NHL Lockout 2012: Canceled November Matchups That Hockey Fans Will Miss Most

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NHL Lockout 2012: Canceled November Matchups That Hockey Fans Will Miss Most
Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

Sorry, NHL fans. But the next hockey-less month is going to be a long one. Good thing there are only 30 days in November. 

On Friday, the NHL announced that it would cancel the 2012-13 regular season schedule through the month of November, guaranteeing that we'll miss a month of awesome early-season matchups.

With no end to the lockout currently in sight, let's take a look at what the ongoing labor dispute has cost hockey fans already this fall.

 

 

November 1: New Jersey Devils vs. Philadelphia Flyers

New Jersey is coming off an Eastern Conference championship and a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals last June, while the last time NHL fans saw Philadelphia, it was bowing out of the postseason at the hands of the Devils.

The Flyers' explosive offense, led by stud winger Claude Giroux, scored a combined 30 goals in six games against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. Talk about thrilling hockey. Throw in Ilya Kovalchuk and company and you've got yourself a recipe for a can't-miss regular-season showdown.

These two teams battled it out over the course of five games in the Eastern Conference semifinals, but sadly we'll never know which side would have won the November 1 grudge match. 

 

 

November 16: New York Rangers vs. Washington Capitals

The New York Rangers and Washington Capitals spoiled fans last May with a brilliant, hard-hitting seven-game series that saw the two teams alternate wins from Game 1 through Game 7. Only one game was decided by more than one goal, and two of the seven games required overtime.

This Eastern Conference semifinals series turned casual NHL fans into die-hards, and it's nothing short of a travesty that fans won't get to tune in to watch the rivalry be renewed this November.

The Friday night before Thanksgiving was supposed to supply us with a must-see playoff rematch, but, instead, hockey fans will have to stream KHL action in order to catch a glimpse of Caps star Alexander Ovechkin. 

What's wrong with the world?

 

 

November 27: Los Angeles Kings vs. Chicago Blackhawks

The final Tuesday in the month of November was originally going to be highlighted by a matchup between the last two Stanley Cup champions from the Western Conference. 

The reigning champion Los Angeles Kings steamrolled their way through the playoffs last spring, hitting their stride at the ideal time. Two years earlier, NHL fans will remember, the Chicago Blackhawks, led by Patrick Kane dominated the postseason field and cruised to a league title of their own.

L.A. and Chicago were also scheduled to meet on November 21 as well, which means the lockout has cost us two matchups between these. And that's unfortunate considering the last meeting between the Kings and Hawks was settled in a shootout in heart-pounding fashion.

 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.

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