Rangers Schedule and NHL Realignment
Added by Ryan Heine on July 22, 2013.
With the NHL’s realignment completed, the Rangers will play in the new Metropolitan Division. They will be joined by Carolina, Columbus, New Jersey, New York Islanders, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Washington. The many highlights of the Blueshirts’ intermittent schedule include:
Rick Nash will return to Columbus on Nov.7
October 3: Season opener at Phoenix, 10 PM
October 3 – 26: 9-game road trip to start the season, longest since 1956
October 28: Home opener vs. Montreal, 7:30 PM
November 7: Rick Nash returns to Columbus for the first time as an opponent. Also, will be first time NYR face ex-Rangers Dubinsky, Anisimov, Gaborik, and Erixon
November 30: Tortorella returns to MSG for first time as head coach of Canucks
December 7 – 23: 9-game homestand for Rangers, the longest in franchise history
January 26, 29: Rangers play Devils and Islanders at Yankee Stadium, will be visitors for both games
February 9 – 25: NHL schedule breaks for Olympics
April 12: Rangers regular season finale in Montreal
This unordinary schedule can definitely be a distraction for the Blueshirts. From the 9-game road trip to the Olympic break, it could be a challenge for the Rangers to find any rhythm. I predict a bit of a rollercoaster ride for the team this season, which should be nothing new for Rangers’ fans.
The NHL is trying out a new four-division format until the start of the 2015-16 season, when it will be up for review. There are two, seven-team divisions in the Western Conference, the Pacific (Division A below) and Central (Division B), and two eight-team divisions in the Eastern Conference, the Atlantic (Division C) and Metropolitan (Division D).
Every team in the NHL will play each other at least twice a season. One at home and one on the road, which is one of the scheduling changes with realignment. For the playoffs, the top three finishers in each division will qualify for the first 12 spots. The four additional playoff spots known as Wild Cards, will be awarded to the next two highest-placed finishers in each conference. This will be based on regular season points and has no relation to what division each team play for.