The NHL season is upon us, and with last night kicking off what is sure to be a great season, I’m going to take a look at ten games you can’t miss this upcoming season. Whether it’s an old fashion rivalry, or one in the brewing, or maybe just a memorable night that every fan of hockey should witness, here they are.
1. New Jersey Devils at Vancouver Canucks, October 8th, 2013. The drama in Vancouver over starting goalies is finally over, but that doesn’t mean Cory Schneider can’t have the last word after being traded abruptly on the day of the draft. Schneider and the new look Devils will come into Vancouver, where I hope and pray coach Peter DoBoer is smart enough to feed us one last spoon full of Schneider and Luongo drama, just to get the point across that the Devils won the trade. This will be a must see game, and the best part about it is it’s less than a week away. Stay tuned.
2. New York Rangers at Washington Capitals, October 16th, 2013. The Washington Capitals were booted from the playoffs in 7 games last season by the New York Rangers. The year before, the Rangers punched out the Caps in 7 games in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. What happened the year before you ask? Well let me tell you, the Capitals knocked out the Rangers in 5 games in the first round. For the sake of good story telling, we’re going to pretend the 2010 playoffs didn’t happen. Skipping to 2009, the Capitals were able to outlast the Rangers in 7 games in the first round. You get the picture right? The Capitals have something to prove, and the Rangers are out to put their foot down as the better team once and for all.
3. Toronto Maple Leafs at Vancouver Canucks, Novemeber 2nd, 2013. This one is a bit less drama filled, but as a fan of hockey, this is a game you won’t be able to miss. Or at least a pregame you won’t be able to miss. The Vancouver Canucks are set to retire Pavel Bure‘s number, and raise a banner in honor of The Russian Rocket. Banner raisings are always a must see for hockey fans. So set the date, and tune it, it’s going to be a good one, and we even get a pretty good matchup to watch afterwords. Congrats to Bure.
4. Montreal Canadiens at Ottawa Senators, November 7th, 2013. I hope with all of the summer drama, we haven’t forgotten about how awesome the game 3 of the first round last season. 234 penalty minutes were dished out, and the rivalry began between two teams that had never met in the playoffs before last season. Hockey players have good memories, we all know this. So what will happen when the two teams hit the ice for the first time after the ultimate brawl of the 2013 NHL playoffs? You’ll have to tune in on the 7th of November to find out, but I bet it’s going to be good.
5. Toronto Maple Leafs at Buffalo Sabres, November 15th, 2013. Now, I know this one is still fresh in everyone’s memory. The preseason brawl that ended in suspensions and fines. The Buffalo Sabres will take on the Toronto Maple Leafs in mid November, and the rage and grace is sure to be in the back of every player’s mind after what happened a week ago. The two teams will collide for the first time since the meeting on September 22nd, and tempers are sure to be fuming still. Better not miss this one.
6. Washington Capitals at Toronto Maple Leafs, November 23rd, 2013. I love some good hockey drama, and the departure of Mikhail Grabovski from Toronto last summer made some good drama to say the least. Grabo lashed out at head coach Randy Carlyle, after Carlyle dropped him to the third line for most of the season, and Grabo never saw the ice time, he thought, and I do/did as well, he deserved. Grabo will make his return to Toronto for the first time since being bought out by the Maple Leafs, and he’s sure to be skating at 110% all night long. There’s some bad blood there, and it’s sure to make for one hell of a game.
7. Detroit Red Wings at Ottawa Senators, December 1st, 2013. The Detroit Red Wings were able to pull Daniel Alfredsson away from the Ottawa Senators over the summer. Alfredsson spent his entire career in Ottawa and left for Detroit this summer in pursuit of a Stanley Cup. Alfredsson will return to Ottawa on the first of December, but he’ll be donning a winged wheel this time in front of his home crowd.
8. Toronto Maple Leafs at Detroit Red Wings, January 1st, 2013. The Winter Classic will be a the Big House in Ann Arbor, Michigan this season. It will provide great entertainment, and will showcase two of the league’s most historic teams. An original six matchup, and it will be played the way it should have been played all along, outdoors, in the freezing cold, in front of thousands of screaming fans. Rose Bowl what? The Winter Classic over everything. Make sure you’re there, it’s going to be a good one.
9. Colorado Avalanche at Detroit Red Wings, March 6th, 2013. Once again, we have a banner being lifted in honor of one of the game’s greats. The Detroit Red Wings will be retiring #5 and raising a banner in honor of the greatest defensive players the city of Detroit has ever seen. Nicklas Lidstrom played his entire career in Detroit, shutting down opposing forwards. Detroit will raise the banner in front of opposing coach Patrick Roy, who played most of his career against Lidstrom. This will be a must see ceremony to kick of an awesome game, and put the final stamp on one of the greatest rivalries the sport of hockey has ever seen.
10. Minnesota Wild at Dallas Stars, March 8th, 2013. Another banner raising! The Dallas Stars will retire the number of the highest scoring American born player the game has ever seen. Mike Modano will have his #9 retired by the Stars on the 8th when the Minnesota Wild come to town. Modano spent his entire career, with the exception of his final season that he spent in Detroit. The Stars know how to put on a show, and this one should be a good one. Mark your calenders and put reminders in your phones, you won’t want to miss this.
Topics: Banner Raising, Buffalo Sabres, Cory Schneider, Daniel Alfredsson, Mike Modano, Mikhail Grabovski, Montreal Canadiens, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, Nicklas Lidstrom, Ottawa Senators, Patrick Roy, Pavel Bure, Randy Carlyle, Roberto Luongo, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals