The Rangers really only had two big road trips this season. They traveled to Vegas and California in early December, and then to Toronto and western Canada to bridge the new year. For a team that already has the best trips in the league – as coach David Quinn quickly emphasizes – she also started the season with a bizarre line-up, in which only four of the first 13 games were from the garden.
Even if they come back from their five-day farewell week after the weekend all-star game in St. Louis, they have five of their next six games in the garden.
This should be of great help to the club's persistent attempt to playoffs with the hope that the front office can be persuaded not to sell some key assets that would be attractive in the retail market. Instead, the Rangers want to promote the development of their young players by participating in meaningful games until early spring.
"We have such a good group," said Chris Kreider after attending his first all-star celebrations. He was arguably the best player on the rental market. "We have gotten so much better and we hope it will continue like this."
But after this little homestead, the blueshirts are playing eight of the next ten on the street, starting with a three-game swing that starts in Winnipeg on February 11th. It starts a bit when 17 of the last 28 games are on the road – and only one is without a plane in the Nassau Coliseum on February 25 to compete against the islanders. There is another two-game trip to Florida in late March, starting with a game in Washington. The penultimate game of the season takes place in Pittsburgh on April 2, before the regular season finale will be played on April 4 against the Blackhawks at home.
So the schedule was a good start for the Rangers and it is nice to see them approach the trade date. But soon they will have to grind like all teams.
The club has officially loaned Lias Andersson to the HV71 of the Swedish Hockey League. The No. 7 overall rating from 2017, which had been banned after asking for a trade and leaving AHL Hartford for Christmas, had been back in his home country and coached with another team. The 21-year-old played with the HV71 for three years and won a Swedish championship in 2016/17.
You can find more information about the Rangers in the latest episode of the podcast "Up In The Blue Seats":