Before we begin: since there were no games played during the 2012 half of what should have been the 2012-13 season, I am referring to it as just the 2013 season. So, the Boston Bruins released their 2013 regular season schedule on Jan. 12 after a memorandum of understanding–a peace treaty of sorts–was signed between the NHL and the NHLPA.
The Bruins will kick off the 2013 season at home against the New York Rangers at 7 p.m. on Jan. 19. This game is noted as one that will be broadcast on NHL Network–by my count, 11 different Bruins games will be shown on NHL Network over the course of the season. Sometimes they just pipe in one of the regional feeds when airing a game, so the NESN version of events could be shown.
Only one Bruins game is set to be on NBC right now: the St. Patrick’s Day showdown with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Steel City.
Plus, 10 more Bruins games are slated for NBC Sports Network exposure. For every other game, of course, there’s NESN.
The Tampa Bay Lightning, where former Bruin Benoit Pouliot went over the summer, will visit TD Garden on Feb. 9.
The Bruins visit the Carolina Hurricanes, who were a thorn in Boston’s side last season, on Jan. 28 and April 13. Then the Hurricanes come to visit on April 8 as well. Perhaps this time Cam Ward won’t feel like he is above having a discussion with Tuukka Rask, should it reach that point, since Rask is the starter now.
When it comes to division rivals, the Bruins play the Ottawa Senators and Buffalo Sabres five times each, but the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs only four times each. I think that’s a bit wrong-headed and the Senators should be one of the four-timers while the Habs become a five-timer. There’s nothing like a Bruins/Habs game!
March 2013 will be an intense month for the Bruins as they play 17 games, nine of those on the road, including a four-game road trip. February will be a month played mostly on the road too. It takes a special kind of alchemy to make 48 games fit into 96 days, after all.
There will be no inter-conference play during the regular season for 2013. Sorry, folks, gotta wait til 2013-14 for that.
The regular season will not stretch into May like it did in 1995, but will get very close for Boston–they close out their 48 games on April 27 at the Washington Capitals. But that means the playoffs will go through May and very deep into June. The last possible date for a Stanley Cup Final game is June 28. Yes, it could be almost Independence Day–and Canada Day–before a champion is crowned!
Tickets for Bruins games will go on sale at 2 p.m. on Wednesday at the TD Garden box office and BostonBruins.com. Center Ice will surely be up for sale soon as well.