There may not be quite as many hockey fans in the United States compared to, say, football or baseball fans.

But fans of the ice are truly some of the fiercest and most loyal sports fans you'll ever encounter, and this is the time of year they all come together.

The 2016-17 National Hockey League season kicked off as the New York Rangers defeated the New York Islanders 5-3 at Madison Square Garden.

It was a come from behind effort for the Rangers, as Chris Kreider scored the go ahead goal in the third period to put the Rangers up 3-2.

There was no doubt that especially in the first two periods that our quickness and our speed was a factor both defensively and offensively. The fact that we could roll four lines, I think that definitely helped us.

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

It's a year of uncertainty for the Rangers, as they enter 2016 with a new group made up of acquisitions, and rookies who they hope can blend with their veterans.

They finished last year 46-25, before being beaten in the first round of the payoffs by eventual Stanley Cup champions, the Pittsburgh Penguins.