It’s almost game day and everyone is ready. After many training camp practices, and various preparations for the 2021 NHL season, the Rangers are eager to play! They are young, fast, and have the talent to push through the starting season. But what exactly are they getting themselves into? Picture the youngsters battling against their metropolitan-based rivals. How will the no-fans rule hurt them or benefit them? No matter the case, there’s no quit in New York and the Broadway Blueshirts will give it their all. Let’s focus on the team’s first two rival games of the year.
Rangers vs Islanders (1/14/2020 & 1/16/2020)
It’s always fun beginning your season against a historic rival. In this season’s opener, the Rangers host the Islanders in an empty Madison Square Garden double game series. Both teams always put on a show when playing against each other so it will be very interesting to see what will happen when the puck drops. The team lineups for Thursday’s game is still unknown, but it’s confirmed by head coach David Quinn that each of the remaining players from last season will make the team along with some new additions. Those additions being Alexis Lafrenière, K’Andre Miller, Jack Johnson, and Kevin Rooney. Many have been waiting for the arrival of Lafrenière and Miller, so it will be very engaging to see how they produce their talents on the Garden ice. Johnson and Rooney are both players considered depth players who will be playing on the bottom lines (defense and offense).
As for the Islanders, after recently signing their star Mathew Barzal to a three-year deal, they are buzzing, getting ready to battle in their original playing style. Immediately after signing Barzal, it is reported that he came onto the ice at the Islanders training facility and scored the first goal of their scrimmage off an assist from Josh Bailey. The Islanders have kept most of the same team as they had last year during their long cup run. Most of the team contains strong veterans with experience backed up by coach Barry Trotz, someone who is looked very much upon by all of his players. Whenever the Rangers and Islanders meet, no matter what the case is, it’s always an intriguing battle. Since both teams absolutely hate each other, they will break anything that stands in their path in order to succeed the other.
Who Gets The Edge?
The real question is who will get the true advantage of both games. Will one team take all 4 points, or will it be split in half? When you think about it, both rosters are somewhat similar. But one big advantage that the Rangers will benefit from is having Lafrenière and Miller playing. Lafrenière provides more speed and techniques into the game while Miller uses his physical prowess to get around the Islanders. Game time for both days will be at 7:00 PM EST broadcasted on MSG Networks. Who’s ready!?!