On Friday, the NHL released it's regular season schedule for the 2013-14 regular season to thundering indifference and general apathy. While the Olympic break came as no surprise to everyone, and the division names were so sterile and lifeless you could perform surgery with them (Yes, even you, Metropolitan Division. Just because you sound like an ice cream flavour, it doesn't mean you have character.), there's still lots to look forward to in the coming year. I would like to highlight some games which I consider to be worth marking down on your calendar.
Friday, October 4 - Ottawa Senators @ Buffalo Sabres (7:00 PM EST): Ottawa's season opener is against a Buffalo team that is widely expected to be the greatest calamity on the face of the Earth since the last season of American Idol; Ottawa sends out Bobby Ryan vs. John Scott, Luke Adam, and Brian Flynn in the "Battle of Guys Who Have Two First Names"; Chris Phillips can't decide if he should be helping Bobby Ryan or not.
Saturday, October 5 - Ottawa Senators @ Toronto Maple Leafs (7:00 PM EST): Toronto fans can't figure out who to boo with Alfredsson no longer playing for Ottawa, and decide to awkwardly boo Dion Phaneuf instead; CBC introduces its new "April Reimer Cam" live-stream on cbcsports.ca; Clarke MacArthur makes a big deal about making out with Z. Smith right in front of Nazem Kadri.
Thursday, October 17 - New Jersey Devils @ Ottawa Senators (7:30 PM EST): Ottawa's home opener occurs a full two weeks after the start of the season; Arena nicknamed "Canadian Tired Place" after fans fail to stay awake for the whole game having had to watch 4 consecutive late games the week before; Ottawa fans get to watch future Team Canada Olympic Team starting goaltender, Martin Brodeur.
Thursday, November 7 - Montreal Canadiens @ Ottawa Senators (7:00 PM EST): Every Habs fan calls Ottawa's first game against the Montreal Canadiens "Game 6 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarter-Finals"; The Maclone sits behind Michel Therrien with a perfect replica of the Jack Adam's Trophy in tow; Jean Gabriel-Pageau becomes lodged so deep in Carey Price's head, he begins to use Price's cerebellum as an ottoman.
Saturday, November 23 - Ottawa Senators @ Detroit Red Wings (7:00 PM EST): Ottawa has their first Saturday night 7 PM game since October 5th, but the game is cancelled when the City of Detroit can't afford to keep the arena's electricity on.
Thursday, November 28 - Vancouver Canucks @ Ottawa Senators (7:30 PM EST): John Tortorella's Canucks visit Ottawa for the first time; The Sedin Twins try to defect to Ottawa rather than play 4 minutes of penalty kill time every game; Matt Kassian and Zack Kassian spend two-and-a-half periods arguing over who is allowed to use the word "Kassassinate".
Sunday, December 1 - Detroit Red Wings @ Ottawa Senators (5:30 PM EST): Welcome back, Patrick Eaves!
Monday, December 23 - Pittsburgh Penguins @ Ottawa Senators (7:30 PM EST): Ottawa plays Pittsburgh for the first time in the season; Matt Cooke spends the entire post-game scrum trying to think of a good joke involving Don Brennan's package and Christmas, but can't quite pull it off. (Ed. Note: This joke would have been awesome if Matt Cooke still played for Pittsburgh, which he doesn't, you idiot.)
Saturday, January 11 - Ottawa Senators @ Nashville Predators (7:00 PM EST): Mark Parisi spends most of the game day thread lecturing the blog on how great a hockey crowd Nashville has.
Saturday, February 8 - Ottawa Senators @ Boston Bruins (3:00 PM EST): Ottawa's last game before the Olympic break is in Boston; Sens athletic therapy staff start putting extra tape on Craig Anderson's groin "just to be safe"; Robin Lehner completes construction of groin-shaped voodoo doll.
Sunday, March 2 - Ottawa Senators @ Vancouver Canucks (4:00 PM EST): Ottawa's second game back after the Olympic break simultaneously makes a mockery of Heritage, Classics, and the idea of outdoor games; Those white heritage jerseys look hella tight, though.
Saturday, March 22 - Ottawa Senators @ Anaheim Ducks (3:00 PM EST): Bobby Ryan makes his triumphant return to Anaheim; Chris Phillips finally confronts his troubled past after years of therapy; Everyone agrees that noon is a stupid time to start a hockey game and they should never do it again.
Sunday, April 13 - Ottawa Senators @ Pittsburgh Penguins (7:00 PM EST): Ottawa's last game of the regular season is against Pittsburgh; Erik Karlsson debuts the world's first adamantium hockey sock. (Ed. Note: You're still an idiot.)