Boston Bruins: 5 Games in Growing Danger of Cancellation by the NHL Lockout

Al DanielCorrespondent IISeptember 28, 2012

Boston Bruins: 5 Games in Growing Danger of Cancellation by the NHL Lockout

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    As of Thursday, all originally scheduled preseason NHL games have been scrubbed out. For the Boston Bruins, this means striking off two exhibition engagements at TD Garden for Oct. 3 and 5.

    Even if the league can salvage a partial 2012-13 campaign, it will likely mean sacrificing most, if not all, nonconference games for the regular season. For the Bruins, that would mean deleting four Western Conference visitors from the October/November slate.

    In addition, a relatively minor but no less time-honored tradition could be obstructed for the third time in as many work stoppages if a CBA is not formulated before Thanksgiving. Just like the nonconference matchups, that special date and faceoff time are irreplaceable, whereas most Eastern Conference games can simply be rescheduled.

    If the lockout claims any more victims on the 2012-13 schedule, the five home games Bruins fans will miss out on are as follows in chronological order.

October 20 vs. Dallas

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    Although both Steve Ott and Sean Avery are gone, the Bruins’ third home tilt with the Stars in the past five seasons is bound to evoke energized memories and a generous quantity of hype.

    Recall that Boston has won those past two games by a cumulative score of 11-4, and the hosts will have as many as 15 holdovers in uniform from Feb. 3, 2011 and six from Nov. 1, 2008.

    One other player who was wearing the Spoked-B on both nights, but figures to be in enemy garb for the next Dallas game, is Michael Ryder. The Stars’ 2011 free agent signee is the only member of the Bruins’ latest championship team who has left the franchise, but has yet to return to the Garden.

October 25 vs. Anaheim

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    If this game can somehow be preserved, it will be Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau’s first appearance in Boston since Dec. 18, 2010. It will be the Anaheim franchise’s first visit since Dec. 20, 2010.

    That was all before Boudreau took part in a Winter Classic with the Washington Capitals, before the Bruins won the Cup and before Boudreau was fired by Washington only to land back on his skates in Anaheim.

    This is also, most likely, the last local fans will see of the 42-year-old Teemu Selanne.

November 6 vs. Minnesota

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    The new-look Wild, complete with Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, are supposed to be in New England to offer an Election Night diversion. But the politics of the NHL and NHLPA could spoil that party.

November 15 vs. Colorado

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    Boston’s first in-person glimpse at Gabriel Landeskog since he won the Calder Trophy will all but inevitably be pushed off for a year or longer if the original date of this matchup is not retained.

November 23 vs. NY Rangers (The Black Friday Matinee)

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    Sure, even if the first two or three months go by with no season opener, the Bruins can still tangle with the Rangers twice at each other’s Gardens. However, the season series opener can only be nationally televised on NBC if it can be conducted as the second installment of the Thanksgiving Showdown.

    Since the 1990-91 season, this been the Bruins’ answer to the Red Sox' 11:05 a.m. first pitch at Fenway Park on Marathon Monday. Last season, through quite logical thinking, it was used to help pilot a new national tradition on the NHL’s top U.S. TV carrier that could spread to other cities if it gains enough traction.

    With no Black Friday game this year, that national tradition could be grounded before it gets a reckonable liftoff and the local fanbase will be deprived of its way of ushering in the holiday season.


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