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Old Posted Oct 27, 2011, 1:46 PM
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The New York Times

After 16,000 Miles, the Rangers Skate on Home Ice

Barton Silverman/The New York Times

The Rangers got a rare treat Wednesday: a chance to practice on the ice at Madison Square Garden.

Published: October 26, 2011

When Rangers fans enter Madison Square Garden on Thursday for the first sports event at the newly renovated arena, they will find better sightlines, some upper-bowl seats seemingly cantilevered over the ice, interior corridors at least twice the width of the narrow old ones, luxury suites that look like Manhattan apartments, many more restrooms — in short, a vastly improved building.

But for John Tortorella, the Rangers’ always pithy coach, architectural niceties are of secondary importance. “What makes a building good is winning in it,” he said Wednesday.

The Rangers will finally play in New York after opening the season on a 16,000-mile trip, perhaps the longest undertaken by an N.H.L. team. (The Canucks traveled 13,000 miles while their home rink was reconfigured for the 2010 Olympics.)

After 36 days that took the Rangers from the Atlantic Ocean to the Baltic Sea, back across the Atlantic and on to the Pacific, then back to the Atlantic again, they are, in the words of their captain, Ryan Callahan, “excited to be home.”

© 2011 The New York Times Company
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