It’s mid-January and the hockey season has begun. While it feels strange, it’s real. The Rangers’ season begins Thursday when they take on the rival Islanders for the first of eight matchups this season in a funky 56-game schedule. While their schedule will be difficult, a full season of Igor Shesterkin in net and a youth movement with the addition of Alexis Lafreniere has Rangers fans excited for the future of this team and where they are headed. Can the Blueshirts make the playoffs in this shortened season? Will Shesterkin cement himself as an elite goaltender?
There are lots of Rangers questions to answer and we’ve got you covered. It’s time for the debut of Season 2 of our “Up In The Blue Seats” podcast with Rangers great Ron Duguay and his new co-host, The Post’s own Mollie Walker, featuring Hall of Fame writer Larry Brooks.
Up In The Blue Seats Opening with Ron Duguay & Mollie Walker:
- Welcoming in Mollie as the new co-host. Mollie’s mom Wendy was obsessed with Ron back in the 70s and 80s when he was with the Rangers.
- Rangers-Islanders to open the season Thursday. Three rookies in the Rangers lineup that have big roles. K’Andre Miller making opening roster was bit of surprise. Islanders have more of a veteran squad and their own star goaltender in the making.
- COVID guidelines for the season, 56-game schedule, only playing local teams within division, minimizing travel, harder to avoid exposure not in a bubble.
- Henrik Lundqvist and his heart surgery, wishing him well. We may never see him in an NHL game again.
- Rangers-Isles could get testy this season playing eight times. High expectations for the Islanders after nearly getting to Stanley Cup Finals.
- Predictions for the season. Mollie has Isles getting in over Rangers. Ron has Rangers getting in over Islanders.
Larry Brooks Segment:
Hall of Fame NY Post Rangers beat writer
- Excited to be back in arena watching hockey. One of Rangers’ strengths in training camp was goaltending. Could be a big year for Shesterkin.
- Isles-Rangers rivalry will be meaningful and passionate. Will be strange without fans for first time.
- Chris Kreider will take a leadership role on this young team. Jacob Trouba will be important in the locker room. This group reminds him of Ron’s young Rangers team in the late 70s, maturing together.
- Will the Rangers bring in Brian Boyle?
- High expectations for Lafreniere. Expected to be in the top six at some point this season. He will adapt well.
- K’Andre Miller and a young Rangers defense.
- Believes Rangers get in the playoffs.
Catch up on all episodes of “Up In The Blue Seats,” a New York Rangers podcast, by subscribing to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. New episodes will be released every Thursday.