It has been 326 days since the Rangers last heard lively faces from their fans in the garden, but this silent streak would end on Friday night.
In the midst of a coronavirus pandemic, roughly 2,000 fans will be allowed inside, with tickets available to the public, which has priority for season-ticket holders. Attendees must present a negative PCR COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the game and be seated in socially deformed “pods”.
“It will be exciting,” coach David Quinn said. “It’s weird because we really got used to playing in front of somebody, so I don’t care if there are 15 or 1,500 people in the building, the people there would love to cheer you up. I know that our people Excited about it.
“As long as these people are excited to come into the building, we are more excited to bring them into the building. It is such a landmark, but when you put people into it, it makes it more enjoyable. “
Defenseman Adam Fox said that playing in the Toronto bubble during the extended playoffs last season was more of an adjustment than playing in front of fans this year. He said he believes the team has started getting used to it, but is excited to welcome fans back to the building.
“It’s great, I’ve got a few families coming to the game, so obviously being from New York, it’s always special to play in the Garden with the fans and for the people even some families There are also, I am sure it is very special, ”he said. “It’s been a long time and we miss the fans at the Garden, so definitely excited to get them there.”
Quinn said that he has no timeline for the return of Kappo Kakko and Ke’andre Miller from the COVID-19 protocol list, but note that defenseman Jacob Trouba (broken thumb) is progressing.
For Artemi Panarin, who has taken an indefinite leave of absence from the team amid a political scandal in his home country Russia, Quinn said there is still no time on his star winger’s return.
“The bread situation is still liquid, so we’re not sure when it’s going to be resolved and when it’s going to come back,” he said. “There are a lot of unknowns in those examples.”
Alexander Joreyev opened the scoring on Friday against Bruce, which would be his second start in the last six matches.