As you can see thanks to the handy countdown clock to the right, they're roughly 93 days until the puck is dropped on the 2012-2013 NHL season. Hockey fans need to plan their hockey watching schedules ahead of time, there are just too many distractions during the season. So here are 10 must see NHL games for the upcoming season.
*Please note these games are not in order of when they occur*
10. October 11, 12 and 13
Guess what happens on October 11th? Hockey is back and the regular season gets kicked off, hopefully with a bang. Unfortunately the NHL likes to draw out the process and teams like the Sabres and Leafs have to wait till the 13th to play their first games. But make sure you check the schedule to see when your team kicks off their season. You don't want to miss the first game of the season, it's your first chance to see your team play in a meaningful game.
9. November 15th Kings vs. Blue Jackets
Everyone is still talking about the Jeff carter trade and how it effected the Kings and how he ultimately won a Stanley Cup with long time friend and teammate Mike Richards. But what people forget is the player that lost out on the deal being sent from the Cup winning Kings to the lottery picking Blue Jackets, Jack Johnson. It will be the first time Johnson faces his former teammates who are now Stanley Cup Champions.
8. New Jersey Devils vs. New York Rangers October 16th
A rematch of the Eastern Conference final. A rematch between two of the best goalies in the league Brodeur vs. Lundqvist. The Devils were able to prevail in the series long playoff match, but who will be able to win the one game battle?
7. New York Rangers vs. Los Angeles Kings October 12th
The second night of opening games will see the match up everyone was hoping for in the Stanley Cup Finals. Rangers vs. Kings Lundqvist once again will have a tough challenge 200 feet from him in Jonathan Quick. Which goalie will come out victorious? The Kings will also see their Stanley Cup banner raised to the rafters before the game.
6. Boston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadiens October 16th
The Bruins vs. Habs rivalry will be kicked off with a home and home set between the two teams. It begins in Montreal and ends in Boston two days later. But that will be just the start to the rivalry for the season. What would make this game/rivalry perfect? If the Bruins would be willing to play Malcolm Subban in one of the games against the Canadiens. P.K Subban taking slapshots from the point at his little brother, could anything be more entertaining?
5. Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Philadelphia Flyers October 18th
Perhaps one of the most exciting games to kick off the season. Everyone remembers the drama following these two teams in the playoffs. Heck the Flyers won their "Stanley Cup" after they beat the Penguins in round one. In a 6 game series the two teams combined for 56 goals over 300 PIMS and some coach yelling. The Flyers and Penguins will meet an additional 6 times this season, grab your popcorn and make sure you catch at least one of the hard fought battles. Plus we get to hear Sidney Crosby talk about how "He doesn't like them, not one guy on their roster".
4. Hockey Day in Canada February 9th
This isn't just one game it's a big event and for Canadians it's important. Hockey is our game, we need a day to remember it and honour it. There are festivities all around Canada to honour the great game. All 7 Canadian teams will be in action and playing fellow Canadian teams. Including the Leafs against the Canadiens and the Canucks against the Jets. It's a celebration of hockey, make sure you join in the party if you're Canadian. If you're American just wait a week, February 17th is your hockey celebration.
3. Winter Classic January 1st Detroit Red Wings vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
Who doesn't love a good Winter Classic battle where the teams take the game outdoors where it all started. Every year I tune into the Winter Classic and watch the excitement. While it isn't always the best quality of hockey (Due to the weather) it's a fun game and a fun experience for players. Who better to have play in the Winter Classic than the Toronto Maple Leafs the centre of the hockey universe, the biggest hockey market in the league. The fact they're playing the classy Red Wings and they may have the opportunity to face Jonas the Monster Gustavsson just makes the game that more exciting. Not to mention two original 6 teams will be battling it out and it's the only game being played that day. I'm already excited, can you tell?
2. Los Angeles Kings vs New Jersey Devils February 9th
This game may overshadow Hockey Day in Canada, however it is the first and only meeting between the two Stanley Cup finalists. Who will win the rematch? How different will both teams look by then? How badly will the loss of Parise affect the Devils? All key questions that will be answered when these two teams square off.
1. Last Chance Saturday April 13th
As hockey fans we love to watch hockey games. We can sit down on the couch all day and watch hockey, and the best games to watch are ones that have playoff implications. So what better day to spend lounging around your house than the last day of the regular season while teams are battling for playoff spots and series' are decided? While it would be near impossible for the NHL to fit all 30 teams in one day, they did their best and have scheduled 14 games which adds up to 28 teams. Talk about excitement!
Right now hockey fans are holding their breaths and hoping the season starts on time and these 10 exciting game are able to happen. Let's stay positive, here's to the 2012-2013 NHL regular season starting on time! Be sure to mark these games on your calenders, call in sick, break your phone whatever you have to do, to be able to watch these games.