Thursday, June 23, 2011
Bruins 2011-12 Schedule Released
I can't ever remember being genuinely excited about the release of the Boston Bruins' schedule but such is the new world we live in: where Osama Bin Laden is dead, Whitey Bulger is captured and the B's are reigning Stanley Cup champions.
Here is the 2011-12 Bruins schedule. On first view, it seems to hit all the right notes in terms of marquee games.
The Flyers will be at TD Garden for the Bruins' season and home-opener on October 6. Tickets to that game will be particularly tough to get since the Stanley Cup banner will be raised for the first time in 39 years.
Two nights later, the Tampa Bay Lightning come to Boston for a rematch of the 2010-11 Eastern Conference Finals which went an epic seven games.
The second most coveted game will be on January 7 when the Vancouver Canucks return to TD Garden for the teams' only meeting of the season. After all the bad blood in the Stanley Cup Finals that just concluded, you'd have to assume that game might be a bloodbath (although that's not Vancouver's style at all).
Other marquee home games include October 22 vs. San Jose Sharks, November 25 (afternoon game after Thanksgiving) vs. Detroit Red Wings, February 4 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins, March 10 vs. Washington Capitals, March 17 vs. Flyers, March 27 vs. Lightning, March 29 vs. Caps and April 3 vs. Penguins.
Of course, any meeting with the Montreal Canadiens is life or death, so you have to note when these Original 6 rivals will play each other. They have a home and home series, starting in Boston on October 27 & 29. The Bruins go to the Bell Centre on November 21 and the Canadiens come to the Garden on December 19. Montreal returns on January 15 and finally, the B's go to Montreal on February 15.
Boston's longest homestand is November 7-17 (Islanders, Oilers, Sabres, Devils and Blue Jackets). Their longest road trip spans six games from February 15-25 (Habs, Winnipeg, Wild, Blues, Sabres and Senators).
If you're traveling and want to know the best road games for the Bruins, I'd recommend October 15 in Chicago, December 17 in Philly, February 5 in DC, March 11 in Pittsburgh, March 22 in San Jose, March 25 in Anaheim and April 1 in NYC.
I'm not wishing away the summer but on a rainy day, who doesn't want to daydream about the Stanley Cup champs back in action and a full season of hockey ahead of us?
The 2011 NHL Draft is tomorrow night in Minnesota and then all that's left before training camp in September is to get Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin some shirts and sober them up as they ease back into work.