Everyone has been a-buzz when it comes to the NHL schedule coming out. Me, I've been alright with it. I'm letting it soak in since we won't see action until September training camps, so I don't wanna get my hopes up in mid-July. However, having digested the schedule for a short time, I've got some games for you folks to mark down on the calendar.....or not.
For those wondering, the arbitrary number of seven is in honor of a friend who hit trip-sevens on Wednesday morning.
October 28th: Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Dallas Stars-- This year's highly touted Swedish free-agent meets last year's highly touted Swedish free-agent as Jonas Gustavsson faces off against Fabian Brunnstrom. No truth to the rumors that Brunnstrom will tell Gustavsson to beware the Ides of November....right on through until the end of April.
November 10th: Edmonton Oilers vs. Ottawa Senators-- Odds are in favor of Dany Heatley will be playing in this game. For which team-- that's anyone's guess at this point. Yet, both teams could be out of the playoff contention and dealing with goaltending issues by this point in the season.
November 16th: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Phoenix Coyotes-- If there was a game to be played in a three-ring circus, this is it. What, with the mess that we all know the Tampa Bay Lightning is and the debacle in the desert that is the Coyotes; boy howdy-- put a tent of that circus. And who's to say either of these messes will be cleaned up by then, which will make this much more fantastic to me.
December 2nd: Vancouver Canucks vs. New Jersey Devils-- With Jacques Lemaire back behind the bench for the Devils and the Canucks' defensive posture-- this could be the only documented game with negative scoring to take place.
January 1st: Philadelphia Flyers vs. Boston Bruins-- This game will be the Winter Classic, yes. However, it will be seen if anyone can survive the "Monster Drinking Game" with Pierre McGuire at Fenway Park. Plus, it could be the first Winter Classic where the action in the stands between the Philly fans and Bostonians could outweigh the action on the ice.
February 7th: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Washington Capitals-- Now, this game is one to watch if the Steelers make it to the Super Bowl (since it is Super Bowl Sunday), because it could mark the first time the Capitals would have home-ice advantage in Verizon Center in a game against the Penguins for the longest time. Of course, if the Steelers don't make the Super Bowl, this all goes out the window.
April 11th: Edmonton Oilers vs. Anaheim Ducks-- This is the last game of the regular season and could be a deciding game for both of these teams. However, this could be the most insignficant game out there if both teams are locked into their position. It could go either way, but it will prep us for the playoffs if it's a barnburner. Oddly enough, the Ducks and Oilers will have the last game before the Olympic break too on February 14th.