The New York Rangers fell just one game short of reaching the Stanley Cup Finals last season. They were the number one seed in the eastern conference and reached the conference finals before losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The New York Rangers schedule opens on October 7th against the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks. The Rangers were itching for their chance to face Chicago in the finals and will be looking to prove they could have hung with the champs in the finals. They will have to wait a little longer for the matchup they really want, as New York travels to Tampa Bay on November 19th for the eastern conference finals rematch. New York had the Lightning on the ropes last season. They led the series 3-2 before blowing a golden opportunity and falling short in games 6 and 7. Prior to this matchup the New York Rangers schedule opens up November with a matchup against a team that will want revenge against them. The Washington Capitals head to New York for their own revenge as they fell against New York in 7 games last year in the second round of the playoffs. This game will be a matchup of the first and second seeded teams in the east last season. It will be a good litmus test for New York early in the season.
Graphic via bluelinestation
Despite a few tough challenges, the New York Rangers schedule is not overly challenging. They have plenty of softer patches against teams that should not give them much trouble. They will have a great chance of once again earning the number one seed in their conference before attempting to make the next step in the playoffs, which is reaching the Stanley Cup. They will meet their foes in Tampa Bay a few games before the playoffs begin to measure themselves against the top competition in their conference. It will also give them a fresh taste of motivation from losing last year and it could not come at a better time. New York will be playing most of this season with that extra motivation from having the bad taste of falling just short in their mouths. The second half of their schedule is very spotty with stiff competition. New York should be happy with the schedule makers overall as they will have an opportunity to finish the season strong. They will need to find consistent offense as their offensive production abandoned them in game 7 against Tampa Bay last year. They have the talent to put themselves right back into the same position last year, it is all about coming through in the big game this time. Looking at the New York Rangers, schedule they will likely be the number one seed once again.
Graphic via rantsports