Just 12 hours separate NHL fans from their long-awaited regular season to start. Lots of questions will be answered, and the world’s most exciting sport will have a few twists and turns along the way to keep us on our toes. To commemorate the start of the 2013-14 NHL season, here’s five reasons (no particular order) why you should keep an eye on hockey this winter.
Sep 28, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Washington Capitals centerMarcus Johansson
(90) is pursued by Chicago Blackhawks defensemanMike Kostka
(6) during the third period at United Center. Chicago won 4-3 in OT. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Back To The Full 82-Game Season
The NHL barely had a season in 2013, when the terrible lockout by the Player’s Association and the league finally ended in January. What remained was a condensed, 48 game schedule, instead of the regular 82-game campaign. Many questions remain to be answered with the return back to the long schedule. Will the youth movement continue to be a factor consistently? Can a team dominate the season just as the Chicago Blackhawks did, going wire-to-wire as the best team in the league? How big of a factor will injuries be? All these won’t be answered until the final stretch of the season, the last 1/3 of the schedule.