With the month of October in the books for the Boston Bruins, the calendar flips to November and the schedule will start to pick up for the Black and Gold, even with a big break in the middle of the month. After going 4-3 against one of the tougher schedules in the NHL in October, let’s take a look at some of the must-watch games for the month of November.
Nov. 6 – Toronto Maple Leafs
The Bruins make their first trip of the season to Toronto to play the Maple Leafs in the arena they were in during the summer of 2020 when the NHL played out the Eastern Conference first and second round of the playoffs at Scotiabank Arena. When the two teams take the ice, there will be some familiar faces across the way for Boston.
This past summer, Bruins general manager Don Sweeney decided not to give qualifying offers to restricted free agents Nick Ritchie and Ondrej Kase, which meant they were eligible to become free agents and sign with any team. Both signed with the Maple Leafs and have played in all 10 of Toronto’s games to date. Kase has a goal and an assist, while Ritchie has one assist.
Toronto has been one of the disappointing teams to begin the season, but their roster is still loaded and a good enough one to finish near the top of the Atlantic Division standings.
Nov. 11 – Edmonton Oilers
This one might be the one that is the must-watch this month. Edmonton is off to a fast start and Bruins fans will get to see goal-scorers Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl on the TD Garden ice. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has become one of the league’s top playmakers.
Zach Hyman signed as a free agent this summer with the Oilers to deepen their goal-scoring depth. This will be a good test for the Bruins defense against one of the top Western Conference teams.
Nov. 14 – Montreal Canadiens
After not playing last season due to the realigned divisions to cut down travel and no travel during the season allowed over the United States/Canadian border because of COVDI-19, the two Original Six rivals will meet for the first time since Feb. 12, 2020. The Bruins won that game at the TD Garden, 4-1.
Along with the Maple Leafs, the Canadiens have to be considered a disappointment to begin the season. Coming off a Stanley Cup Final loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, Montreal has lost eight of their first 11 games to begin the season, which has led to questions surrounding whether or not they should clean house. Rookie Cole Caulfield burst onto the scene last spring and summer during the playoff run, but he was recently sent down to their American Hockey League (AHL) team, Laval Rocket. Regardless of the two teams’ records, Bruins/Canadiens is always a must-watch affair.
Nov. 20 – Philadelphia Flyers
After a six-day break following the game with the Canadiens, the Bruins return to the Wells Fargo Center one month after suffering their first loss in a game that rookie goalie Jeremy Swayman would rather forget. Swayman allowed a career-high five goals in a 6-3 loss. The new-look Flyers added offensive firepower in the offseason by acquiring Cam Atkinson from the Columbus Blue Jackets while adding Ryan Ellis and Keith Yandle to their defense.
All eyes this season are on goalie Carter Hart to see if he can rebound from a shaky 2020-21 season. If he can and with the additions, they made in the offseason, Philadelphia will be a player in the Metropolitan Division. This is a game that the Bruins should have no problem getting up for after their October loss.
Nov. 21 – Calgary Flames
One night after playing the Flyers, the Bruins will return to the TD Garden to play the Flames, who have been very impressive in the early part of the season. Calgary made their first pass through the Eastern Conference on a five-game road trip and finished a perfect 5-0. Andrew Mangiapane and Elias Lindholm lead the team in goals with seven apiece.
Jacob Markstrom has handled most of the first nine games in net for the Flames, but don’t be surprised if Dan Vladar, who was traded from the Bruins to the Flames in July, gets the start against his former team. Vladar is 2-0 with a 2.93 goals-against average (GAA) with a .891 save percentage (SV%) for Calgary.
Bruins Have Plenty of Home Games in November
In November, the Bruins play eight of their 12 games at home, including the annual day after Thanksgiving afternoon game, this year against the New York Rangers at 3:30. It would be in Bruce Cassidy’s team’s best interest to take advantage of the eight home games this month to pile up some points in both the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference standings.
Scott Roche covers the Boston Bruins for The Hockey Writers. A frequent user of the Oxford comma. Scott has been a sports writer for 25 years for different sites and daily newspapers. Writing started out as a hobby, but it has become a passion for Scott over the years.