The New York Rangers, along with the rest of the NHL, is gearing up for Phase 2 of the league’s “Return To Play.”
Mercogliano also notes that the Rangers are not rushing players back to the area. The players who are going to participate in the small group activities are likely to be players who stayed local during the shutdown. Players from Europe and Canada are not expected back so soon.
As the Rangers continue to ramp up for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, they are preparing for a familiar foe—the Carolina Hurricanes. New York was one of the hottest teams in hockey at the time of the NHL’s shutdown. The young group is trying to carry that momentum and confidence into the 24-team playoff format.
Despite the team’s confidence level, there’s still so much uncertainty heading into these playoffs. Are the Rangers going to have enough time to regain the chemistry that spurred the team’s surge for a postseason spot? Will Igor Shesterkin be able to find his form in time for a five-game series against the Hurricanes? Will Kaapo Kakko be cleared to participate given his underlying health conditions?
There are far more questions than answers at this point in time, but the NHL’s move to Phase 2 is a sign that the playoffs are almost here. Will the Rangers be ready to answer the bell?