If you would be so brave as to follow me into Narnia… or Never Never Land… or whichever Fantasyland of your liking we can all just go pretending that all is well in Hockeyland. We won’t worry about those meetings in Toronto where Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr take their respective warriors into the battle of revenue sharing, maximum contract lengths, etc.
No, no let’s just carry on like all is well. It’s fine. It’s fine. So I’ve dusted off my Hawks jerseys and started putting my opening day roster together on Capgeek.com as I prepare for the players to hit the ice.
Let’s also continue to pretend that Mr. Bowman is done for the off-season tweaking (save us now if he is) and fast forward to Game #1 of the regular season.
In the following I will provide a quick hit for each game of the regular season. This will be part 1 of 4 analyzing the first 20 games. Let’s do it:
Sat Oct 13 – Blue Jackets @ Blackhawks – The Rick Nash-less Blue Jackets visit the Madhouse on Madison for game #1. The Jackets made some great additions and will have a new dynamic with Foligno, Dubinsky, Anisimov, etc. and will be looking to prove their worth without their former franchise player. Like any breakup however, it’s going to be a confusing, sad and frustrating time for a while until you realize that it wasn’t you, it really was him and move on to the next one.
Tue Oct 16 – Blackhawks @ Jets – Did we hop into the time machine in my basement and select 2006 on the dial? The former line mates of Antropov and Ponikarovsky will look to regain their form from the ’06 Leafs team. And hold on, don’t forget about Kyle Wellwood who was on the blue and white at that time as well… now if anyone has seen Bates Battaglia we’re in business.
The Jets might be hoping for a lockout to give them extra playing time with contract negotiations with their young budding star, Evander Kane. It doesn’t look like the two sides are close and Kane might just be hoping for Chevy to deal him.
Thu Oct 18 – Avalanche @ Blackhawks –The Hawks head back to the UC to take on a team that gave them fits last year, the Avs. Much of the same frustrating players are coming back with newcomer P.A. Parenteau looking to build off the chemistry with John Tavaras… errr… I mean form a new bond with Paul Statsny.
Sat Oct 20 – Red Wings @ Blackhawks – RED WINGS SUCK.
Tue Oct 23 – Blackhawks @ Blues – The Hawks hit the road to visit their foes in St. Louis. Bold prediction: Alex Pietrangelo finishes top 3 in Norris Trophy voting in 2012-13. Not-so-bold prediction: Ryan Reaves fights Brandon Bollig in every game this season.
Sat Oct 27 – Sharks @ Blackhawks – Adam Burish hits the glistening Chicago ice for the first time in teal. The night before, Adam offers to pay for dinner and feeds some of the Hawks shots all night that makes for an easy night for Niemi.
Tue Oct 30 – Coyotes @ Blackhawks – Too bad Gary Bettman didn’t reduce Raffi Torres’ suspension by 1 more game. Having served 13 playoff titls of his 21 game ban, this game marks one short of Torres return. Regardless, the Hawks will be looking at getting some revenge on Mike Smith and Shane Doan (maybe) in front of their fans.
Fri Nov 2 – Predators @ Blackhawks –November kicks off against the Preds and by then have hopefully found someone to replace Ryan Suter on Weber’s right side. Willing partners must be competent in their own end, have a famous uncle who played in the NHL and be ready to be tagged into the ring after Shea breaks faces against the turnbuckle.
Sat Nov 3 – Blackhawks @ Maple Leafs – FINALLY… a game that I can view in person. I can wander down to the ACC on this Hockey Night in Canada edition. It’s a rare trip but always marked in this blogger’s calendar. My most memorable game/night would be a 5-4 comeback by the Hawks in OT (Mimico native David Bolland with the winner) on a snowy Saturday in November in 2008. After the game my friends and I made our way to a local establishment and ran into most of the Blackhawks. I had some funny conversations with Colin Fraser, Duncan Keith and Adam Burish gave me 4 beers throughout the night – what a guy!
Mon Nov 5 – Penguins @ Blackhawks – With multiple family and friends in attendance Brandon Saad continues his Calder Trophy type season as he plays top 6 minutes. Note this is sarcasm.
Wed Nov 7 – Blackhawks @ Avalanche – Those pesky Avalanche are back. As he gains more confidence in his sophomore year, Gabriel Landeskog should lead the league in shots with about 200 by now.
Sat Nov 10 – Blackhawks @ Stars – With a new average age of 56 years old the Hawks should have their way with the Stars in 2012-13. WRONG. Jagr and Whitney still have a lot left in the tank and with Lehtonen in net and the addition of underrated centre Derek Roy they should not be taken lightly.
Sun Nov 11 – Oilers @ Blackhawks – Do the Hawks have to play the Oliers or can they just rock, paper, scissors before the game to avoid some embarrassment? Maybe Patrick Kane can take out his old London Knights line mate Sam Ganger for some deep dish pizza to weigh him down a little to stop another 8 point night.
Wed Nov 14 – Blackhawks @ Oilers – If the Hawks escape unscathed then they’re rewarded with another round of Oliers and their young studded roster. This is game #1 of the always difficult Circus Road trip out west.
Thu Nov 15 – Blackhawks @ Canucks – Back-to-back games to get this road trip over with? Why not! Against the Canucks? Bring it on. I love this rivalry, not only because when the Hawks and Canucks engage in battle, Hawks fans get riled up but also hockey fans all over tune in as well.
Sat Nov 17 – Blackhawks@ Flames – Jay Feaster, you lost me at Dennis Wideman.
Tue Nov 20 – Blackhawks @ Sharks – Departing from Canada, the Hawks hop the border to California. Martin Havlat is hopefully only had one stint on the IR at this point.
Wed Nov 21 – Blackhawks @ Kings – Well, well, well… the Stanley Cup Champions allow the Hawks to enter their Kingdom, how gracious of them. LA is icing a very similar team as last year’s squad but so are the Blackhawks… don’t fix what isn’t broken right? Oh wait, Stan that doesn’t apply to you.
Fri Nov 23 – Blackhawks @ Ducks – Should he stay or should he go? Bobby Ryan’s name has been highlighted in the media trade rumour columns for quite some time now. I’m sure Bob Murray is looking at all options with the young superstar but if Ryan is toyed with any longer he might become irate with his GM… maybe mad enough to toss a chair or two in frustration.
Tue Nov 27 – Kings @ Blackhawks – Home sweet home, the Hawks return after 6 games in 10 days. A lot will be on the line for this game as I’ll either be up a case a beer or looking to even the score with a buddy who’s a LA Kings fan. Like I said A LOT on the line!
In these first 20 games there will be an awkward stage for players, finding their game shape legs, getting reacquainted with teammates and answer questions from an embarrassing off-season.
The next blog will cover games 21-40 in the 2nd edition of witty scheduling remarks. Lay off me, this is all I’ve got to write about these days.
Non-Hawk Hockey Topics on the Brain: Ok, fine. We’ll step away from our View-Master (just so the reference isn’t lost – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/View-Master ) and step back into reality. The on-going labour talks do not seem to be going well so don’t be planning your schedule around the NHL season quite yet.
The only bonus with the meetings being held in Toronto is the random hockey sightings. So far we have Wayne Simmonds and Chris Stewart enjoying brunch at Cora’s and Tyler Seguin reaffirming our belief that he enjoys Quizno’s subs. It’s exciting stuff… real exciting.
Non-Hockey Topics on the Brain: There are 2 topics worth discussing in this segment: the 2012 Olympics and Lance Armstrong’s recent deceit to his fans.
With the Olympics here and gone, I’m curious to see hear everyone’s feedback. Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte fighting for tops in the pool, NBC upset with Twitter and props to USA for their 104 medals (only 45 more Gold’s than Canada!).
Lance, I’m not mad… I’m more disappointed. What seemed to be a remarkable journey through life came to an abrupt crash this past week. I feel cheated for wearing my yellow LIVESTRONG bracelet. Shame on you Lance, I see now why Sheryl left.
See you on the message board and/or on twitter (@tycam).
Ty Cam out!
Filed Under: Chicago Blackhawks
About the Author: I am a rare Chicago Blackhawks fan from Canada, one might describe me as a hockey connoisseur and a solid checking line centre to your local rec hockey team. I once lived in a town of 500 people and now work in the hockey mecca that is Toronto. I work for the Score Television Network so I couldn't get away from sports if I tried. These opinions are one of my own and not of Score Media Inc. - don't get it twisted.