While it’s still early in the off season, and there’s a lot of excitement yet to come this summer, nothing beats watching the games. The NHL released the full schedules yesterday and there are some notable dates for Ottawa fans.
The Sens will start their season on the road against the Toronto Maple Leafs before heading back to Ottawa for the home opener against Mika Zibanejad and the New York Rangers. The season will end at home against the Pittsburgh Penguins, as the Sens will surely be fighting for a playoff spot at that point.
Some key dates in the schedule:
- October 10th: While many of us have never really cared for the St Louis Blues, it was nice to see them follow through their feel good story and win it all. No matter how you feel about the team, it’s always exciting to play the Stanley Cup champs.
- October 27th: Erik Karlsson has already received his home coming, but it will always be special (heartbreaking) to see him back in Ottawa; I expect a full house for this Sens/Sharks match-up.
- November 13th: A first look at the 2019 first overall pick Jack Hughes and the revamped New Jersey Devils who won the PK Subban lottery this past week.
- November 20th: The first of many what are sure to be controversial, dramatic and overwhelming frustrating match ups with the Montreal Canadiens.
- January 16th: The return of Mark Stone. This one is going to be very tough to watch/attend. Again, I expect a full house that game and what should be one fantastic tribute video.
- January 19th -26th: The Sens get their bye week, combined with the All-Star break.
- March 7th: My birthday! The Sens will also be in San Jose playing against Karlsson so if anyone was thinking of what to get me as a birthday gift......
- March 7th-March 15th: The Sens will be on a long road trip that started in California then moves to Chicago and St Louis. These trips either seem go really well or really badly for the team. That being said, the late night starts against the Ducks and Kings should be fun times.
- April 4th: The final game of the season as the Penguins come into town for fan appreciation night. I’ll be very honest, I don’t expect this game to have much significance or impact on the Sens season.
Notes and Highlights
- 14 back-to-back games: With Boucher gone, I wonder if DJ Smith will also use fatigue as an excuse for losses
- 9 matinee games: Games played between 1 and 4 don’t always go over well with fans, but I think they’re a nice change; especially those played at home where families have more flexibility to take their children.
- February/March overload: The two months alternate in terms of absurd home/road games ratio. In February, the Sens play 10/15 games at home including a 6-game home stand and then in March they will play only 10/14 on the road with a 5 game road trip. If, and it’s a big IF, the Sens are fighting for a playoff spot, these two months may be a huge factor on how well they end up doing.