Toronto Maple Leafs Schedule Released for 2012-13 NHL Season
With the 2012 NHL draft just a day away and the free-agency window opening in just over a week, there are plenty of reasons for the Toronto Maple Leafs and their fans to look ahead to the 2012-13 season and beyond, as opposed to the crushing late-season collapse of 2011-12.
With the schedule now released for the upcoming NHL season, Leafs fans have yet another reason to look to the future and distance themselves from the tough memory of the 2011-12 season.
While there are no guarantees as to whether the Leafs will be playing postseason hockey, and the starting lineup for this season is far from certain, a new season brings a renewed sense of hope for a beleaguered Leafs fanbase, and that's all that matters.
The Leafs will open up their seven-game preseason on October 13 at home against their longtime rivals, the Montreal Canadiens.
The final preseason tune-up will also take place at the Air Canada Center, against the Anaheim Ducks. (Could this potentially be a matchup where Joffrey Lupul, Jake Gardiner, Justin Schultz and Bobby Ryan face their old club?)
Their opening-night contest will take place against division rivals and fellow Original Six club the Boston Bruins on November 1, and the Leafs will play six of their first eight games on home ice.
The longest stretch that they'll spend away from home will span a little over two weeks from January 15, 2013 until January 29, 2013, a span of six games against Tampa Bay, Florida, Carolina, Boston, Philadelphia and Buffalo.
What individual game are you looking forward to most?
In what could be a crucial month for the Buds, Toronto will play eight of 10 games on home ice over most of the month of March.
If Toronto can keep itself in contention until March 9, 2013, the team will have a chance to really solidify its playoff hope for 2013 before it has to hit the road for four consecutive matchups.
Finally, the matchup everyone has been talking about, the Winter Classic, will take place on New Year's Day in Ann Arbor at 1 p.m. EST.
The full schedule can be found here.
Here's to another year of hope for Leafs Nation.
What date are you looking forward to most? Sound off in the comment section below.
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