The NHL season has come to an end, and it was yet another exciting season for the NHL. With a few notable exceptions, the season was dull, with the lack of playoff excitement being a relief to fans. However, there were a few noteworthy games, highlighted by the Toronto Maple Leafs crashing out of the playoffs against the Buffalo Sabres, in a match that showed a disorganized Maple Leafs team. Most intriguingly, there are signs that the NHL is becoming a more international league, with the Seattle Kraken making a surprise playoff appearance, and the NHL introducing a professional league in China.
The NHL regular season has hit the halfway mark, and the race for the Stanley Cup is starting to heat up. Join us for this series as we dive deep into the 2020-21 season and look deeper into every team’s schedule. In this blog, we’ll go over the most intriguing games of the season and provide some intrigue on the schedule for a few series worth of games.
The NHL is releasing its schedule for the 2021-22 season this week, and it’s a busy week for fans of the Blue and Gold. The first games of the season — the most anticipated of the year — will take place on the weekend of October 2-3, as the Vancouver Canucks and Los Angeles Kings square off in the first regular-season exhibition between the two Pacific Division rivals in more than a decade.
You’re not mistaken if you think the NHL season 2020-21 has already ended: On July 7, the Tampa Bay Lightning were awarded the Stanley Cup. However, the league has swiftly moved on to the summer and preparations for 2021-22:
The Seattle Kraken chose 30 players in the expansion draft on Wednesday.
The entrance draft will take place on Friday and Saturday, with 224 participants being chosen (and some others might be traded).
On July 28, free agency will begin.
And, as if that wasn’t enough, the official regular-season schedule for 2021-22 was announced on Thursday.
Analyzing 1,312 games may be taxing. So here are the matches we’ve marked on our calendars, as well as the dates for the All-Star and Olympic breaks, outdoor games, and the Kraken “Revenge Tour,” in which each player exposed to expansion will face his old club for the first time.
Matchups to Watch
The Seattle Kraken will face the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday, October 12th.
On opening night, the NHL’s last two expansion clubs square off. We’re going to assume that the Vegas pregame festivities will include a golden knight defeating a CGI squid.
The Montreal Canadiens take on the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday, October 13th.
In the first round of the 2021 playoffs, the Maple Leafs lost a 3-1 series lead to the Canadiens, who went on to win the Stanley Cup. It wasn’t easy to watch for Toronto. The Maple Leafs were well aware that they were the superior club. Although the Leafs won’t be able to exorcise their playoff demons until next spring, they may exact some cathartic vengeance in their first game of the season.
The Vancouver Canucks take on the Seattle Kraken on Wednesday, October 23.
The Kraken’s first regular-season home game at Climate Pledge Arena, as well as the inaugural match between Seattle and its northern foe. It’ll be uncomfortable, but we hope they can find common ground over their shared love of the Seahawks in the end.
The Vegas Golden Knights will face the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday, October 26.
This season, these two heavyweights from the 2020 West Division (RIP) will only meet three times. This is the first and only gathering in Denver. After being eliminated by the Golden Knights in this year’s playoffs, Avs star Nathan MacKinnon couldn’t conceal his disappointment. It was Colorado’s third consecutive second-round loss. After the series defeat, MacKinnon remarked, “I’m going into my ninth year and I haven’t won s—-.” “As a result, I’m certainly motivated.” A MacKinnon retaliation tour? Please add us to the list.
Boston Bruins against. Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday, November 6
These two archrivals will not have faced each other in nearly two years due to COVID-19’s effect on the NHL’s schedule and interim reorganization last season. Their most recent match occurred on November 15, 2019 at Toronto. The series “Pleasantries” will be revived.
The Pittsburgh Penguins take on the Washington Capitals on Sunday, November 14th.
This will be the first of four encounters between these division foes. Take advantage of every opportunity to see Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin together.
The New York Islanders take on the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday, November 15th.
Only two games are scheduled for today — Mondays in the NHL are usually quiet — but this is one to watch. After being knocked out of the playoffs by the Lightning in the semifinals two years in a row, the Isles head to Tampa Bay with some unfinished business. The Isles were eliminated in overtime in Game 6 of the 2020 playoffs. It came down to Game 7 in 2021. Each time, Tampa Bay went on to win the Stanley Cup.
Calgary Flames at. New York Islanders, Saturday, Nov. 20
The Islanders return home to inaugurate the new UBS Arena, which is situated directly adjacent to Belmont Park racetrack, after playing their first 13 games on the road to begin the season. There’s public transportation, roughly a dozen pubs, and a permanent home for Islanders fans.
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Tampa Bay Lightning against. Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday, December 7
The Stanley Cup finalists from the previous season meet for the first time. Both clubs will be different, with the Lightning having some salary-cap-related departures and the Canadiens missing star defender Shea Weber due to injury. What hasn’t changed is the hatred that developed between the players over the course of their brief but intense series.
Colorado Avalanche against. Boston Bruins on Thursday, December 23
We have a big interconference battle between two of the league’s best teams just before the NHL’s traditional Christmas break. The Bruins are nearing a contract deal with winger Taylor Hall, and goaltender Tuukka Rask, who is set to have surgery later this month, is not being rushed. If Colorado and captain Gabriel Landeskog can’t agree on a deal, the Avalanche may look a little different this season. Joe Sakic, the general manager, is expected to go active in free agency if Landeskog departs.
The Edmonton Oilers take on the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday, February 23.
Connor McDavid and the Oilers go south to face the reigning champions on the opening day of games after the Olympic break. This will be the first of two matches between the two teams this season. McDavid will have just returned from the World Cup with Team Canada, while Nikita Kucherov and Andrei Vasilevskiy will have competed for Russia. Could there be any lingering resentment or unfinished business in this game?
Edmonton Oilers against. Pittsburgh Penguins, Tuesday, April 26
Nobody knows what this game means for the Oilers and Penguins’ playoff chances, but having a possible Connor McDavid vs. Sidney Crosby showdown with just four days remaining in the regular season is fairly remarkable.
The big moment has arrived.
NHL All-Star Weekend is February 4-5.
The skills competition will be held on Friday, February 4, and the All-Star Game will be held on Saturday, February 5, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The last regular-season game before the break is set for Wednesday, February 2.
The Olympic break is from February 7 to February 22.
The NHL has agreed to halt Feb. 7-22, 2022, to allow player participation in the Olympic Games in Beijing, pending agreement with the NHL Players’ Association and the International Ice Hockey Federation on all remaining matters. The regular season will resume on Feb. 23 if no NHL players go to the Olympics.
Games to play outside
The St. Louis Blues take on the Minnesota Wild on Saturday, January 1st.
The Winter Classic, which was originally scheduled for the 2020-21 season but was postponed, takes place at Target Field in Minneapolis between these two division rivals. It sounds like a beautiful New Year’s Day in the Twin Cities!
The Tampa Bay Lightning will face the Nashville Predators on Saturday, February 26.
In this interconference matchup, the Lightning play in their first-ever outdoor game, while the Predators host their first Stadium Series game. Nissan Stadium, home of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans, will host the game.
The Kraken Revenge Tour will take place in 2021 and 2022.
When the Golden Knights first took the ice in 2017-18, there was added incentive for a player to face the club that had left him vulnerable to the expansion draft. These are the games we’ve highlighted as the first meeting between players chosen in the expansion draft and their previous clubs, with the Kraken following a similar route this season.
The Kraken will not play a “vengeance game” against the Arizona Coyotes in honor of Tyler Pitlick, who was dealt to Calgary on Thursday.
The Kraken visits the Nashville Predators on Thursday, October 14th (Calle Jarnkrok)
The Kraken visits the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday, October 16th (Gavin Bayreuther)
The Kraken visits the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday, October 18th (Carsen Twarynski)
The Kraken visits the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday, October 19th (Nate Bastian)
The Vancouver Canucks visit the Kraken on Saturday, October 23. (Kole Lind)
The Montreal Canadiens visit the Kraken on Tuesday, October 26. (Cale Fleury)
Minnesota Wild vs. Kraken on Thursday, Oct. 28 (Carson Soucy)
The New York Rangers visit the Kraken on Sunday, October 31. (Colin Blackwell)
The Kraken visits the Edmonton Oilers on Monday, November 1st (Adam Larsson)
Buffalo Sabres vs. Kraken on Thursday, November 4 (William Borgen)
A seven-part behind-the-scenes docuseries that takes viewers on and off the ice and inside the locker rooms for an all-access ticket to the Stanley Cup race. ESPN+ is the place to be.
The Anaheim Ducks visit the Kraken on Thursday, November 11th (Haydn Fleury)
The Chicago Blackhawks visit the Kraken on Wednesday, November 17th (John Quenneville)
Colorado Avalanche vs. Kraken on Friday, Nov. 19 (Joonas Donskoi)
The Washington Capitals visit the Kraken on Sunday, November 21. (Vitek Vanecek)
The Carolina Hurricanes visit the Kraken on Wednesday, November 24. (Morgan Geekie)
On Friday, November 26th, the Kraken will face the Tampa Bay Lightning. Yanni Gourde (Yanni Gourde)
On Saturday, November 27th, the Kraken will face the Florida Panthers (Chris Driedger)
The Kraken visits the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday, December 1st (Dennis Cholowski)
The Pittsburgh Penguins visit the Kraken on Monday, December 6th (Brandon Tanev, Jared McCann)
The Winnipeg Jets visit the Kraken on Thursday, December 9th (Mason Appleton)
On Tuesday, December 14th, the Kraken will face the San Jose Sharks (Alexander True)
The Kraken visits the Calgary Flames on Thursday, December 23. (Mark Giordano)
The New York Islanders visit the Kraken on Tuesday, January 4th (Jordan Eberle)
The Ottawa Senators visit the Kraken on Thursday, January 6th (Joey Daccord)
The Kraken visits the Dallas Stars on Wednesday, January 12th (Jamie Oleksiak)
The Kraken visits the St. Louis Blues on Thursday, January 13th (Vince Dunn)
The Los Angeles Kings visit the Kraken on Saturday, January 15th (Kurtis MacDermid)
The Kraken visits the Boston Bruins on Tuesday, February 1st (Jeremy Lauzon)
The NHL has finally released the full schedule for the 2021-22 season, and it’s pretty exciting stuff. The schedule is sure to be a hit for hockey fans, as most teams across the league will be playing in front of the biggest playoff crowds in their histories. We’ve compiled a list of the most intriguing games for your viewing pleasure.. Read more about seattle kraken schedule 2022 and let us know what you think.
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