Although there are plenty, here is a list of games you do not want to miss this upcoming 2013 NHL season.
Saturday, January 19th: Opening day in the NHL is going to be crazy. All but four teams are playing which totals 13 games in all. The fact that hockey returns is enough to get hockey fan’s gears pumping, but with so many games and some good ones at that, you have to watch.
Chicago Blackhawks at Los Angeles Kings (1/19): The defending Stanley Cup Champions will raise their banner… finally. The feeling of accomplishment will be short lived as their chance to defend their title begins against a tough Blackhawks team.
Chicago Blackhawks at Phoenix Coyotes (2/7): So, there is this guy in the playoffs by the name of Raffi Torres who hit this other guy called Marian Hossa. Torres was suspended for the ugly hit and Hossa went on the injured reserve. Torres will most likely have to take on Brandon Bollig who, from the fighting card, shows a two-inch height advantage.
Hockey Day in Canada (2/9): All seven Canadian teams are in action, although I do question why Edmonton is not playing at home against the Red Wings.
- Winnipeg Jets at Ottawa Senators
- Edmonton Oilers at Detroit Red Wings
- Toronto Maple Leafs at Montreal Canadiens
- Calgary Flames at Vancouver Canucks
Philadelphia Flyers at Toronto Maple Leafs (2/11): In June the two teams swapped players as James van Riemsdyk went to the Leafs and Luke Schenn joined the Flyers and his younger brother Brayden. It may not be that big of a game, but to see the two players look at one another in warm-ups will be funny; Schenn with a sigh of relief of no longer being with the Leafs while van Riemsdyk bringing gifts to his old team asking, “please, take me back?”
Pittsburgh Penguins at Carolina Hurricanes (2/28): Another brother tandem was formed in the off-season as Jordan Staal joined the Hurricanes and his brother Eric. Either the Penguins were very nice to Jordan or they no longer wanted a solid second line center. Whatever the reason, hopefully the brothers rival Sideny Crosby and Evgeni Malkin to put on a good show.
Minnesota Wild at Nashville Predators (3/9): While they will have played twice already, both of the games would be held in Minnesota. But when the two teams meet for the first time in front of the Predators fans with Ryan Suter wearing a different jersey, the tension is going to be so thick you can cut it with a knife. If I were the Wild, I’d try to keep Suter off the ice when Shea Weber is out there; “thanks for ditching me man!”
Atlantic Division: The New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers and the Pittsburgh Penguins will see plenty of each other and they don’t play nice. It should be a high scoring, hard hitting affair.
Central Division: While the Atlantic Division games will provide more in terms of grit, the Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Nashville Predators and the St. Louis Blues will be games of skill. With every game extremely important to win, expect some good hockey.
Alexander Ovechkin vs. Steven Stamkos: The two superstars will play against each other four times, with their first meeting on opening day of the season. Who will have the most goals in those meetings? I’m thinking Ovechkin returns to form this season.
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