Highlights from Bruins' 2019-20 regular-season schedule
The Bruins' regular-season schedule is out and it begins with a road swing through Dallas, Arizona, Vegas and Colorado kicking off with the Oct. 3 home opener for the Dallas Stars. A slew of key dates are listed including a grueling stretch in February, and some great divisional match-ups that should rekindle rivalries. One stretch not included: The NHL All-Star Weekend in St. Louis, Missouri runs from January 23-25 with Boston’s bye week following All-Star weekend from January 27-30, giving most Bruins a solid week off during the season.
Here are the highlights from the B’s regular season schedule:
DEVIL OF A HOME OPENER
Normally an Oct. 12 Bruins home opener against the New Jersey Devils wouldn’t be a cause for celebration, but this season it should be pretty darn fun. The Bruins will get their first look at No. 1 overall pick Jack Hughes after getting drafted by the Devils last weekend.
But the real focus will be the first local look at P.K. Subban in a Devils uniform after getting dealt to New Jersey last weekend. P.K. always seems to have something special in store for the Bruins when he plays them, so it will be good to have him back in the Eastern Conference and visiting a little more often again.
TURNING OVER A NEW LEAF?
The Bruins will face their first-round playoff opponents in the first month of the season, and it will be a home-and-home divisional grudge match against the Toronto Maple Leafs starting with a Saturday night game in Toronto on Oct. 19. Will Nazem Kadri still be there to do something to submarine the Leafs’ chances of success? The follow-up game will be on Oct. 22 on a Tuesday night at TD Garden, and the closeness of the games should be more than enough to keep the strong Bruins/Maple Leafs rivalry going.
WE MEET AGAIN
October is going to be an eventful month for the Bruins as they’ll also show down with their Stanley Cup Final opponent on a Saturday night game at TD Garden on Oct. 26. Given the hard-hitting, physical way that the Blues punished the Bruins in the seven-game Cup Final series, this should be a barn-burner where some scores get settled with a lot less on the line in an October, non-conference regular-season game. Blues players like Sammy Blais and David Perron might want to have their heads on a swivel when they take the ice against the Black and Gold. The April 2 game in St. Louis doesn’t promise to have the same kind of sizzle in the second-to-last game of the regular season.
The Bruins will get back their Black Friday matinee when they host the New York Rangers on Nov. 28 at 1 pm at TD Garden. The Black and Gold don’t get to host this game every year as they once did in years past, but it feels like the league has settled into a groove where the B’s are involved once every couple of years. It’s arguably the best game of the season for a family to take in some Bruins action and the new-look rebuilding Rangers will make an interesting opponent. Perhaps a Chris Kreider trade between the B’s and Blueshirts could spice it up even further.
The month of February looks like a killer for the Bruins. They will play 14 games in 29 days, play in parts of five back-to-backs over the course of the month and go through a stretch where they play four games in six days including road games in Chicago and Detroit. Stuffed toward the end of the month is the West Coast road swing through Western Canada with games against Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver, which they will play in a span of four days before returning back to Boston. That will be truly be the dog days of the season for the Black and Gold.
The Bruins will get to see where they stack up against the Tampa Bay Lightning with a pair of meetings against the Bolts in the first week of March. First there is a road swing through Florida that opens up the month with a March 3 date against Tampa Bay, and then the B’s will host the Lightning on a Saturday, March 7 date at TD Garden. Adding to the intrigue is that both games should be right around the NHL trade deadline for the regular season, which should give an accurate indication of how these two rivals will stack up headed into the postseason. The B’s will first see Tampa in the third home game of the season on Oct. 17.
The Canadiens stink at this point, but you still need to include the first meeting of the season between the ancient rivals in Boston and Montreal. It will be an unceremonious Tuesday night in November with the B’s traveling up to the Bell Centre for a Nov. 5 game against Les Habitants. Perhaps Montreal will be even better this coming season and more prepared to turn Bruins/Habs into a real rivalry again, which would be great for everybody in the NHL.