The Chicago Blackhawks have a tough season ahead of them facing the likes of the Vancouver Canucks and the defending Stanley Cup Champions, the Boston Bruins.
The Chicago Blackhawks had a "Cinderella story" end early last year in the first round of the playoffs against the Vancouver Canucks.The Blackhawks tried to comeback from a 3-0 deficit and they started by winning three straight games, but Game 7 in Vancouver proved to be too much for the Hawks.
The Blackhawks do not have an easy season ahead of them. Just by looking at their schedule, you can tell that there is no easy task ahead of them.
Single game tickets for the Chicago Blackhawks went on sale at 10 a.m. today. This makes it the perfect time to look at the top ten must see Chicago Blackhawks games for this season. You can assure that a lot of games are going to be sold out this year, and I bet the home games on this top ten list are only a few.
Let us now take a look at the top 10 must see games for the Chicago Blackhawks this season.
The Chicago Blackhawks will take on the Dallas Stars in their season opener.
Starting off the countdown at number ten is the Chicago Blackhawks season opener in Dallas, Texas when they take on the Stars on Friday, October 7th.
Both the Stars and the Blackhawks hope to start their seasons off strong after coming up just short last season.
The Dallas Stars were in the battle for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference last season. The Stars ended the season with 95 points, while the Hawks, who got the final Western Conference playoff spot, ended the season with 97. Dallas hopes to start the season out on the right foot, and who better for the Stars to do that with than the team that just barely got the final playoff spot from Dallas, the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Blackhawks, on the other hand, have a little bit more of a sour taste in their mouths after losing in seven games in the first round of the playoffs. Chicago is hoping to open the season on the right foot and get one step closer to reclaiming the Stanley Cup that they one in the 2009-2010 season.
The season opener is always a game that all teams want to see because they want to see how well the team will play together this season. Also, fans want to see how new acquisitions fit in with the team and if they can live up to the reasons why the Hawks signed them.
Now let us move on to number nine in the countdown.
Kari Lehtonen took over the starting role on the Dallas Stars and has been spectacular since then.
Coming in at number nine is the home opener for the Chicago Blackhawks.
One day after the season opener, the Blackhawks will travel back home to face the team they faced the night before, the Dallas Stars. Not much to say about this game except, it is the first game of the season at "The Madhouse on Madison."
It is very important for the Blackhawks to win their first home game to show dominance at home early on. The Hawks can do it with the help of the very hostile Chicago crowd. The crowd is what helps the Hawks win so many home games because they are not afraid to voice their opinions, no matter if it is for or against the Hawks.
Chicago fans will be eager to see this game either live or on TV. You can bet that this game will be sold out so if you do not get a ticket as soon as they go on sale, either settle for watching it at home or pay a "pretty penny" for a ticket.
Let us move on to number eight in our countdown.
The Boston Bruins defeated the Vancouver Canucks to become the Stanley Cup Champions last season.
Next we have number eight, which is when the Chicago Blackhawks host the defending Stanley Cup Champs at home on Saturday, October 15th.
The Bruins are hoping to repeat as Stanley Cup Champions, and defeating the Hawks early on in the season could be a small step towards that goal.
This game could test the Hawks early in the season. Who wouldn't want the chance to make a statement early in the season against the defending Stanley Cup Champions? Well, the Chicago Blackhawks have that chance in just their fourth game of the season.
The Hawks have a huge chance to make a statement in this because the game is at the United Center where the crowd plays a huge rule in the games. Chicago is going to need their hometown crowd in this one because the Boston Bruins are not going to be an easy team to defeat. A victory for the Hawks could help Chicago's confidence of once again being able to hoist Lord Stanley's Cup.
We now will move on to number seven.
The Tampa Bay Lightning came just short of advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals last season and with a great team coming back, they hope they can win the Stanley Cup this season.
The Tampa Bay Lightning lost in seven games to the Boston Bruins in the Western Conference Finals last season. Although, this is not going to be the first game for the Lightning, Tampa will still be looking to make their steps towards making it to the Stanley Cup Finals, and winning the Stanley Cup itself. The Lightning are always a tough team to beat and much like last year, will have a lot of the same talent. Tampa Bay will be looking to defeat the Hawks, and show all the other teams that they will be making a claim for the Stanley Cup.
The Chicago Blackhawks will have the deck stacked against them going into this game because they are going to be playing a tough team in the Lightning and on top of all that, the game is in Tampa Bay. The Hawks have been a fair team away from home the past few seasons, but with the bitter taste going to still be in the mouths of the Lightning players, the Hawks are going to have a lot thrown at them when they take on Tampa.
Let's see what game will come in at number six.
The Columbus Blue Jackets have a young team that is on the rise and could be a playoff contender this season.
Checking in at number six is the Chicago Blackahwks hosting their first division rival of the season, the Columbus Blue Jackets, on Saturday, October, 29th.
The Columbus Blue Jackets are a team on the rise. The Jackets have a good goaltender in Steve Mason. Although Mason has not had great seasons the last two years, he has the ability to be as good as the top goaltenders in the NHL. The Blue Jackets are hoping to have a season that can take them into the playoffs, and what better way than to make a statement against divisional rival, Chicago Blackhawks.
The Chicago Blackhawks go into this game as their first division game of the season and lucky for the Hawks, it is at the "U.C." Although you do not have to win your division to make the playoffs, beating a division rival is a huge step towards making the playoffs.
Columbus and Chicago always have good games and this game will be no different. If anything, the game will be better than expected because of what both teams are looking to achieve for the season.
Moving on to number five now.
The Vancouver Canucks have become a fierce rival of the Chicago Blackhawks over the past few seasons.
Number five is when the Chicago Blackhawks travel to Vancouver on Tuesday, January 31, to take on the Vancouver Canucks.
The Vancouver Canucks and the Chicago Blackhawks have had one of the best/most physical rivalries of today. Ever since the 2009 playoffs, the Hawks and Canucks have started a bitter rivalry. The way these two teams went at it in the 2009 playoffs, you would think that they were rivals for about 20 years.
This game could prove to be more meaningful than people expect even if it is only in January. Anytime Chicago and Vancouver take to the ice, you are guaranteed a very competitive and physical game because these two teams go to take each others' heads off every time they stop onto the ice. Watching the Hawks and Canucks face each other is probably one of the most entertaining hockey if not sporting games to watch.
This is one game that you can't miss because this game could mean a lot to either team and this could be a game that adds fuel to the fire of the rivalry of these two teams.
Let us now move on to number four.
The Detroit Red Wings and the Chicago Blackhawks have one of the oldest rivalries in sports.
Coming in at number four is when the Hawks and the Red Wings face each other for the first time this season on Friday, December 30, at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.
One of the oldest rivalries in sports is also the most exciting to watch. The Wings and the Hawks give each other everything they can handle every time they take to the ice.
The Red Wings are almost always in the playoffs it seems like, but the past few season have not been what they have hoped for. Detroit will certainly be hungry when they face off against the Blackhawks.
This game will feature a lot of excitement both physically and emotionally. This is certainly a much watch game and one that, if possible, you should go see at "The Madhouse on Madison."
Now, on to number three.
The San Jose Sharks are probably one of the most consistent and toughest teams in the Western Conference.
Next we have number three which is when the Chicago Blackhawks travel to San Jose, California to take on the Sharks on Friday, February 10.
This game could very well have playoff like atmosphere in it already. The Hawks and Sharks both have talented teams and the Sharks have proven they are ready to win a Stanley Cup and at this point in the season, it could be time for one if not both of these teams to make their claim for the playoffs. The Sharks and Hawks have both been seen in the playoffs on a regular basis over the past few seasons.
This game could be a preview of a playoff series if both these teams finish the way they are capable of. It will not be a "walk in the park" for Chicago and San Jose to make the playoffs because the Western Conference is becoming stronger every year, but these two teams have proven that they are part of the elite in the Western Conference and belong in the playoffs and you better bet that these two teams will show that in their final regular season match up.
Let's move to number 2 now.
The Vancouver Canucks hope this is the scene at the end of their season except with the addition of the Stanley Cup in the middle.
Checking in at number two is when the Chicago Blackhawks host the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday, November 6, and Wednesday, March 21.
The reason why both of these games come in at number two is because these games can both prove to be equally important thus making them both must see games in the number two slot.
The Hawks hosting the Canucks is something that Chicago fans have been wanting since the Canucks knocked Chicago out of the playoffs in seven games last season.
November 6, is when the Canucks first come to Chicago and this game is definitely a game that will be sold out almost instantly because every fan will want to be there to help the Hawks trample the Canucks and avenge the seven game loss.
March 21, will be a whole different story though because, much like the Sharks match-up, this game could and most likely will have playoff atmosphere all over it. Whether these two teams clinched a playoff spot by this time or one team hasn't, the Hawks and the Canucks will play like it is that pivotal game seven of last season's playoffs.
These two games will bring a lot of physicality and emotion to the table.
If these games are number two, then what in the world can be more must see than these two games?
The Detroit Red Wings hope to end the Chicago Blackhawks season on a bad note.
Rounding out the countdown in the number one spot is the final regular season game for the Chicago Blackhawks when they travel to Detroit to take on the Red Wings on Saturday, April 7.
The reason this game is number one is because the Chicago Blackhawks may very well need the final regular season game much like they did last season. This is going to be the game that makes or breaks everything for the Hawks. Even if Chicago is already in the playoffs, this game could help them to get a better seed in the playoffs so that they do not have to go through what did they did last year having to face the President's Trophy Winner in the Vancouver Canucks in the first round.
The Detroit Red Wings do not want to be the team to help the Chicago Blackhawks get a better position in the standings and Detroit will throw everything they have at the Hawks plus more just like these two teams do every time they face each other.
This is one game that no Hawks fan can afford to miss. This will be the game to decide some sort of fate for either Chicago or Detroit, and hopefully, for Chicago fans, the result comes out good.
That is all for the countdown.
Follow Marc Denson on Twitter @MarcDenson