Real hockey! Real, actual NHL hockey! The NHL begins their truncated, 48-game season on Saturday. It's a busy, busy weekend of hockey. There are 13 games on Saturday and six on Sunday. It's all very exciting. Here's what is going on this weekend.
Things kick off with three games at 3:00 PM Eastern. Two of those games will be on NBC. One game features noted rivals Philadelphia and Pittsburgh facing off. Remember their wild playoff series last year? Those were good times. Times we did not know if we'd ever live in again. Now, we're here. Also, the Kings begin their Cup defense by hosting the Blackhawks.
America may be kicking things off well, but Canada, shockingly, is really diving into this season head on. They've got a tripleheader on CBC. First, it's Ottawa against Winnipeg. Then, it's Toronto against Montreal. That's always fun. Finally, Vancouver hosts that most beloved of Canadian teams, the Anaheim Ducks. Take that, Calgary and Edmonton.
There are some other games that seem particularly intriguing on paper. Of course, every team is opening their season, so we don't really know what these teams are, or what kind of shape they will be in. Still, a game like St. Louis against Detroit is more exciting than, say, Nashville versus Columbus. Washington plays Tampa Bay, which interests me. One team has a new coach. One team hopes they actually have a goalie now. The other game that sticks out is Colorado against Minnesota. Ryan Suter. Zach Parise. All that good stuff.
Sunday has another game on NBC, as Buffalo hosts Philadelphia. On NBC Sports, Chicago takes on Phoenix. Pittsburgh against the Rangers is an excellent matchup. Calgary and Edmonton are both in action. The Flames face the Sharks. The Oilers square off with the Canucks. That last game is quite exciting on paper.
The NHL is back! I exclaim in excitement! The ugly mess of the lockout cannot be swept under the rug, but we can still enjoy the hockey.