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Finally, the Rangers Play a Home Game Tonight

UNIONDALE, NY - OCTOBER 15:  Brad Richards #19 of the New York Rangers skates against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on October 15, 2011 in Uniondale, New York. The Islanders defeated the Rangers 4-2.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Rangers have already traveled some 16,000 miles this season, playing seven road games in three countries to open the 2011-12 campaign. And so finally tonight, Rangers fans will get their first look at the partially renovated Garden when their team faces off against the Maple Leafs. They'll also finally get their first chance to cheer Brad Richards as a member of the Rangers. (Well, those who didn't make it to their game at Nassau Coliseum two weeks ago will get their first chance, at least.) And now, after three weeks of road games and some annoying start times — 1 p.m. on a Friday, for instance, or 10 p.m. on a Tuesday — Rangers fans can finally look forward to some damn home games: Tonight's the beginning of well-deserved six game homestand. We'd imagine tonight's ceremony will have some emotional moments, as the the Rangers will surely acknowledge what was a tragic summer for both their franchise and the hockey world. But Opening Nights also mean player introductions, a ceremonial puck drop, and the enthusiasm with which the first "Potvin Sucks" chant of the season is always executed. We just hope Ace Frehley isn't involved this year. We're not sure we can sit through another performance like the one below.

Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images