The start of the NHL regular season may be a month away with the World Cup of Hockey and preseason still to come, but it’s never too early to get excited for the best slate of games the NHL has to offer this season. Here are the can’t miss-games for the stretch run:
March 2nd – Nashville Predators vs. Montreal Canadiens
Will any game this season get more hype from the Canadian hockey media than P.K. Subban’s return to Montreal? Doubtful. The affects of the blockbuster that swapped Subban for Shea Weber will have been well-documented by this point in the season, but that won’t stop this game from being a must-see due to the massive media coverage and potential for drama. Also, while the Predators and Canadiens are good teams, neither is assured a playoff spot this season, and a win could go a long way at this point in the season. This will be a hard-fought battle.
March 22nd – New York Islanders vs. New York Rangers
The cross-town foes face off for the final time in the regular season, as the Rangers host the Isles at Madison Square Garden. This rivalry has really heated up in recent years, and 2016-17 should be more of the same. With play-off implications, a whole season’s worth of rivalry repercussions to wrap up, and the spotlight of NYC sports fans without football and baseball, the final battle for New York promises to deliver.
April 9th – New Jersey Devils vs. Detroit Red Wings
On the final day of the regular season, the Red Wings and their fans will say goodbye to the legendary Joe Louis Arena, as they move to a new building for 2017-18 and beyond. An organization that has had so much success will have many fond memories to recall of the old rink and celebrations will certainly be in order. That is, unless the last game at the Joe is also the last game of the Red Wings season…
April 9th – Los Angeles Kings vs. Anaheim Ducks
Later that night, the NHL caps off another regular season with a SoCal rivalry game. The Kings and Ducks, along with the Sharks, have turned the West Coast into hockey country, and a final chance at re-sorting the playoff picture with a fight between two great teams and bitter rivals was excellent scheduling. The playoffs might be just around the corner, but for a preview of playoff intensity, tune in to this one.