Once again, there are some great top “must see” lists that have hit the internet this week, since the schedule came out. It really does not address those games that might not be the most appealing to see. Ugly can mean several different things.
It was an exhausting search and lots of interaction among social media but we came up with those five games that are damn close to being untouchable but we will just call them U-G-L-Y. These are not a drill. They are really that bad.
All that anyone needs to know is that we highly recommend those with weak stomachs turn away from the computer screen right now. From 5-1, let’s go!
#5: New Jersey Vs. Calgary — April 7th
Oh no! When a sea of red meets Devils Army, it sounded pretty good on the schedule. However, there are some questions as Calgary will be rebuilding or whatever the heck it is doing with Jay Feaster as General Manager. New Jersey has its own questions as they might be battling to stay in the playoff race depending on who you want to believe. Either way, in the post Miikka Kiprusoff era, with no Jarome Iginla, and a likely sell off at the trade deadline, the Flames will come in like a dog. New Jersey has a tendency to play down to their competition in these types of games and it really has the potential to be one of those nights where you search the TV dial for another option.
#4: Florida Vs. New Jersey — March 31st
Hey I can take the train for more than it costs to buy a Florida Panthers ticket. I can buy this, and this, and oh you get the idea already! In the hockey world, Florida is still trying to find its way. Florida bypassed Seth Jones to take a bit of a risk on Aleksander Barkov but hey Dale Tallon has to do it a bit different with the talent assembled. It appears to be another year of growing pains in Florida and again with New Jersey, this is a type of team that gives them some fits and the fans fits. This matchup has brought the infamous Jason Garrison skate malfunction and the Ilya Kovalchuk injury that ultimately did in New Jersey last year. At any rate, this might just be one to take a pass on.
#3: Colorado Vs. New Jersey — February 3rd
All I can say is the word bromance! Did he just say that? Yes he did! Jacob Josefson and Gabriel Landeskog meet in New Jersey and oh okay we’ll spare you the details. However, Colorado despite the Nathan MacKinnon draft pick is still the Avalanche and that does not impress much right now. The Avs are developing into the Edmonton Oilers, if they are not careful. New Jersey, again, specializes in taking these type of games off. You do the math! This is just what the schedule makers always seem to get wrong. I understand that sometimes there will be clunkers but New Jersey has 22 back to backs this year which makes that probability much higher. Colorado may be improved but New Jersey has a grueling set of games before the “Olympic Break”. It just primes everyone for a game that could be nasty and not in a feisty way.
#2: Phoenix Vs. New Jersey — March 27th
Usually the stretch run features a very Eastern Conference heavy schedule but someone tossed in the Coyotes into the Devils end run. Yes the Phoenix Coyotes finally have some stability at least for the next five years but the product is still a bit hamstrung at times by the fact that they are still a more defensive minded team. While they try to transition out of that, they will be facing a Jersey team that will go through the motions all season too. It just has a look where hey it is a game against the Western Conference that might not mean quite so much. Again, timing has to do as much as opponent when it comes to the ugly games one may want to pass. This was almost number one but we found a game that was yes….in the middle of a crossfire hurricane so to speak.
#1: New Jersey Vs. Minnesota — November 3rd
Finally the top of the heap that was less than stellar has been reached. New Jersey fans were denied their chance of facing former Devil Zach Parise and now those same Devil fans have to wait until next March to get their time to boo? That does not sound fair and the reality is it is not. The NHL should have probably tried to schedule this a bit sooner in New Jersey instead of that Cory Schneider reunion tour in October. Also, slotting this game in between a Philadelphia home and home was probably not the best idea. Sometimes, it has to be asked if the NHL think tank forgot a few segments of the schedule and pulled out a dartboard instead. It also makes you wonder if the league got so ticked off at New Jersey for sticking it to them again. In the end, the fans have to wait yet again. Stay strong New Jersey, maybe just maybe this one gets uglier than ugly. Hey, you never know. It will be a rare time where Philadelphia is overlooked and that is extremely rare.
So are there any games that maybe could have been mentioned. Have your say in the comments section or Twitter. Thanks again for reading.