11 Facts You Need to Know About Rangers-Avalanche

Get pumped Ranger fans for tonight’s home-opener at Madison Square Garden when the Blueshirts welcome the Colorado Avalanche.

This list will help you get you through your workday. We’re counting the minutes until puck drop just like you!

And, don’t miss full coverage beginning tonight at 6 PM on MSG & MSG GO!

*Facts Courtesy New York Rangers

1 Happy Opening Day!

The Rangers are opening their regular season schedule at home for the 26th time in franchise history. And, for the first time in franchise history, the Rangers’ season-opening roster does not include a player who has a single-digit jersey number.

2 Did You Know?

Kevin Shattenkirk was selected by Colorado in the first round (14th overall) of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, and he ended up playing part of his rookie season in the NHL with the Avs during the 2010-11 season.

3 Now That's Leadership

Alain Vigneault is entering his fifth season as the Rangers head coach and is the first head coach to begin five consecutive seasons behind the Blueshirts bench since Phil Watson (1955-56 through 1959-60).

4 ZUCCCCCC!!!

Mats Zuccarello has surely made a name for himself on Broadway! Zuccarello established career-highs in several categories during the 2016-17 season, including assists (44), even strength assists (35), even strength points (45), takeaways (70), and shots on goal (189). Zuccarello led the Rangers in assists, points (59), even strength assists, takeaways, and shootout goals (four), and tied for the team lead in even strength points in 2016-17. We’re ready to see what he does this season!

5 All Hail the King!

Henrik Lundqvist looks to make his 12th consecutive start in a season-opening game with the Rangers. By starting in tonight’s regular season opener, Hank will become the first goaltender in franchise history to start 12 season-opening games, as well as 12 consecutive regular season openers. Lundqvist will surpass Ed Giacomin, who started in 11 consecutive regular season openers from 1965-66 through 1975-76.

6 HEY, HEY, HEY!!!

During the 2016-17 season, the Rangers outscored their opponents, 20-11, during 5-on-5 play when the Grabner/Hayes/Miller line was on the ice (64.5% goals for percentage). Here’s hoping to continue that on-ice chemistry in 2017-18!

7 Welcome to New York

New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk meets with the media for the first time as a Ranger and is presented with a No. 22 Shattenkirk Rangers jersey.

Kevin Shattenkirk is expected to make his Rangers debut tonight. The New Rochelle, NY, native established career-highs in assists (43), points (56), power play goals (eight), and power play points (27) last season. Fingers crossed we see numbers like that this season.

8 Oh Captain, My Captain

Ryan McDonagh is the only Ranger in franchise history who posted a plus-11 rating or better in each of his first seven NHL seasons. In addition, McDonagh leads the NHL in plus/minus rating since the start of the 2014-15 season (plus-69), and he has posted a plus-20 rating or better in each season over the span.

9 The Kid's All Right

During the 2016-17 season, Brady Skjei became the first Rangers defenseman to accomplish several feats since Brian Leetch, including…

  • Tallying at least 30 assists in his rookie season
  • Recording at least 39 points in his rookie season
  • Registering at least 20 even strength assists in his rookie season

10 Will It Happen Tonight?

Kevin Shattenkirk is two points away from 300 in his NHL career.

11 Remember When...

Oct. 5, 1991: Mark Messier played in his first game as a Ranger and recorded his first assist/point with the Blueshirts. The Rangers defeated the Montreal Canadiens, 2-1, in overtime in Montreal, as Sergei Nemchinov tallied the game-winning goal in overtime.