The Chicago Blackhawks continue to march on during this offseason. With their first round selection of the 2012 Draft- C/LW Teuvo Teravainen– complete, next come free agency, trades (yes or no), camps, preseason and then finally the eventual drop of the first meaningful puck…maybe.
The possibility of lockouts, stoppages, and a shortened season still loom large. Some – and I say this timidly- experts even feel we may be in for a hockey-free 2012/2013. I for one choose the optimistic route. Even if my heart says differently from my brain, I’m going to keep believing in a full season of hockey beginning in October.
That being said, I’ve perused through the recently released schedule for the Blackhawks and have determined the following: seemingly one of the most ridiculous schedules I’ve seen. Now, once they start getting into and playing, the length between games and what not will spread out some of the “back and forth” look to it. But, if you’re reading it, it just looks jumbled: the multiple times they play St. Louis away, then go to New York, then Buffalo, then home to play the Blues again, etc. How do you really feel about playing the Anaheim Ducks four times in a season? Or four times having a Home and Home? One to end the season against the Blues? How about the three separate road trips of six games or more?
I’m complaining now, but I know once the season starts, it won’t matter. Hockey will be here. In between shakes of my head, exclamations of “Zwuh?” and many a face-palm, I went ahead and found some absolute-cannot-miss-must-circle-these-dates:
Saturday 13th– Hawks vs. Blue Jackets – Opening Night Win #1
Saturday 20th– Hawks vs. Red Wings- 1st matchup between old friends
Tuesday 23rd– Hawks @ Blues- Central Division foes have new chip on their shoulder
Tuesday 30th– Hawks vs. Coyotes- 1st looks since playoffs. Hopefully still Raffi-free
Friday 2nd– Hawks vs. Predators- Weber/Suter-less? Another division battle
Saturday 3rd– Hawks @ Maple Leafs- Always good to visit a Canadian Original Six
Monday 5th– Hawks vs. Penguins- Sid the Kid Circus comes to town for a rare visit
Sunday 11th Hawks vs. Oilers- Last home game before west coast trek
Wednesday 14th– Hawks @ Oilers- Really? 1st game of west coast trek
Thursday 15th– Hawks @ Canucks- Hello….friend-o. Bobby Lu??
Wednesday 21st– Hawks @ Kings- Remind them their time is done
Tuesday 4th– Hawks @ Canadiens- Always good to visit the Canadien Origial Six
Wednesday 2nd– Hawks vs. Rangers- Yet another Original Six fulfilled
Saturday 12th– Hawks @ Bruins- Now played all Original Six opponents
Wednesday 13th– Hawks @ Red Wings- 1st visit to The Joe
Sunday 24th– Hawks vs. Canucks- Make it loud, people. Bobby Lu??
Wednesday 27th– Hawks vs. Senators- I hold personal interest in this one
Friday 8th– Hawks @ Panthers- Vs. the SouthHawks
Tuesday 12th– Hawks vs. Canucks- Another chance to get loud. Bobby Lu??
Monday 1st-Saturday 13th– The whole month interests me, really. The Hawks play six games. Four of the six are against same teams (two against Predators; two against Blues). The others are the Wild and Blue Jackets. The games against the Predators and Blues are Home and Home variety. This is really where I think the scheduling team got lazy.
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