NHL Preview: Must See TV

We’ve circled these can’t-miss games on our calendar for the 2016-17 season


Oct. 20, 2016: San Jose Sharks at Pittsburgh Penguins

Captain Joe Pavelski and the Sharks look to get a small measure of revenge when they face off against Sidney Crosby and the Pens in a Stanley Cup Finals rematch.

 

Oct. 13, 2016: Washington Capitals at Pittsburgh Penguins

It’s bad enough the Capitals saw their dream season end at the hands of the reigning Stanley Cup champions, now they have to watch the Penguins hoist the championship banner to the rafters at the CONSOL Energy Center.

Oct. 22, 2016: Toronto Maple Leafs at Chicago Blackhawks

The present meets the future as reigning league MVP Patrick Kane and the Blackhawks host No. 1 overall pick Auston Matthews in the Windy City.

Dec. 23, 2016: Toronto Maple Leafs at Phoenix Coyotes

Arizona hockey fans will get an early Christmas present as local hero Auston Matthews returns to his roots when the Maple Leafs make their only appearance in the desert this season.

Jan. 2, 2017: Chicago Blackhawks at St. Louis Blues

Central Division foes do battle under the Gateway Arch in what has become the NHL’s marquee event.

 

Feb. 25, 2017: Philadelphia Flyers at Pittsburgh Penguins

These Keystone State rivals take it outside when Heinz Field hosts the 2017 NHL Stadium Series.

 

April 9, 2017: New Jersey Devils at Detroit Red Wings

Say it ain’t so, Joe. After nearly four decades of calling Joe Louis Arena home, the Red Wings play their final regular season game in the old barn.

 


 

Rookie Watch

Auston Matthews

All eyes will be on Auston Matthews as he begins his quest to help bring one of the NHL’s most storied franchises back to prominence.

It’s been 50 years since Toronto hosted a Stanley Cup celebration and the Maple Leafs and fans are desperate to see Matthews raise them from the depths of despair.

Matthews spent last season in Switzerland, where he racked up 46 points in 36 games with the ZSC Lions. He followed that up with a stellar performance at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.

The Scottsdale, Ariz., native isn’t the only American rookie looking to make an impact this season.

Matthew Tkachuk

The Calgary Flames are hoping that sixth overall pick Matthew Tkachuk can follow in the footsteps of his Hall of Fame father, Keith. As a member of the National Team Development Program, Tkachuk had 130 points in two seasons. He was also a dominant force at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Kyle O'connor

After lighting up the college ranks as a freshman at the University of Michigan, Jets fans are hoping Kyle Connor brings his scoring touch with him to Winnipeg. USA Hockey’s College Player of the Year racked up 71 points in just 38 games with the Wolverines. He joins second overall pick Patrik Laine on what promises to be a young and dynamic Jets roster.

In total, a record 12 Americans were snatched up in the first round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. With all of that new blood entering the ranks this season, the race for the Calder Trophy will likely go down to the wire.

Issue: 
2016-10

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