Now that it is the month of September it means that hockey is finally back. The NHL preseason begins on September 25. The regular season will begin on October 12.
The New York Rangers play their first preseason game on September 26 against the New York Islanders. This is an important first matchup. The Islanders are a legit competitor in the Metropolitan division and if the Rangers play well against them it’ll show how good this team can be.
The Rangers added multiple players on the defensive side which will be helpful against teams in the Metropolitan division. As we’ve seen, these teams aren’t afraid to get defensive and last season the Rangers struggled in that.
We can see how useful the new defense will be in the preseason game against the Boston Bruins and the opening night game against the Washington Capitals, two teams that get physical.
The Blueshirts added Ryan Reaves this off-season. Adding him can give the Rangers some advantage when going up against physical teams. Reaves is the player that doesn’t back down from a fight, and the Rangers didn’t really have that last season.
The other opponent the Rangers will face in the preseason is the New Jersey Devils. The Devils had a busy offseason signing Dougie Hamilton and Tomas Tatar.
With the Rangers not signing any big scorers, the ones they already have need to step up. The Metropolitan division is getting stronger.
If players like Mika Zibanejad have a good start to the season and the Rangers new additions play well, the team has a shot at having a good preseason.
The past few seasons the Rangers have been inconsistent. With all the new changes the team made, both on the ice and off the ice, the Rangers can have a decent season and potentially make the playoffs.