The wait is finally over! I hope you have your pens and pencils ready, cause this is about to get real! Now that the National Hockey League has come to an agreement with the various other organizations involved on the NHL’s participating in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, the schedules have finally been released and we now have the Tampa Bay Lightning’s schedule for the 2013-14 season!
The regular season will kick off with the Bolts on a three game road trip starting on Thursday, October 3rd when the Lightning head to the TD Garden to take on their new divisional rival, the Boston Bruins.
The complete schedule can be found here.
The Lightning will start their Olympic break after the game on Saturday, February 8th at home against the Detroit Red Wings. The boys in blue will return to the ice on Thursday, February 27th as they head to the Bridgestone Arena to face off with the Nashville Predators.
The new alignment will be taking affect this season, so the Tampa Bay Lightning are going to have some new divisional opponents to square off with.
Under the new realignment, the Lightning will be grouped up with the likes of the Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, and our in-state rival the Florida Panthers.
Within the Division, the Lightning will face off with each of the teams mentioned a total of 4 times; with the exception of the Red Wings and the Senators, which we will face 5 times throughout the season.
In Conference play, we will see the other 8 teams in the conference; which consist of the Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and the Washington Capitals, a total of 3 times each.
Here are some of the other noteworthy dates this season, courtesy of NHL.com.
Training Camp Opens — Wednesday, Sept. 11
Exhibition Games Begin — Friday, Sept. 13
Regular Season Opens — Tuesday, Oct. 1
Hall of Fame Game — Friday, Nov. 8
Christmas Break — Tuesday, Dec. 24 – Thursday, Dec. 26
Hockey Day In Canada — Saturday, Jan. 18
Olympic Break — Sunday, Feb. 9 – Tuesday, Feb. 25
Last Day of Regular Season — Sunday, Apr. 13
Stanley Cup Playoffs Begin — Wednesday, Apr. 16
Well, there you have it! Now that you have had a chance to sit back and take it all in, how many games do you have penciled in for this season? I know where I’ll be spending most of my time; because there is no time quite like hockey season.
Just keep telling yourself…there are only 77 more days until hockey season. We can get through this if we just stick together.