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New York Rangers Game Thread: 10/9, Rangers at Blues

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And so it begins...

Elsa

Game One, the Rangers at the Blues

Rangers vs Blues coverage | NYR roster | St. Louis Game Time

The New York Rangers' October Schedule

Rangers at Blues, 8:00 PM 10/9
Rangers at Blue Jackets 7:00 PM 10/11
Leafs at Rangers, 7:00 PM 10/12
Islanders at Rangers, 7:00 PM 10/14
Hurricanes at Rangers, 7:00 PM 10/16
Sharks at Rangers, 5:00 PM 10/19
Rangers at Devils, 7:00 PM 10/21
Rangers at Habs, 7:00 PM 10/25
Wild at Rangers, 7:00 PM 10/27

So, we're finally here, game one of the 2014-15 NHL regular season. For the first time since we saw the Rangers lose to the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup Final, we're going to watch a Rangers game where the result actually matters. Can you believe it's finally here? On paper October hardly looks like a cake walk for the Rangers but if they want to prove early on that they are still one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference they have to come out of candy and ghosts and month with a solid record, and it all starts tonight against David Backes and the Blues.

A month ago if you told me that our opening night roster would have 19 year old Anthony Duclair on it I would have thought that something either went horribly wrong or very, very well. I think that, in this case, both statements are true. With no Derek Stepan for at least 10 games (LTIR) the Rangers had to turn to a teenager to provide the team with some firepower and in the preseason "the Duke" gave the Rangers at least three big reasons for him to remain up with the big club. We should keep our expectations about Duclair reasonable but we should also be very excited about what he can bring to this team. If he proves that he is ready to play in the NHL right now the Rangers would be in a fantastic place, even without Stepan ready to start the season off.

Mike's Player to Watch: Marty St. Louis

Martin St. Louis is now one of the Rangers' four alternate captains. He won the hearts and minds of this team in the 2014 Playoffs after a modest performance with the team in the regular season after the Ryan Callahan trade. Marty has volunteered to play center ice for the first time in his career to alleviate some of the stress on the Rangers' roster. And while it is encouraging to see him willing to do whatever it takes to help his team win, it is also worrisome that our top line center (should he play there) is someone who has never played a game at center in a regular season game. I hope for a big night from Marty tonight, no matter what position he is playing. He is a huge part of this team.

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The Blues are one of the rising powers of the Western Conference and most agree that they are among the top five teams from the tougher (which is another word for "better") conference in hockey. It's true that they have some question marks in net with Brian Elliott and Jake Allen being their goaltenders, but in the 2014 offseason the club added Paul Stastny and the Blues now have more center depth than they know what to do with. Expect the Blues to come out firing and hungry to start their season off the right way at the expense of the Blueshirts. Just like the Rangers, the Blues are a team that wants to build on their success last season.

The puck drops soon, my friends. These games count. Let's do this.

Let's go Rangers.