New York Rangers to open new season vs Nashville Predators

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 23: Keith Yandle #93 (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 23: Keith Yandle #93 (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The NHL has announced the opening games for each team, and the New York Rangers are set to open up at home against the Nashville Predators.

The NHL season is still several months away. October is the month that the teams hit the ice for the first time when it counts. However, that doesn’t mean the scheduling process doesn’t move forward. The league has announced the first games for each of its 31 franchises, and we have the New York Rangers information.

Rangers fans, the David Quinn era will begin October 4th at the friendly confines of Madison Square Garden. Henrik Lundqvist and the rest of the new look Blueshirts will host the Nashville Predators to get the 2018-2019 season underway. Fans get to see first hand the new look team and their new coach on opening night.

The Predators will be a tough foe to open the season. Last year they finished first in the Central Division with 117 points. Peter Laviolette‘s squad made it to the second round of the playoffs before falling to the Winnipeg Jets in seven games. They were led by Victor Arvidsson with 29 goals and Filip Forsberg with 64 points.

In goal, Pekka Rinne won 42 games and pitched eight shutouts. His GAA was 2.31 and his save percentage was .927. That isn’t too bad for a goalie sitting at 35 years of age. He’s no Henrik, but then again, who is?

Last time these two teams met at the Garden was last season back in October. The Rangers won a 4-2 contest on the back of a Kevin Hayes goal that put the team ahead to stay and 23 saves by Mr. Lundqvist. They met in Nashville this past February and lost 5-2. The Predators put two goals behind Lundqvist in the first period, one by P.K. Subban and Kevin Fiala, and never looked back.

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This will be a great test to open the season. What was our main complaint as the Alain Vigneault era came to an end? That they couldn’t stop anyone on defense. The team just gave up too many shots and left Lundqvist without a chance far too often. It will be a great chance to see the David Quinn influence. Can he improve the team on their own end of the ice?

Thinking about the NHL makes the fall season seem closer and closer. Cooler temperatures, long sleeves, and NHL hockey! Can’t wait.