July 28, 2013 by Cups n Pucks
Cups & Pucks Staff:
For most of us the hockey season is over and we have entered the dreaded dead zone that is the off-season. The draft is over, trades have been made, and preseason is still a couple months away.
This terrible feeling we have at Cups & Pucks has made us think about this upcoming season and how badly we want it to arrive. So all of us picked our top three games that we are most excited about.
Since we can’t speak on behalf of your favorite teams, read our article and then tell us what three games you’ll most likely buy tickets for this season.
For one, this is the first outdoor game in Chicago since the Winter Classic in 2009. This also could be the first time Crosby plays in Chicago since 2007.
Any Oilers vs. Blackhawks game
Any game against the Oilers would be exciting because of all of its young talent. With Taylor Hall coming off a brilliant year, Jordan Eberle continuing to be a force, Sam Gagne getting a four year contract extension, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov, and Jordan Schultz another year older, the Oilers could be a threat for a bottom playoff spot and a dynasty in the making. Also, the Oilers are my second favorite team.
Montreal Canadiens vs. Chicago Blackhawks, Wednesday April 9, 2014 6:30 PM
Montreal is another Original six team who hasn’t been in Chicago a lot the last few years. With the new CBA I look forward to seeing Montreal and the east in Chicago once a year. Montreal also has great young talent in Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher. Plus, it’s last home game of the year!
1. No matter the team being honored, I think the raising of the championship banner and all the hoopla that goes along with it is something that always provokes a lot of emotion in me. When it’s the team you’ve practically shed blood, sweat, and tears for, it’s just an inexplicable feeling. There’s a 90% chance I will cry. There’s also an even greater 98% chance that my fellow Cups & Pucks writers are rolling their eyes at my sentiment as they read this.
2. After almost 100 days without hockey I am going to be so excited for the season to start. It hasn’t even been a month since the Blackhawks won the Cup and I’m already going through withdrawals. Without games to watch every few days I feel like my life has no structure.
3. We haven’t played the Capitals in basically a year and a half so it will be a nice change of pace. Sorry Brouwer, no refill for you.
Stadium Series: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Chicago Blackhawks at Soldier Field Saturday March 1, 2014 7:00 PM
Though this isn’t a “rivalry” per se, I think it’s going to be a great game. The Blackhawks and Penguins led their respective conferences in the 2013 season. Unless the Penguins look like they did in the playoffs, it’s going to make for some fun hockey.
I’m so happy the NHL chose to host the game at Soldier Field. I attended the Hockey City Classic last February and was extremely impressed with the set up. We were in the cheap seats and could still see the game really well. Though it’s going to be freezing (*correction: I’m going to be freezing), it gives us all the more reason to get drunk and heckle Penguins fans on our turf.
Tie: Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Chicago Blackhawks, Saturday October 9, 2013 6:00 PM or Montreal Canadiens vs. Chicago Blackhawks, Wednesday April 9, 2014 6:30 PM
Both are Original Six teams that made the playoffs last year and that we haven’t played since the 2011-12 season (which I missed the majority of due to a semester abroad). I’ve never been to a game against a Canadian team before which I think would be highly entertaining and make for an extra mad Madhouse. Plus P.K. Subban is a boss.
Although there are several hockey fans out there that hated the NHL’s decision to restructure its divisions, my eyes lit up when I saw this year’s new schedule. The Blackhawks will be able to play every Original Six team at least once, and there will be several teams that the Blackhawks don’t typically play.
The first game that I want to see this year is against the New York Islanders on Friday, October 11. The season will have just started and the weather will be getting colder. Hockey fever will be in the air and I’ll be embracing its wonderful impact. I’ve never seen the Hawks play the Isles before and I love seeing new teams play.
My dad was also a huge Mike Bossey fan and would talk about the Islanders heyday during the 1979-’84 seasons. Isles fans seem to be dedicated people (as indicated when they fell to the Pens last season) and my curiosity will most likely take me to the U.C. to watch this game.
Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Chicago Blackhawks, Saturday October 9, 2013 6:00 PM
Remember the $8 Blackhawks tickets you could get when you provided a school I.D.? Not only will these prices never be found again, but I’ll never be a high school student again (unless the apocalypse shoots me into some freaky universe).
The most fun I’ve ever had at a Hawks game was back in November 2006 against the Maple Leafs. A group of my buddies and I participated in a nearly sold out crowd (which was unheard of at the time) helping a drunken Hawks fan in his quest to make sure everyone knew that “Darcy Tucker was a f*****!” The crowd was rowdy, we were rowdy, and Maple Leafs fans were rowdy.
I want to see the Hawks play the Maple Leafs this year because I love Original Six match-ups and the Leafs always bring back great memories. I’ll have to be frugal in September if I want to catch the Isles and the Leafs back to back.
Montreal Canadiens vs. Chicago Blackhawks, Wednesday April 9, 2014 6:30 PM
Like I said, I’m a sucker for Original Six. Who doesn’t want to see the Hawks play Montreal? Regardless of how either team is doing by then, it will be a great way to thank the NHL for finally letting us play teams from the East.
Again, I have never seen the Hawks play the Habs and that is the main reason why I’m throwing down on this game. I’m also a huge Subban fan and I don’t get to see him play much.
French-Canadian runs in my blood, so it’s only natural for me to respect my heritage (although I’m mostly Polish). I’m super stoked about this game and can’t wait for April to roll around.
Schedules are neat because they help you plan and organize things for the future. Without schedules, I would have been dead or in jail years ago. So for you, Blackhawks fan, I have specially picked out three can’t-miss Blackhawks home games for you to plan your life around. See you there:
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Calgary Flames, Wednesday November 27, 2013 9:00 PM
Shucks, I already failed. But this game is going to be so unforgettable that you’ll have to travel to Calgary. You can thank me after purchasing the airfare. This game is a Wednesday match, which must make it a NBC Sports rivalry game, of course. When you think about it, there really isn’t a better rivalry in the NHL. I mean, only about five years ago both teams faced off in a scintillating six-game playoff series, where the Blackhawks biggest thorn-in-the-side was brought to you by the real life Wooly Willy (sans wool).
Plus, the upcoming season marks the first time in nearly half a decade where the Flames will start a season without the face of its franchise: Jay Bouwmeester (and what a frightening face it is. My God). They also traded away another guy you may have heard of by the name of Jarome Iginla. Sure, it was three years too late, and a terrible, terrible, awful deal. Give GM Jay Feaster credit though: at least he wasn’t going to simultaneously lose those players in the same transaction. Baby steps. But this move truly does make the Flames much better. Iginla was once voted most likely to be President/Prime Minister in the NHL and best leader. Who needs an ego like that on a team? Now that the Flames can break free of the iron-fisted rule of Jarome Igabe, they will flourish with new leaders, such as: Sven Baertschi, Roman Cervanka and Carter Bancks. This rivalry is, no doubt, “heating up”.
Nashville Predators vs. Chicago Blackhawks, Friday March 14, 2014 7:00 PM
If you’re like me, you had this day circled on your calendar for years. Mainly because it’s my birthday. But once the hockey schedule was released, I double circled this day: the first opportunity Blackhawks fans have to witness in person how much more annoying the Nashville Predators could possibly get. Fool me once, shame on you, Dave Poile. Fool me five times… I’m an idiot.
It doesn’t matter which player Nashville gains or loses; they’re always just so… pesky! And the Predators did the most Predators thing ever by signing Matt Cullen. Blackhawks fans may recall him as the only Wild player with a pulse in the first round of the ’13 playoffs. Cullen is great at face-offs, with a dash of offense and a pinch of pesky that fits perfect in Nashville. How pesky! And to top it off, the Predators somehow received a legitimate prospect by trading away a human hemorrhoid with a pair of skates. Incredible.
If all this annoyance wasn’t enough, the Predators broke the hearts of hundreds of female Blackhawks fans by signing this heartthrob hunk of a Swedish meatball. Since Barry Trotz sold his neck to the devil (photographic evidence that he did, in fact, have one) for infallible coaching skills, I have an awful feeling that Viktor’s going to score an unreasonably high number of goals. Stay tuned to this game and watch Stalberg deliver one of those sweet, outside-of-the-circle shots after zooming along the boards in a straight line for 100 feet. Can’t wait.
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Chicago Blackhawks, Thursday March 6, 2014 7:00 PM
How the NHL decided to tear this ferocious rivalry apart is beyond me. A large contingent of NHL fans complained about a certain historic division rival that is no longer part of the Central Division. There’s no doubt in my mind that it’s the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Essentially, the NHL consolidated four additional games of vitriol into two games against these foes. Two games are not nearly enough to contain this rivalry, and the Hate-gates may break open any moment after puck drop. The hate already reached a boiling point with Columbus signing ex-Blackhawk/ultimate utility player, Jack Skille. The four-year winger possesses size, passion, and many other facets people that look like this could probably tell you about. Not only do the Jackets have Skille, but they have a medley of high-paid players whose cap (brace yourselves for this) nearly matches the Blackhawks. Do you smell it? That’s years of hatred ready to explode. Let the hate flow through you. Be there.