The day we’ve been waiting for since June 15th has finally arrived: Opening Day of the 2015-’16 season. Regardless of whether your team wins their first game by 10 goals or loses by 10 goals, your life is all the better this week because skates are on the ice playing for two points that count ‘for realz’ in the standings (pardon my feeble attempts to be cool… I’ll stop now while I still have a little bit of pride left).
This year’s iteration of Opening Day includes four matchups, one for each North American time zone and evenly split between the two nations. The season officially gets started at 7 p.m. Eastern when the Montréal Canadiens visit the new-and-seemingly-improved Toronto Maple Leafs (TVAS, SN). An hour later, the puck drops in the United Center after a banner-raising ceremony as the Chicago Blackhawks host the New York Rangers (NBCSN). After the conclusion of the Habs–Leafs game at 10 p.m. Eastern, SN viewers will be whisked off to Alberta to witness the first rematch of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs waged between the Vancouver Canucks and the Calgary Flames (the game will also be available for viewing on TVAS2 in Canada). Half an hour later, the fourth and final game of the night begins in the Staples Center when the San Jose Sharks visit the Los Angeles Kings (NBCSN).
But Connor, whatever shall the Game of the Day be? (That’s right, you just used the word ‘shall.’ How astute of you).
I think I’m going to go with the banner raising ceremony and what should be the highly competitive game between the Blueshirts and the Hawks. As much as it’s been documented that I do not like Chicago, there’s only one defending Stanley Cup champion, and only one banner raising ceremony for them.
Not only is this a special moment for the team and league as a whole, the game should be fairly competitive, and it will be interesting to see Blackhawks‘ 2015-’16 form after their well-documented salary cap management during the offseason. The other side of the ice is no slouch either, and intends to return to their 2014 Stanley Cup Finalist form with King Henrik in goal.
An added perk of this game is, with it hopefully being pretty competitive, we may get the chance to see some 3-on-3 overtime hockey in a real-game setting. If it is anything like it was in the preseason, you definitely won’t want to blink.
Best of luck to you and your team this season!