After a 7 game long road odyssey that involved only one game in the United States the New York Rangers have their home opener tonight vs. the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Rangers head into their six game home stand with a 3-2-2 record, including winging 3 of their last 4 in western Canada. This team has lots of expectations for themselves and a first round playoff exit this season would be considered to be a huge disappointment.
New captain Ryan Callahan will lead the team out on the ice along with recently signed superstar Brad Richards. Henrik Lundqvist is expected to be in net after a stellar road trip which saw him go 2-2-2 with a 1.83 gaa. If Lundqvist is able to keep is gaa around 2 all season with a moderate amount of offense from Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards and others the Rangers could be primed for a long September run. The two areas of concerns would have to be the teams dreadful power play & their young defense core. It will be vital for the teams success for Marc Stall to return sometime soon from post concussion syndrome.
Look for the Rangers to salute the crowd like this after a 3-1 victory where Brad Richards scores his first goal at Madison Square Garden.
On a somber note look for the Rangers to honor fallen teammate Derek Boogard who died in May a tragic death when having a lethal mix of alcohol and oxycodone in his system. They will also honor 1994 Rangers Stanley Cup winner Alexander Karpovtsev who was tragically killed in the KHL Lokomotiv plane crash.