July 19, 2013

Standout games on tap in 2013-14 for the Bruins

By Jesse Connolly


Tyler Seguin's first game back in Boston as a member of the Stars is Nov. 5. (Getty Images)
 

Back in June, Bruins fans were clamoring for the Stanley Cup, the most cherished trophy in all of sports. One month later, stuck in the doldrums of hockey's offseason, they'd become blood-thirsty for the 2013-14 NHL schedule.

The league finally unveiled its full slate on Friday afternoon.

Here's what you need to know about realignment: 

* The Black and Gold will be part of the Atlantic Division, where they'll be joined by the Sabres,  Red Wings, Panthers, Canadiens, Senators, Lightning and Maple Leafs.

* The other divisions will be the Pacific, Central and Metropolitan. Strangely enough, no former member of the old Atlantic Division are part of the new one, with all of them shifting to the Metropolitan Division. 

The top three teams in each division will make up the first 12 teams in the playoffs. The remaining four spots will be filled by the next two highest-placed finishers in each conference -- regardless of division -- based on regular-season points. It will be possible for one division to send five teams to the postseason while the other sends three.

And here are a few standout games to look forward to for the Bruins: 

OLD FRIENDS

- Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley will come to town on Nov. 5. The Stars host the B's on Jan. 16, marking Loui Eriksson's return to Dallas.

- Andrew Ference will come to Boston Feb. 1. The Oilers will also host the Bruins on Dec. 12.

- The Blue Jackets will face Boston on Oct. 12 and Nov. 30, but there's a good chance Nathan Horton -- who underwent shoulder surgery that could keep him out until January -- may not play in either tilt.

- Anton Khudobin will return to the Garden on Nov. 23. The Hurricanes host the Bruins on Nov. 18. They'll meet again on Causeway St. on Mar. 15.

PLAYOFF REMATCHES

Toronto: The B's will first see the Leafs again on Nov. 9 in Boston in their first of four showdowns on the year.

N.Y. Rangers: The Blueshirts and new head coach Alain Vigneault come to town Nov. 19. The two Original Six squads will square off three times.

Pittsburgh: Sidney Crosby and the Penguins will get their first shot at revenge on my birthday in Pittsburgh. Oh, you probably don't know when my birthday is: Oct. 30. Write that down. The Pens come to Boston on Nov. 25 and Dec. 7.

Chicago: The two Cup finalists will square off on Jan. 19 in Chicago. The Blackhawks come to TD Garden Mar. 27.

LONG TIME NO SEE

It's been a while since Boston has clashed with a few of the "old" Western Conference clubs:

- The Stars' Nov. 5 visit will be their first trip to the Hub of Hockey since Feb. 3, 2011.

- Minnesota will be in town Mar. 17, 2014 for their first visit in over three years (Jan. 6, 2011).

- The Ducks haven't been to TD Garden since way back on Dec. 20, 2010. They'll return this Halloween. That's the day after my birthday, in case you forgot already or don't know when Halloween is.

MISCELLANEOUS NOTES

- The B's season opener will be in Boston for the third year in a row. They'll begin the year against the Lightning on Oct. 3 at TD Garden.

- The B's won't see the Habs until Dec. 5. Montreal's first visit to Boston comes on Jan. 30. 

Boston's longest homestand of the 2013-14 season is five games, Nov. 5-14.

- The Rangers will be in town on Nov. 29 for the annual post-Thanksgiving matinee at 1 o'clock.

- The Black and Gold have off Feb. 8-26 thanks to the Olympic break.

- Because of that hiatus, March is jam-packed. The B's play 17 (!) games that month.

- The Bruins close out the year with seven of their final nine games on the road. The season ends Apr. 13 with a trip down to New Jersey.

Twitter: @JesseNEHJ
Email: jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com