Boston Bruins: Top Matchups From the Upcoming Regular Season
Looking at the Biggest Games in the Boston Bruins' Upcoming Season
Now that the NHL has released the official schedule for the 2013-2014 season, the buzz for the first full season in two years is officially upon us.
Last year was supposed to include a full slate of regular season action in the NHL. However, thanks to Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr, fans received a little over half of their expected 82-game schedule. That being said, with how ugly everything was looking during the bitter NHL lockout – the league’s third in less than 20 years – fans were thankful they were able to see any hockey at all last year. During the stoppage’s bleakest days, it looked as though this past season and beyond were in serious jeopardy.
Amazingly enough, with a season shortened to 48 games, the NHL saw a pretty amazing bounce-back after the lockout burned a ton of bridges. This was helped by an outstanding Stanley Cup Playoffs, which was culminated by a back-and-forth final round between the Boston Bruins and the Chicago Blackhawks.
Ever since their season came to a crashing halt at the hands of Chicago, the Bruins have been aching to get back on the ice and have their names etched on the Cup once again. The defeat from the Blackhawks was a bitter pill to swallow, and you can’t help but think Boston is going to use it as fuel throughout the upcoming season.
Now that the schedule has been announced, the Bruins can officially start circling some marquee dates on their calendars. Here are some of the biggest games for Boston in the 2013-2014 NHL season.
October 3 vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
Tough not to get excited about this one. With the Bruins only hosting two preseason games during the exhibition schedule, fans have to be stoked about the regular season opening up at the TD Garden.
The last time the Bruins played a game that mattered in their home arena, they had to suffer watching the Blackhawks hoisting the Stanley Cup on their ice. Players and fans alike have to be dying to erase those memories, so October 3 can’t come quick enough.
Not to mention, with the Lightning in the middle of a rebuild, this should be a great opportunity for Boston to start their season on the right foot.
October 5 vs. Detroit Red Wings
Just one game later, a brand new division rival comes to town.
With the new alignments throughout the league, the Red Wings have now been moved to the Atlantic division. Granted, the Lightning and the Florida Panthers are new to the division as well, but we all know an Original Six member is a bit more of a game-changer than the two Florida teams.
This game could be the start of another bitter divisional rivalry. Both teams have a ton of history and Hall of Fame players to their names, and the division has already had a lot of intensity amongst its members. Expect the first bout between Detroit and Boston to be quite a barn-burner.
November 5 vs. Dallas Stars
Well, this could get awkward. The Stars come to town boasting their new acquisition from the offseason, Tyler Seguin.
This will be Seguin’s first game back in Boston. Thanks to the media, it could be a bit uncomfortable for the young winger. Ever since he was dealt to Dallas for Loui Eriksson and prospects, the local writers have been publishing more than a few stories about Seguin’s reported late nights throughout the playoffs. After having his name dragged through the mud, Seguin may be looking to show Boston they were mistaken for giving up on him so early.
It’ll also be the Stars’ first chance to see if parting with Eriksson was a wise idea. The former All-Star will most likely be taking Seguin’s spot on the Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand line, where he could very well flourish with one of the best two-way forwards in the game alongside him.
December 5 at Montreal Canadiens
There aren’t many bigger games in Boston’s season than the first matchup against their blood rivals in Montreal.
It doesn’t matter who’s on either team, these games get nasty in a hurry. On top of that, the Bell Centre is one of the most intimidating arenas in the league. So having to restart this rivalry in such an intense barn won’t be easy.
Newcomers Jarome Iginla and Eriksson will be getting their first taste of being part of the greatest rivalry in hockey. It won’t be too long into the first period before these two realize how high the stakes are when Boston and Montreal face off.
January 19 at Chicago Blackhawks
Boston won’t need much extra hype to get themselves motivated for this one.
In their first game against each other since the Stanley Cup Finals, the Bruins and Blackhawks will surely be gearing up for this regular season bout. Boston will be looking for revenge after Chicago ripped their hearts out in Game 6 with a two-goal flurry in the final 17 seconds.
A win against the Blackhawks in the regular season surely won’t heal the wounds of losing the Stanley Cup, but it’ll certainly show Chicago that the Bruins aren’t going to be intimidated any time soon. Of all the marquee matchups this coming season, this will be the game everyone will want to watch.