With 18 games on the road, seven sets of back-to-back contests and three separate trips across the Canadian border, the Rangers’ first 30 games of the season were a grind.
Although it was taxing, the 19-7-4 Blueshirts enter the holiday recess in playoff position at third in the Metropolitan Division, behind the first-place Hurricanes and the Capitals. The Rangers’ 42 points are also tied with the Maple Leafs for fourth in the NHL, trailing Carolina and Washington again — in addition to the reigning two-time Stanley Cup champions Lightning, who lead the league with 44.
Before tackling the final 52 games of the season, Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant wants his team to make the most of this time away from the ice.
“I don’t want guys thinking about our first 30 games or our next 50. Go home and get away from hockey. Then we come back and start to get ready all over again.”