The 2011-2012 NHL schedule offers a whole host of exciting matchups to look forward to right from the first night of action, and that's a very good thing, with the calendar's turn to August signaling the most painfully dreary stretch of the year for hockey fans.
In anticipation of the new year, I offer you a look ahead to the first weeks of October when the NHL drops the puck on a new season.
For many teams, this new season is a new shot at that elusive Stanley Cup. For the Boston Bruins, it signals the start of the defense of their title.
Still, other teams are looking to redeem themselves from poor years and missed playoff berths last season.
All of these storylines will swing into motion on the night of October 6, 2011 when the NHL will at long last spring into action again.
Here is a look at the highlights from the first week of scheduled action.
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