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October means survival mode for the Rangers

MSG: something Rangers  players won't see much of in October

MSG: something Rangers players won’t see much of in October

With the release of the 2013-2014 schedules, it was confirmed that the Rangers would kick off the year with a lengthy nine game road trip as Madison Square Garden’s renovation is finally completed. With teams such as the Penguins still very much a league heavyweight, the Islanders ever improving, and the Blue Jackets new to the party, a solid start is critical to the Rangers.

The first month of the season is simply survival mode for the Rangers. A nine game road trip is tough regardless of opponents; but when analysing who the Rangers actually face in the month of October – 12 games in total – the Rangers have a brutal stretch to begin the year. The new season begins with tough games against the Coyotes, Kings, Sharks, Ducks, and Blues, all on the road. Losing to any of those teams on the road would not be a shock for any club, so the possibility of starting out 0-5 is by no means unrealistic. There’s no ‘gimmie’ amongst that quintet for sure.

Following that start up with trips to the Capitals, the always annoying (even if decimated) Devils, rival Flyers, and re-tooled Red Wings certainly suggest the road trip doesn’t get easier. Then, finally, the Rangers begin their home portion of the schedule by entertaining the Canadiens – a team it seems they never play well against. Completing October is a trip to the Islanders (always tough) and a Halloween match-up at the Garden with the Sabres.

Perhaps the Devils and the Sabres aside, you could probably have not handpicked a tougher start for the Rangers. Factor in the likely absence of key forwards Ryan Callahan and Carl Hagelin early on, factor in the adjustment period any new coaching staff faces, and the Rangers have to hit the ground running or face playing catch up all season.

Of course, this is a talented club and none of those October opponents will relish facing the Rangers but regardless how, the Rangers just need to get out of October in-touch with the leaders in the new division (horrible division name by the way; is it a division or a cocktail?).

If the Rangers could escape October with a .500 record entering November, not many people would complain. A winning record would be an excellent achievement. With so many factors to consider, new players to integrate, and key injuries to accommodate, the Rangers are already in survival mode. But as the Rangers have proven in recent seasons; it’s not how you start the regular season but its how you finish. Just don’t start too bad.

17 Responses to “October means survival mode for the Rangers”

  1. Justin says:

    “horrible division name by the way; is it a division or a cocktail?”

    Maybe the Flying Puck will start serving “the Metropolitan”. There’s probably a bar or two in Queens that could provide a recipe.

    Agree on the schedule though, what a meat grinder to start…

    • Dave says:

      I can pass that idea along. Solid idea, a way of making fun of the awful division name.

      • Chris says:

        Dude, if next time I come
        Over and go to the puck and they’re serving metropolitans I want credit! ;)

    • Evan M says:

      The Metropolitan
      2:1 Brandy to Sweet Vermouth
      A couple of dashes of Angostura bitters
      -O.H. Byron’s “Modern Bartender’s Guide” (1884)

  2. Kevin Baumer says:

    “If the Rangers could escape October with a .500 record entering November, not many people would complain.”
    I think this should read, “not many people SHOULD complain.” If the Rangers are .500 after the season’s first month many fans will be suicidal.

  3. John says:

    I don’t see 0-5 to start as even a remote possibility, Remember Hank in net. Tough teams, but as you stated they will not be looking forward to playing the Rangers either.

    • Randy says:

      Every time I start to worry about how the Rangers will do, I remember that Hank is our goalie and I immediately calm down. Always a good reminder.

    • Arnie Kozak says:

      Hats off to ya John, I, for one, TOTALLY agree !! Hanks in net, defence seems “intact”, “fresh” coach, Hmmm, sure we’ll be much better than .500 hockey, GO RANGERS GO !!!

  4. Walt says:

    Kevin hit the nail on the head, if we come out of it at 500 or slightly higher, I would be elated!!

  5. Jeff says:

    There were fire Torts chants in 2011 when we got off to a bad start. Will AV get the same treatment if we have a bad October?

  6. Gary says:

    How about the totally unexpected? How about if they actually make hey on this opening trip. Make a statement in game 1 @ Pho and don’t look back. How about if they are so well aware of the compromised lineup and new coaching regime that a roster with some young guys trying to stick catches some teams by surprise?

  7. Gary says:

    Err, I think I meant “make hay”…

  8. Bloomer says:

    AV must do a better job preparing for the season in New York then he did in Vancouver. His training camps there were soft. If the Rangers start the season on a losing streak then I will be chanting fire AV along with retire Sather.

  9. Spozo says:

    With the NY fan base they will be calling for AVs head if they start the first month with a .500 record

  10. Matt says:

    I know this post was more about the October schedule, but I want to throw out a BSB trip to the Rock for that March 22nd (Saturday) game?