Talk is over, Rangers open the season in St. Louis tonight

Mat Zuccarello crashes into the boards vs. STL last season (Getty)

Mat Zuccarello crashes into the boards vs. STL last season (Getty)

You’ve spent an entire summer recovering from a heartbreaking loss to the L.A. Kings in the Final. You’ve been blasted with tons of opinion articles on why the Rangers lost, what they could’ve done different and what will they do with the roster.

The healing process began with the buyout of Richards (for some), bringing in Dan Boyle and watching Kevin Hayes and Anthony Duclair sparking hope in the preseason. Still, there were questions; who will make the roster, who will be the captain, how long will Stepan be out? Madness!

Well, talk is over. You’ve got your answers; McDonagh is captain, Stepan will be back in November and the kids made the roster. The last question to ask is how will they perform? The answer comes with the drop of the puck tonight.

GAME 1: New York Rangers at St. Louis Blues, Scottrade Center
Thursday at 8:00 PM

Goalie Matchup: Henrik Lundqvist vs. Brian Elliot

All eyes on Nash tonight (Getty)

All eyes on Nash tonight (Getty)

 

Rangers to Watch: Rick Nash, because he needs to get the bitter taste of the playoffs out of his mouth and fast. Dan Boyle, because he needs to make fans forget about Stralman and improve the PP. Anthony Duclair, because the kid needs to make an immediate impression to the coaching staff to stay.

 

 

Eye on the Enemy: Paul Stastny is going to have tons of jump in his legs tonight trying to win over his hometown crowd. Kevin Shattenkirk needs to be shut down as he generates plenty of offense on the point. Brian Elliot is taking over as #1 but Jake Allen is creeping behind him, lots of shots could rattle him.

FullTilt Forecast: Hockeydamus is back (yours truly) and I’m predicting a shootout to open the season. The Rangers will come out on top in this one 3-2. If the defenses aren’t as sharp as I expect, maybe 4-3.

Rangers win on the strength of 2 shootout goals by Mats Zuccarello and Rick Nash.

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore