I love you…not…
I have a love/hate relationship with the NHL schedule makers. Every NHL hockey season has its perceived positives and negatives even before the puck drops.
Today, I take a look at the upcoming season.
I have to tell you, nothing gets me more primed for a game than when the Canucks play a team that ousted them from the playoffs in recent history. There are two such games that fit that bill this year.
First is the Boston Bruins return to the scene of the crime. That crime? Stealing the cup from us on our home ice in game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals.
In their first trip back to Vancouver on Dec. 29, we will have to figure out a way to make a sarcastic chant of “RA-AASK!” sound as good as “THO-MAAS!”, while Bruins Goaltender Tim Thomas takes a year-long sabbatical from the game (insert obligatory wise-crack about joining the ticket as V.P. with Mitt Romney to help try to take down President Obama here).
The other such game pits a more recent foe against Vancouver. The Canucks go to L.A. to face the Kings on Nov.8, and while winning that one won’t make up for the 1st Round loss in the playoffs this year, these games always get our collective blood boiling.
The November 5-game road trip is their longest of the season, (there is a second one just as long, but we’ll touch upon that one in the HATE ‘EM section), and the schedule makers have made the travel on that one more manageable.
Playing 5 games in 8 nights, and only having to travel from Ottawa, Montreal, New York (twice: as they play both the Rangers and Islanders on back-to-back nights), and Buffalo, will allow the team to acclimate to that Eastern Time Zone without say, having to go down to Florida, or into Dallas, or some other wacky cross-country trek the league likes to throw at us.
They will surely be rotating goalies in those games, but will it be Cory Schneider/Eddie Lack?
Will Roberto Luongo still be around?
Is Dan Cloutier still available? Ok, scratch that last one.
Divisional games abound, as always
Okay, let’s be honest, the Northwest Division sucks and the Canucks will be able to capitalize on these games as they normally do.
The front and back-end of the season provides a good opportunity to start and finish strong. They play two bad teams to kick things off on Oct.11 & 13, in Calgary and at home to Edmonton, and then play those two teams again in 2 of their last 3 to wrap things up.
Of course, Edmonton could be better since they have the first pick in the NHL Entry Draft. Oh wait, how has that worked out for them so far?
Man up Toronto!
My friends and I complain about this every year it happens, and it’s happening again on Dec.15. That’s the day the Canucks face the hated Toronto Maple Leafs, AT HOME, and the game is at 4:00pm PST. 4pm!
AT OUR HOUSE!
Look, I know they want the Leafs (Leaves, if we’re being grammatically correct here), fans to watch at 7:00pm EST, but stay up! It’s a Saturday night!
Would you rather take your defeat in the early evening so you can drink away your sorrows and be in bed before midnight?
Montreal plays in Vancouver on Nov.3rd, and guess what!?!? The game is at 7:00pm PST!!!! That’s right, those Montreal fans can handle kicking off their drinking at 1:00am.
Man up Toronto!
Hockey Night in Canada
There are 15 Saturday games on the schedule, and that means 15 possible Hockey Night in Canada games. CBC has an excellent crew, and I always love watching their top-notch HD presentation.
In the games against East Coast teams at a “reasonable hour” (see above), we can even hope to see Don Cherry butcher Kevin Bieksa’s name as “Bieshka”. It’s almost worth having Roberto Luongo stick around so we can also hear Cherry say, “Lelongo”.
Okay, no it’s not worth it at all.
Slow Octobers, worse?
Everyone knows the Canucks have slow Octobers.
While it’s likely something to do with Henrik and Daniel Sedin planning their Halloween costumes (this year I believe they are going as Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen), things could be even slower this year.
Remember I mentioned there was another 5 game road trip on the schedule? Well, it falls in October, and they have to go from Pittsburgh to Dallas at one point, a relatively long trip.
If they can just split these games, we’ll be laughing…or giggling like a school-girl if you’re Alain Vigneault.
More Schedule articles.
- Top 5 games on the Vancouver Canucks schedule in 2012
- NHL announces 2012/13 Vancouver Canucks complete season schedule