Now even though us Rangers fans know Madison Square Garden, the home of the Rangers, is still being renovated for the third-straight summer, so like the past few seasons, the Rangers will have to play the entire preseason and the beginning of the regular season on the road.
However, what many fans, and maybe some of the players, were not expecting was that the Rangers will be on the west coast for eight-straight games, four exhibition and four regular season, from Sept. 23 to Oct. 10.
Playing in different time zones are always tough, and starting out the regular season with four-straight 10 p.m. start times are brutal, but I for one will look at the positives and I will even go out on a limb and say that I like the Blueshirts’ schedule.
Like every Eastern Conference fan, I hate west coast games, but I’d rather get them over with as quickly as possible, which is why I like this schedule. After the first week of the Rangers’ regular season, they will only play one more 10 p.m. game, which is on April 1 against the Vancouver Canucks, which should be a must watch for obvious reasons.
It might be inconvenient for the players and some of the fans to start the season with so many games on the road, which the Rangers have their first nine on the road, but if you think about it, it allows us fans to tell just how good or bad the team is right away. Good teams win games away from home, and if the Rangers have a winning record going into their home opener on Oct. 28 against the Montreal Canadiens, then we will know this team is pretty darn good and will then have an abundance of home games the rest of the way.
Another advantage the Rangers have this season is two extra home games. Even though the schedule says the Rangers have 41 games at home and 41 on the road, two of those “road” games will be played outdoors in Yankee Stadium, against their biggest rivals, the New York Islanders and the New Jersey Devils. And since the Bronx is part of New York City, and the Rangers play in New York City, guess which team will have the bigger turn out of fans at both of those games?
So with the Rangers having virtually 43 home games and 39 road games this season, and with their first nine games on the road, if the Rangers come out of that rough stretch with a winning record, the Blueshirts should have a huge advantage the rest of the way this upcoming season.
What do you think?