As summer draws to a close, the best time of year is fast approaching. With the departure of the summer crowds and the arrival of cooler weather comes the hockey season and it can’t seem to come quick enough.
It’s no secret Philadelphia loves it’s hockey team. We have a huge, knowledgable fan base that fills the building on a nightly basis. Through good times and bad, Flyers fans have always stuck by their team (unlike another hockey franchise that also plays its’ home games in the state of Pennsylvania). With that, the youth infusion will add yet another exciting factor to the games that lie ahead of us. Night in and night out, Flyers fans should have plenty to cheer about, but lets take a look at a few showdowns that really catch our eye…
October 4th: San Jose Sharks (AWAY)
The day of days! Hockey finally returns and gives us something to live for again. Not only is this an important game because of the obvious fact that it’s our first of the season, but it also marks the start of one of the toughest first five games of the schedule we’ve had in years. Following this tilt with the 2016 Stanley Cup runner-ups, the Flyers face the perrenially difficult Kings and Ducks, then they’ll make a quick stop in Nashville to face last years second place finishers, and will top that off with our home opener against the back-to-back President’s Trophy winning Washington Captials. West coast road trips are never kind to any team, and to start the season treking through the Golden State won’t be a walk in the park by any means. Dave Hakstol and the gang will look to start the season and this road trip off strong and try to keep that momentum rolling forward.
Prediction: Loss (3-2 OT)
October 14th: Washington Capitals (HOME)
Welcome home boys! Get your tickets now brethren. See you all at Wells Fargo Center, you’ll probably be able to find me getting some crab fries between periods. Let’s show Nolan Patrick and the rest of the newbies what Philly is all about.
Prediction: Win (4-1) Nolan Patrick scores his first two NHL goals
November 27th: Pittsburgh Penguins (AWAY)
Forget that they’re back-to-back Stanley Cup champions. Forget that Sidney Crosby cries more than your bratty little nephew. Forget every argument you’ve ever gotten into with a Pens fan over the course of your lifetime. We have Nolan Patrick and the Penguins don’t. That sounds like a win to me.
Prediction: Win (765-3) We own that freakin’ building
January 13th: New Jersey Devils (AWAY)
Aside from the longstanding rivalry between the two teams, this game will mark the first of many clashes between the #1 and #2 picks of last years draft. If all goes well, Nolan will hit Nico with a spin-o-rama that sends him sliding all the way out into the Atlantic Ocean. Of course, here in Flyerland it’s probably too much to ask for a win AND a Hischier-stomping, so I’ll settle for the latter and spend the rest of the night antagonizing Devil’s fans across comment sections for their grave mistake in not snagging Nolan. Sounds like a can’t miss showdown to me!
Prediction: Loss (5-3)
March 2nd: Pittsburgh Penguins (HOME)
There’s nothing like this rivalry in the entire NHL in my opinion. Any matchup with our Western Pennsylvania cousins has to be circled on your calender. This will be our third of four matchups with them this year and will come at a critical time in the season. Maybe we’ll be treated to another Claude Giroux superman shift and it’ll spark a strong push to the finish that ends in a Flyers’ Stanley Cup. Wishful thinking? Nope.
Prediction: Win (1-0)
Win or lose, every game will be worth watching this year. With the Flyers’ great broadcasting schedule and perennially affordable tickets, tuning in or showing out will be as enjoyable and easy as ever. Get excited guys, success is just a stones throw away.
LET’S GO FLYERS!
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Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports