The Blackhawks are by far the best opponent on the slate in the month of January, and not just because they're defending Stanley Cup champions. Their 64 points are tops in the NHL, while their plus-42 goal differential is second to just the St. Louis Blues. Once again the Blackhawks have shown that home ice in Chicago is a protected place, losing just two games in regulation all season.
The game will help serve as a measuring stick for the Rangers, and allow them to see how they stack up against one of the most talented teams in the league. It's also a chance to gain ground in the Eastern Conference playoff race; points against out of Conference opponents are crucial when deciding who gets in.