The First NHL Game in nearly 5 Months is an Exhibition for the Battle of PA Followed By The Battle Of Alberta
Feature Image Credit: ESPN
By Austin Shaw
Finally, after nearly five long months the NHL returns today at 4 p.m. Oh and the first game is an exhibition between the Penguins and the Flyers. Not a big deal. I mean, literally, the first NHL game in over four months is between two teams who hate each other. I will say this though, these Flyers are not the 2012 Flyers. These Flyers are a much more skilled group of guys rather than a bunch of goons.
Exhibition games have never mattered. I couldn’t even tell you if Crosby has played in one. But this exhibition does kind of matter. Think about it this way, every team gets one game to warm up. Not like the pre-season ten games. They get one and then, their next game is a Stanley Cup Playoff game. This to me, is a big deal. The Pens have a great opportunity to make a statement in this game because they very well could be playing the Flyers after they stomp the Habs.
I don’t like hyping up a Philly team. Honestly, I hate the Flyers. 1975 baby. Anyways, they do have a solid lineup. Kevin Hayes was a great sign for them. Dude is a beauty. I honestly wish he was somewhere else because it’s hard to hate that guy. And you have a young Oskar Lindblom, winning a battle against cancer. He could possibly return during the playoffs at some point.
You have to feel for the kid.
Now this is just an exhibition but, guys are going to be buzzin out there. This is their life, this sport. First game in over four months and they’re going to be going balls to the walls. At least to start. I can hear Sully yelling “slow it down” after the first shift.
What we need to do is hope and pray that no one gets hurt during this game. So maybe lighten up the load on the top 6 guys in the third. Let them get their lungs under them. I mean, the Pens have been playing full scrimmages in Cranberry so I think they’ll be fine condition wise. Just be ready for some short shifts all playoffs.
This is going to be some fun hockey. Right after that game the NHL is giving us back to back Canada on Canada action. First we get The Leafs vs The Canadians. I’m sure the Pens will be watching closely. Then after we get the battle of Alberta. The Flames vs The Oilers. These guys absolutely hate each other. This very well could be the new Pens vs Flyers. I’d put odds of there being a fight in this, exhibition at -250. It’s crazy. If you’ve watched any of the matchups between them this season you’d know what I am talking about. If not, check out this video below. Seriously, take the time to watch it. It is wild.
I can’t say it enough, hockey is back!
Puck drop times:
Pens vs Flyers 4 p.m.
Leafs vs Habs 8 p.m.
Oilers vs Flames 10:30 p.m.