The National Hockey League released their 2013-2014 schedule last week. Now the defending Stanley Cup Champions know who is in the way of a repeat. Let’s take a look at some of the games on the schedule that might be of interest.
10/01 – Washington Capitals
Season opener and a banner raising for the defending Stanley Cup Champions. Also, another season opener for The Great Eight without a championship.
10/09 – St.Louis Blues
If you were to poll most fans of the team along with the media, the team that they wanted to see the least during the playoffs was the St. Louis Blues. The Blues play a style of hockey that makes the Champs uncomfortable. Expect nothing less from Blackhawks/Blues tilt.
10/19 – Toronto Maple Leafs
Not only will this game be contest two Original Six hockey clubs, it is also the first time Blackhawks fans will see playoff hero Dave Bolland in another uniform. Expect emotions to run high.
11/06- Winnipeg Jets
Winnipeg has quickly turned into Blackhawks North in recent seasons with additions of Dustin Byfuglien, Andrew Ladd and now penalty killing expert Micheal Frolik. Now that the Jets are a division rival, Blackhawks fans will be reacquainted with the past. Also, fans will get to know another hot shot winger by the name of Kane.
11/10 – Nashville Predators
A potential blue line paring of Shea Weber and Seth Jones should be something to worry about in the minds of Blackhawks fans. Also, the jury is still out of how Viktor Stalberg is going to fit with a team that prides itself on defense. Even though Nashville had to rebuild a little, they are still a formidable opponent.
11/23 – Vancouver Canucks
The rivalry renewed. From the media, fans, players, organizations on down to the janitor, there is no love lost between the two teams. Things might be a little.different with the teams headed in opposite directions. New coach John Tortorella will be a change of pace for the Canucks. However, don’t expect for the intensity to die down.
12/06 – Anaheim Ducks
The team in the NHL in my opinion, that most resembles the Blackhawks are the Ducks. The Ducks were the only team the Blackhawks couldn’t beat last season. The games were highly contested right until the end. Even though the Ducks sent Bobby Ryan packing, their teams is still deep enough to give anyone fits.
01/19 – Boston Bruins
The rematch of last season’s Stanley Cup Final should be a dandy. The Bruins might still be shell-shocked about a certain 17 second stretch that shall rename nameless. Either way, the Bruins won’t let that happen again.
01/22 – Detroit Red Wings
I have to say. It’s weird not seeing the Red Wings as often as usual. Since the teams won’t see each other as much due to realignment, the games from here on out should be competitive. Detroit is still smarting from the 3-1 lead they gave up in the playoffs last season. Expect a physical affair.
03/01 -Pittsburgh Penguins – 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series
The Blackhawks will face off against the Pittsburgh Penguins is one the league’ s numerous outdoor games. The festivities will take place at Soldier Field, the home of the Chicago Bears. Going into this season,the Pittsburgh Penguins,no solid goaltending and poor defense,are the early favorites to win the Stanley Cup according to the Las Vegas oddsmakers. In March,we’ll get to see how solid that prediction is. I wouldn’t take that assessment to the bank just yet. The fans will get to see the game’s best player in Sidney Crosby. Crosby himself,will get to see the game’s best team.
Evan F. Moore is The Hockey Writers contributing Blackhawks Writer.His work has appeared in the Red Eye,The Checking Line,Gapers Block,ChicagoSide,Extra Bilingual Newspaper, Chicago Now, Time Out Chicago. He resides in Chicago.