It's been 20 years in the making and New York hockey fans are finally able to see the Rangers compete for the coveted Stanley Cup; they'll just have to kick LA in the butt to do it. Since attending the game is out of the question for most people, we've rounded up a few good bets for sharing the mirthful game experience amidst fellow Blueshirts fans. From a big ass party in the park to some solid sports bar bets, we've got you covered for Game 1 tomorrow night and as many games as it takes to dethrone the Kings.
If you're a die-hard Rangers fan, your brethren dressed to the nines in blue, red and white will probably be waiting for you in Rangerstown, a viewing party and fan event that'll be as close to the action as you can get without dropping several grand on game tickets. Pre-game shenanigans start at 4 p.m. in Bryant Park with ice-skating, face painting (just in case your game face needs a touch up), hockey clinics and giveaways. In case your boss won't let you leave work early on this important "holiday," they'll be screening Game I on the lawn starting at 8 p.m. The event is completely free.
41 West 40th Street between Avenue of the Americas and Fifth Avenue in Midtown West, (212) 768-4242
If a sports bar is more your scene then head over to The Flying Puck in Chelsea to be immersed in a major sensory overload. Half a block away from the Garden itself, with six screens, a projector, beer on hand and Rangers fans filled to the brim, it's a great spot to take in the game. Get there early, as it is notoriously packed on game nights.
364 7th Avenue, (212) 736-5353
Also in vicinity of the Garden, Stout NYC grabs the attention of Rangers fans with not only a huge beer selection and 36 television screens for maximum game viewing but also enough space to all the bandwagon fans who, "LOVE THE RANGERS OMG!!!" They're also stocked up with Viewing Party kits from the Rangers for giveaways of hockey swag to supplement your collection.
133 West 33rd Street, (212) 629-6191
Another bar equipped with Viewing Party kits is Bourbon Street out in Bayside, Queens. With a New Orleans theme, it is a diamond in the rough for Rangers fans whose literal hunger can be graciously fed with Southern style food alongside the necessity to enjoy the game in a sports bar atmosphere. Given its distance from MSG, chances are you'll be able to score a barstool without throwing too many elbows.
40-12 Bell Boulevard, Bayside, (718) 224-2200
For some reason the fine folks at Rangers Nation have chosen to shun Brooklyn from their official Stanley Cup celebrations. Nevertheless, Broadway Blueshirts fans in the new Forgotten Borough can take in the game at spots like 200 Fifth, whose proximity to Barclays should not be frowned upon since the arena doesn't have a house hockey team—yet! With over 100 televisions in every booth plus more screens at the bar, you won't miss a moment of gameplay regardless of where you're situated.
200 Fifth Avenue, Park Slope, (718) 638-2925
And just in case, here is the complete list of the Playoff Viewing Party Headquarters for every borough (except Brooklyn!) in case your favorite bar is fully packed by the time you finish getting all of your Rangers gear on.