NHL Schedule: 25 Games You Can't Miss During the 2012-13 Season

Tom Urtz Jr.@@TomUrtzJrContributor IJune 25, 2012

NHL Schedule: 25 Games You Can't Miss During the 2012-13 Season

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    The NHL recently released the schedule for the 2012-13 season, and there are some games that fans are already very excited about. The Winter Classic is a given, but in addition to that, there are so many regional and divisional contests that will be must-see television.

    Here are 25 games that you need to mark down on your calendars for the 2012-13 season. If you can think of a marquee matchup that you think was missed, feel free to stand on your soapbox and leave a comment below.

Opening Night: Ottawa vs. Montreal

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    The Ottawa Senators and the Montreal Canadiens are two teams that always generate tons of excitement in Canada whenever they face each other. It is going to be opening night and with the game on Hockey Night in Canada, this October 11th night will be some must-see television. 

Montreal Canadiens vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

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    The Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens have a rich and storied history. The two teams are members of the Original Six and face off frequently throughout the year. There is tons of intensity that accompanies each matchup.

    This game will be the two teams' first meeting of the season, so expect both teams to come out flying with energy and intensity on October 13th.

Los Angeles Kings Banner Night vs. New York Rangers

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    Many fans wanted to see a matchup of Henrik Lundqvist vs. Jonathan Quick in the Stanley Cup Final. However, the hockey gods decided a different fate, so this banner night showdown will be very interesting to watch instead

    The Kings will revel in their accomplishment, and the Rangers will be left looking at what could have been when they watch the Stanley Cup banner rise on October 12th.

Boston Bruins vs. Philadelphia Flyers

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    The Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers are two Eastern Conference powerhouses. Both teams feature elite-level talent who tend to elevate their games on occasions like this.

    Whenever the two teams got together in the past, there was physicality, high-octane action and a competitive atmosphere. The two teams now have different rosters, so it should be an interesting game on October 11th.

Phoenix Coyotes at Chicago Blackhawks

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    The 'Yotes and 'Hawks have tons of animosity between them that will continue to fester over the summer. Raffi Torres and the "hit seen by everyone around the world"— excluding the on-ice officials— built up a significant amount of tension between the clubs and anticipate some physicality on October 30th.

    Depending on how Torres' suspension is served, there is a chance he may be back in the lineup for this game. If that is the case, the game will feature more action. If not, there will still be some retribution doled out.

Ovechkin vs. Crosby

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    The Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins rivalry isn't what is used to be, but nonetheless, when two top players face off against each other, you are in store for some great action.

    Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin are two stars who always bring the best out in each other, so this Halloween melee should be pretty interesting.

Jack Johnson Returns to Los Angeles

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    On November 15th, Jack Johnson, the Columbus Blue Jackets and potentially Rick Nash will travel to Tinsel Town for a hockey game. The Kings are the reigning Stanley Cup champions, and Jack Johnson will be reminded of the trade that turned his life upside down.

    He was traded to the worst team in the NHL and sat on his couch at home while his friends hoisted the Stanley Cup a few weeks ago. Needless to say, it should be an interesting and awkward return home for Johnson. 

Boston Bruins vs. Vancouver Canucks

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    Let this video do the talking. This is usually what happens when these two teams get together. Expect some form of physicality to be dished out come December 29th.

Philadelphia Flyers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

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    On October 18, 2012, the Flyers and Penguins will come together again and there will be anarchy, chaos and blood.

    The Battle of Pennsylvania saw the Flyers come out on top during the playoffs, so there is going to be a lot of unfinished business to settle come October 18th.

Vancouver Canucks vs. Calgary Flames

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    This is another opening night contest that makes the list. This Canadian battle for supremacy will feature two teams that could look different by the start of the season. Cory Schneider will likely be the starter, Jarome Iginla may no longer be a Flame, and various other moves could go down.

    The bottom line is that each team will be looking to start of their season with a win. After a long summer, this game should be fun to watch.

Chicago Blackhawks vs. St. Louis Blues

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    This is another end-of-season matchup that could have potential playoff implications. The St. Louis Blues had a great season that ended earlier than they would have liked. Expect GM of the Year Doug Armstrong to bolster his team's roster over the summer.

    With that in mind, add the Chicago Blackhawks to the mix. The 'Hawks boast an impressive roster that will attempt to capture a top-three spot within the Western Conference.

    Both teams have the potential to go all the way to the finals, so this game will be interesting to watch considering the playoff implications it could have come April 13th.

New York Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers

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    April 13, 2013, is the last day of the season. There are tons of divisional games that will play out on the final day, and they could have an impact on the final standings. Last year, the Rangers dominated the Flyers during the regular season.

    The same cannot be guaranteed for the upcoming season, so there is a good chance that this game will mean something, Whenever the Broad Street Bullies and Broadway Blueshirts come together, you are definitely in for a treat.

New Jersey Devils vs. Los Angeles Kings

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    (Read the following in your head using your favorite movie trailer voiceover voice.)

    On February 9, 2013, there will be revenge. On February 9, 2013, there will be a hockey game. The tension will be tense, and the stakes will be even higher.

    Coming to a television near you on February 9th.

    Now that that is out of the way, the ninth of February will be an interesting game. The Devils and Kings will be looking to face each other in a Stanley Cup rematch with tons of emotions still lingering. The interesting question that remains is this:

    What uniform will Zach Parise be wearing?

All-Star Weekend

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    The NHL's All-Star weekend is always exciting and must-see television. The Skills Competition portion always is exciting for the fans, and the actual game is great for fantasy matchups.

    The All-Star weekend in Columbus could be awkward considering the fact that the Jackets may not dress an All-Star.

    If Rick Nash is finally traded, it could be a bit more awkward when he returns in another team's sweater.

2013 Winter Classic

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    The Winter Classic and HBO's 24/7 documentary leading up to the outdoor event is the best part about the NHL season outside of the playoffs. It is a time where history, tradition and innocence of the past is rolled all into one.

    Learning how to skate is something that most kids cherish growing up, and the Winter Classic is something that unites players, coaches and the fans.

    This year's classic will feature an Original Six matchup with the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs. The two teams have a rich history, so the overall experience is something that is going to be must-see television.

Hockey Day in America

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    Hockey Day in America for the 2012-13 season will be held on February 17, 2013. It is a great day for hockey growth in the United States. Many local rinks usually run promotions that sync up with the NHL's celebration of hockey.

    Here is the list of games that will be played on Hockey Day in America.

    SUN FEB 17, 2013
    SUN FEB 17, 2013
    6:00 PM ET
    SUN FEB 17, 2013
    7:30 PM ET
    SUN FEB 17, 2013
    7:30 PM ET
    SUN FEB 17, 2013
    7:30 PM ET
    SUN FEB 17, 2013
    9:00 PM ET 

Hockey Day in Canada

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    Hockey Day In Canada is another established event for the NHL. It is an event that will feature Canadian teams in action. Here is a list of games featuring Canadian teams squaring off against each other, courtesy of NHL.com.


    SAT FEB 9, 2013 TORONTO vs. MONTRÉAL 7:00 PM ET

    SAT FEB 9, 2013 CALGARY vs. OTTAWA 7:00 PM ET

    SAT FEB 9, 2013 VANCOUVER vs. WINNIPEG 10:00 PM ET

New York Rangers vs. New Jersey Devils

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    On October 17, 2012, the Rangers and Devils will meet for the first time since Adam Henrique ended the Blueshirts' season. It is a game that will be full of emotion, energy and retribution. The Devils will likely hoist their Eastern Conference banner that night, and it will really get both teams fired up.

    The above video is what usually happens during regular-season action between the Devils and Rangers, so don't be surprised if it happens again in October.

The Night After Christmas

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    The NHL takes off Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but the action resumes on the day after Christmas. The schedule features a few matchups with tons of rivalries. There are a few Pacific Division rivalries, some Canadian action and a Central Division matchup.

    WED DEC 26, 2012
    8:30 PM ET
    WED DEC 26, 2012
    9:30 PM ET
    WED DEC 26, 2012
    10:00 PM ET
    WED DEC 26, 2012
    10:00 PM ET
    WED DEC 26, 2012
    10:00 PM ET

    These games should provide hours of entertainment for the evening after Christmas.

Nashville Predators vs. Phoenix Coyotes

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    The Nashville Predators were eliminated by the Phoenix Coyotes during the 2011-12 Stanley Cup playoffs. On October 25th, the two teams will engage in a playoff rematch. It should be an interesting matchup for the two teams, considering the intensity and action their semifinals series generated.

    With Pekka Rinne and Mike Smith in goal, it should be a low-scoring affair with tons of great action along the way.

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Detroit Red Wings

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    The Blackhawks and Red Wings will square off in the early part of the 2012-13 season. This October 20th matchup will be the first time these two teams will square off for the season.

    Given the history between both teams, this early-season matchup is a must-see game.

New York Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers

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    On November 4, 2012, the Flyers and Rangers will face off for the first time during the regular season. The Rangers will enter this game having won all the two teams' meetings during the 2011-12 season.

    The Rangers will look to extend their streak, and the Flyers will look to finally get the monkey off their backs.

New Jersey Devils vs. Philadelphia Flyers

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    On November 1, 2012, the New Jersey Devils will square off with the Philadelphia Flyers for the first time since eliminating them in the Eastern semifinals. The teams rekindled a past rivalry, and this initial meeting should be full of intensity and action.

    The Flyers are going to be looking for payback after being eliminated earlier than they wanted to, and the Devils will look to rub in their continued success over the Broad Street Bullies.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Los Angeles Kings

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    On February 10, 2013, the defending Stanley Cup Champions will face off with one of the favorites to win the cup next season. The Pittsburgh Penguins are a team stacked with talented players who will attempt to match up well against Jonathan Quick and the Kings.

    Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby will look to match up with Mike Richards and Jeff Carter in a former Atlantic Division rivalry. With all the star power involved, this game is a sure-fire scene-stealer.

    This game could be a solid preview for a potential cup final for the 2012-13 season.

Jordan Staal Returns to Pittsburgh

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    On November 23, 2012, Jordan Staal and the Carolina Hurricanes will head to Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins. It will be J. Staal's first time returning to his former home, and it will be an interesting contest. 

    The Staal brothers will look to shut down Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and the rest of the Pens, so this game is a must-watch for diehard fans.