Among a slew of announcements July 19, the Chicago Blackhawks and National Hockey League released their 2013-14 schedule. The Chicago Blackhawks schedule includes 17 nationally televised games, a game at Soldier Field, and at least one game against every team in the league. Here are a handful of games and stretches you cannot miss.
– Opening night is October 2, against Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals. The nationally televised game will include the raising of the 2013 Stanley Cup championship banner. Good luck getting tickets.
– Another announcement Friday was the agreement to allow NHL players to play in the 2014 Winter Olympics. This decision will see Hawk players in Russia, and keep Chicago away from the Madhouse for the entire month of February.
– February also has one of two seven game road trips. The Olympics split this trip into two segments before and after the games. The other is the infamous ‘Circus Trip’ from November 19-29.
– The first game after Sochi is March 1 against Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins. The game will be held outdoors at Solider Field. The NHL is pushing to ruin outdoor games in 2013-14, and a game in unpredictable Chicago in March could be really good or really bad. If Crosby plays, it will be his first game against Chicago in the Windy City.
– Detroit is in the East now, so cherish the two games on January 22 and March 16.
– A Stanley Cup Final repeat takes place at the United Center Jan. 19. Again, good luck getting a seat. Chicago returns to bug-infested TD Garden March 27.
– Chicago will play division foes Nashville, St. Louis, Minnesota, and Colorado five times, and Winnipeg four times in the newly structured Central Division.
– Chicago’s last two games of the season are at Washington and at Nashville. This back-to-back is one of 18 during 2013-14.
– My personal choice for the must-see game next season is Chicago’s home finale against ‘Original 6’ Montreal Canadiens. The April 9 game should be sold out, but worth every penny. If you get a chance to see any ‘Original 6’ squad, do so. Those matchups are hockey and its history at its finest.
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