September is just about here, which means that hockey season is just around the corner. With that in mind, I thought I would discuss a few games this season that many of us are anticipating.
October 13--Pens vs. Capitals
This will be the first of two visits that Washington makes to Pittsburgh. With this being the second home game of the season, plus the intense rivalry between these two teams, the energy in the crowd will rock the CEC. We all enjoy booing Ovechkin, Green, and company. Plus, we hope to see an image like this again:
November 17--Pens @ Lightning
This is the first matchup between these two teams after the Lightning eliminated the Pens in the first round of the playoffs last season. There will be that extra motivation for the Pens to take this game. With the Lightning poised to be another threat in the East this season, this has the potential to be a solid, hard-fought game.
December 5th--Pens vs. Bruins
This will be the first matchup between the Pens and the defending Stanley Cup Champions. The Pens had some games against them last season that we'd all like to forget. This season the Pens will have that, plus the sweetness of defeating a Stanley Cup team, to add some extra drive to win. Chara is always a formidable opponent on their defense. If Thomas plays anything like he did last season, especially in the playoffs, meetings between these two teams will just be that much more competitive.
December 13th--Pens vs. Red Wings
This will be the lone matchup during the regular season between the former Stanley Cup opponents this season. With the memories of those two past Stanley Cup Finals, it is always noteworthy when the Red Wings come to town. We will see an older Detroit team facing off against a Pens team with many young faces, with notable talent on both sides. This will be one to highlight on your calendar.
December 20--Pens vs. Blackhawks
Anytime the Pens matchup against the Blackhawks, you can anticipate a game that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Facing the likes of Toews, Kane, and Sharp will be a challenge, but the Pens will be up to the task. We don't see Chicago in town too often, so this will be a game fans will be racing to.
December 29th--Pens vs. Flyers
This is probably the game that sits on most of our minds: the Flyers' first trip to Pittsburgh this season. This will be the first time Talbot and Jagr come to town in the Flyers uniform. The boos will be heard all over southwestern Pennsylvania. It will be almost surreal to see the reaction to Max Talbot, who used to be so beloved in Pittsburgh, now playing as a member of our bitter rival. It will be a bit early at this point to think of playoff standings, but we are always mindful of where the Flyers sit compared to us. I can't wait to see the crowd reaction for this game.
I would love to discuss any other games you all are looking forward to!
I will be continuing to write Blueline Beat this season, recapping the performances of the Pens' defensemen. Soon I will be working on some point predictions this upcoming season for our blueliners, plus my conference predictions. Hope you all join in!