans down to the glass to watch warmups.
My friends and I made our way down to the glass and set ourselves up right behind the net on the side the Rangers would be warming up. Let me tell you, it was awesome. During warmups, the entire arena was just filled with Blueshirts fans up against the glass watching the boys warm up. It felt like a home game. About 15 minutes into warmups, I got Zucc to throw me a puck. Surprisingly, I caught it. Out of the kindness of my heart, I gave the puck to the little kid, maybe 5 or 6 years old, in the Rangers jersey standing to my left. I kind of regret not keeping it but oh well. After warmups ended, we headed to our seats.
When my friends and I were first booking the trip, our plan was to just buy the cheapest tickets we could find because they were around $30-$45. However, after checking StubHub and other ticket websites, we decided that since we were making the trip all the way out to Colorado that we might as well buy some decent seats. So, we settled on section 110 row 15 for around $80 a ticket, the face value printed on the ticket was $114.
The Rangers decided to play like absolute trash, allowing the Avs to extend their winning streak to nine games. It was a horrible game to watch. The Rangers could barely get a shot on goal or keep the puck in the zone for more than ten seconds. Despite the loss, I still had a great time on this Rangers road trip. I’ve got to say, I have no complaints about Avs fans. Not once did I hear any Avs fan trash talk any of the Rangers fans. It’s safe to say that Avs fans are the complete opposite of Canadiens fans. Unfortunately, after this loss, I am now 0-3 when it comes to Rangers road games. Hopefully on the next one, whatever game it may be, the Rangers will actually show up and win.