New York Rangers 2013 Season Preview:
The New York Rangers enjoyed one of their best records in years during the 2011-12 season, posting a 51-24-7 mark and finishing first in the Eastern Conference standings. The Rangers went on to wow in the Stanley Cup playoffs as well, knocking off the Ottawa Senators and Washington Capitals to reach their first Eastern Conference Finals since 1997. However, the team was knocked off by their bitter rival, the New Jersey Devils, and the Rangers were sent back home to re-build another Stanley Cup contender. Heading into the 2012-13 season, head coach John Tortorella's squad is poised to make another run at a title and may have found the pieces in the offseason to make it a reality.
Offensively, the Rangers' trade for left winger Rick Nash will provide an immediate scoring threat and a major boost to the team's attack as a whole. He will be joined on the first line by Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik, both of whom proved themselves during last year's postseason. To get Nash, the Rangers had to trade Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov and Tim Erixon, so the team hopes that younger acquisitions like Arron Asham, Jeff Halpern can improve the depth of the squad. Lastly, the Rangers are expecting big contributions from second and third line players like Derek Stepan, Ryan Callahan and Chris Kreider, all of whom showed significant promise during the team's playoff push.
On defense, the Rangers put out one of the best rotations every night with a bevy of skill players. Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi form a physical presence on the back end, which Marc Staal and Michael Del Zotto round out a very solid defensive front. At goaltender, the Rangers boast one of the best goalies in the league in Henrik Lundqvist, who posted a 39-18-2 record during the 2011-12 season. His backup, Martin Biron, is considered to be a good number two goalie and should give the team significant minutes throughout the season.
The Rangers' 2012-13 schedule will start off with a bang on October 12 when the team will travel to face off against the Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings. After the team's eight-game road trip, the Rangers will host their home opener November 1 against the Dallas Stars. With a dynamic new scoring attack and the same great defensive spread, the Rangers are still one of the top contenders in the Eastern Conference who may have another title run in them this season.
NEW YORK RANGERS INFORMATION:
Location: New York, New York
Stadium: Madison Square Garden
Conference: Eastern Conference
Division: Atlantic Division
Owner: Madison Square Garden, LP
Coach: John Tortorella
Rangers Stanley Cup Titles: 4: 1927-28, 1932-33, 1939-40, 1993-94
Rangers Conference Championships: 1
Notable Players: Allan Stanley, Wayne Gretzky, Andy Bathgate, Babe Pratt, Gump Worsley
New York Rangers play hockey in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). Formed in 1926, the Rangers are one of the "Original Six" teams that helped found the NHL. The president of the Garden, Tex Rickard, was granted an NHL team that was to be named the New York Giants, but when the press began referring to the team as Tex's Rangers, the name stuck and the New York Rangers were born. The team won the Stanley Cup in its second season (1927) and would manage two more Cups in 1932 and 1939. The Rangers would struggle during the '40s, '50's and much of the '60s. The New York Rangers would be rejuvenated in the late 1960's and would be a perennial playoff team throughout the '70s and '80s. The 1990's saw the Rangers rise to dominance again with Mark Messier, Adam Graves, and Brian Leetch. They won their last Stanley Cup in 1994, and again fell to the bottom of their conference. They look ready to get back to the top this season.
The New York Rangers play in Madison Square Garden, in the heart of midtown Manhattan. With a capacity of nearly 20,000, the Garden is also known as "the World's Most Famous Arena" and sits above Pennsylvania Station, a train and transportation hub. Watch a Rangers game at the Garden, and you'll see one the NHL's most historic teams play in an equally historic arena. Buy New York Rangers tickets and follow the team on its journey back to the top of the Eastern Conference.
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