The NHL is back, and we have noticed that there isn’t a tremendous amount of excitement for the return of the most exciting sport in the world.
We get it, you wrote off hockey years ago. Maybe we’ll see you for the playoffs.
But we think you should consider giving the regular season a chance this year. Here are six reasons why:
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Last year was an experiment, and it was a wild success, but the second year of 3-on-3 overtime is setting up to be even more spectacular. Teams understand how to effectively play the wildest five minutes in sports now — no need to be conservative — and that should create even more open ice this season.
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There are more than a dozen teams who can say, in all honesty, they have a chance to win the Stanley Cup this year (more on a few of those teams later). That makes this regular season so intriguing.
Can the NFL boast that? Their parity has more to do with poor play than anything at this point. The NBA certainly can’t say they’re full of parity either, not after this offseason.
Regular season games matter and are high-quality in the NHL — can any other league say that right now?
Two of the teams that are part of the dozen-or-so Stanley Cup contenders are the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better team in the league than the Lightning this year.
This rivalry has the chance to become one of the NHL’s best this season, as both teams are playing with high stakes for the first time in a while.
Also, Jaromír Jagr is back for his age-44 season in South Florida. You gotta see the old man school these youngbloods.
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The wild Western Conference
Piggybacking off the fifth point: The Nashville Predators look like the team to beat in the Western Conference this year, but they’ll have to go through the perennially great Chicago Blackhawks, who still boast the best duo in the NHL in Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, the Dallas Stars, who score, score, and score some more, and even the St. Louis Blues, who despite some off-season upheaval still boast the best player in the NHL that no one seems to know about (outside of die-hard hockey fans) Vladimir Tarasenko.
That’s just in their division.
The Pacific division is poised to be even better — every game between the California triumvirate of the Sharks, Kings, and Ducks is going to be intense, and Johnny “Hockey” Gaudreau and the Flames are poised to make a huge jump this season.
There are no days off in the west this year, so you can’t take any either.
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P.K. Subban's revenge tour
The Montreal Canadiens made one of the most head-scratching decisions in recent hockey history when they traded P. K. Subban, the smooth-skating, offensive-minded defenseman who was one of the most engaging faces in the league (and one of the best players, too) to Nashville in exchange for Shea Weber, who at age 31 is clearly on the downslope of his once prodigious prime.
Subban wasn’t happy about it. He still isn’t, and he’s going to be skating circles around dudes all year as if they were wearing le bleu-blanc-rouge.
It’s going to be quite a sight.
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This kid is the truth. You can’t waste a night watching McDavid.