5 Games You Can’t Miss This Season

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We get it, we get it. There are 82 games during a team’s NHL regular season, not all of which are easily watchable for the viewing public. Fortunately, we here at Blueshirts Nation have given you (in most cases) ample time to clear your schedule, so as not to miss the biggest Ranger games of the year. So without further ado, here’s the five of eighty-two you can’t afford to miss….

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 06: Johnny Boychuk #55 of the New York Islanders celebrates his goal at 2:50 of the first period against Antti Raanta #32 of the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on March 6, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

10/13 vs Islanders

The Rangers have been facing off against the Islanders since the latter’s inception in 1972. Though the Rangers own the advantage in the regular season set (124-107-19-8), but are currently 0-3-1 against the Brooklyn incarnation of the Islanders, who accomplished something they never could in Uniondale…a regular season sweep of the Rangers. Several names behind the recent resurgence of Islander hockey…Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen among them…have departed, but the team with the SUV behind the boards, fresh off their first playoff series win since the original Jurassic Park came out, is looking to take control of New York City’s hockey for the first time in ages. A win on opening night at MSG will certainly help keep New York blue.

Watch It: 7 PM, MSG

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11/3 vs Oilers

Why is a game against the Western Conference’s perennial cellar dweller such a huge deal? The Prince. Remember him? Oh, you may remember him by his commoner name…Cam Talbot. The magic of the 2013-14 season featured many magical spells cast by Talbot, who posted a 33-15-5 record as the Rangers’ tender in relief of Lundqvist. Eventually, Talbot’s power became too much to contain in New York’s backup role, and he was traded to the Oilers for picks. After a rough start, Talbot eventually impressed Oilers brass enough that he took over starting duties full time and earned himself a 3-year, $12 million extension, keeping him in Alberta for the near future. Talbot missed both meetings with the Rangers last season, so his first match against his mentor will be highly anticipated. 10 days after this matchup, the Rangers will travel to Edmonton for their road match with the Oilers, thus playing their first game in Edmonton’s new pad, Rogers Place.

Watch It: 7 PM, MSG

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11/21 @ Penguins

A Stanley Cup has unfortunately been elusive, but Rangers fans have been treated to long playoff trips over past several seasons, a trend that ended last season when the Pittsburgh Penguins eliminated them in five games in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals last season, the first time the Rangers failed to win a playoff round since 2011. The first meeting against the Penguins, just over a month into the season, will be a good barometer of where the Rangers stand this season, a game against a Metropolitan Division foe that was a thorn in their side all year. Remember, it was in Pittsburgh where Henrik Lundqvist went full Kylo Ren on the net. This first matchup, held at the newly renamed PPG Paints Arena, will be the first of a home-and-home just before Thanksgiving, one of the several landmarks on the NHL calendar. Exorcising the Pittsburgh demon could serve as a catalyst to unlocking further success this season.

Watch It: 7 PM, MSG

GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 03: Derick Brassard #16 of the New York Rangers looks to pass the puck around the defense of Derek Morris #53 of the Phoenix Coyotes during the first period of the home opener at Jobing.com Arena on October 3, 2013 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)

11/27 vs Senators

Mika Zibanejad’s strong preseason has piqued the hope of Rangers fans, and many expect the 23-year-old Swede, whose key offensive stat categories have increased in his first four seasons, to reach the next step of his development. However, the price to pay was Derek Brassard, who wore blue for the past four seasons, the same amount of time Zibanejad spent in Ottawa. Brassard was one of the Rangers’ most consistent postseason skaters, tallying 44 points in 59 playoff games during his New York tenure. This will be Brassard’s first visit to New York since the trade that sent him to Ontario. There was much sadness shed when Brassard was sent over, and he’ll definitely get his own video tribute on GardenVision. Knowing the Rangers’ luck, he’ll end up scoring the game winning goal, but the fans will definitely welcome him back with open arms.

Watch It: 7 PM, MSG

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1/25 vs Flyers

The Philadelphia Flyers celebrate their 50th anniversary this season. One of the biggest chapters of their history has been the rivalry with the Rangers, as the two Northeastern rivals have met 339 times, including postseason, over the past five decades. In the last meeting at The Garden, held on Valentine’s Day, love was certainly at a premium as the teams engaged in a pair of fights over 20 seconds, notably featuring Dylan McIlrath go after Wayne Simmonds, whose shot to Ryan McDonagh‘s jaw in the teams’ previous meeting let the bad blood flow, while Tanner Glass and Ryan White tangled in the second melee. This particular meeting, the third overall of the season, will finally return the rivalry to Manhattan. So forget Hamilton, this is going to be most exciting show in the city on this night.

Watch It: 8 PM, NBCSN

Of course, blueshirtsnation.com will have coverage of all 82 games this season. Which games are you looking forward to most on the schedule? Tweet @GeoffMags5490 and keep the conversation going!

 

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