10 Must-See NHL Matchups Of Early 2013-14
10 Must-See NHL Matchups Coming Up
It's a little less than two weeks into the NHL season, and yet you would think it's almost playoff time at times. With the new realignment, you have teams moving divisions and conferences. There are new rivalries forming each and every day due to the shifting.
The realignment is something that only made sense to the NHL fans. It was always a mystery as to why the Dallas Stars were in the same division as the Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks, Phoenix Coyotes and the Anaheim Ducks.
On the other side of things, it was baffling that the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Detroit Red Wings were in the Western Conference. Prior to the realignment, the Western Conference spanned all four time zones. Now, they're only in three.
With the realignment, though, the NHL was able to establish new rivalries within divisions and conferences, while still holding onto some of the old ones as well. With the changed-up format in which every team visits every arena at least once each season, teams like Colorado and Detroit can still enjoy the rivalry matchup despite being in separate conferences.
However, new rivalries will now be formed as Detroit is in the same division as some of the top teams in the Easter Conference like the Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators. Even though it's early in the season, there are some huge games coming up in the NHL over the next month. Here's a list of 10 of those must-see games.
Oct. 14: Detroit at Boston
New division means new rivalries, and both these teams have aspirations of making it far this season. This could turn into a really big rivalry over the years to come.
Oct. 15: San Jose at St. Louis
The San Jose Sharks and the St. Louis Blues last season were both in the second tier of Western Conference teams. Both believe they are better this year and both would like to make an early statement with a win against the other team.
Oct. 17: St. Louis at Chicago
The second matchup between these two Western Conference power-houses on the young season. The first game went to the Blues so Chicago will be looking to exact some revenge as they face off in the United Center.
Oct 17: Pittsburgh at Philadelphia
When it comes to in-state rivalries, it doesn't get much better than Pittsburgh and Philadelphia facing off in a classic hockey matchup. These two teams don't like each other and you can bet there will be some fights breaking out during this one.
Oct. 17: San Jose at Dallas
This is a matchup between two former division rivals in which both teams hate the other. Even though they are in separate divisions, you can bet the hatred will still be at the same level when the puck drops for this game.
Oct. 17: Detroit at Colorado
These two teams do not like each other. This was one of the better rivalries in the Western Conference over the past decade. Even though the teams are in different conferences now, you can bet the play on the ice won't be any different.
Oct. 28: Dallas at Buffalo
This will be the first time in a very long time that Lindy Ruff will walk into the First Niagara Center as a coach of a different team other than the Buffalo Sabres. Ruff, who coached the Sabres for over 16 years, should receive a standing ovation from the Sabres fans. It'll also mark the first time Steve Ott will play against his former team.
Oct. 30: Boston at Pittsburgh
A rematch of last year's Eastern Conference Finals in which Boston easily took care of Pittsburgh's high-powered offense. Tuukka Rask was sensational during the series and you can bet Malkin, Crosby and the Penguin offense will try to erase the memories of that series.
Oct. 30: San Jose at Los Angeles Kings
Another divisional matchup in which two teams can't stand the other one. The Kings are hoping to return the Stanley Cup to southern California while San Jose is hoping it'll find a home in the northern part of the state. This game could set the tone for the season series between these two.
Nov. 5: Dallas at Boston
Over the summer, the Boston Bruins and Dallas Stars made a blockbuster trade in which Tyler Seguin and Loui Eriksson swapped places. This will be Seguin's first trip back to Boston since helping them get to the Stanley Cup Finals last year. It'll be interesting to hear the reaction he receives from Bruin Nation.