The last twirl around the Verizon Arena with Lord Stanley hoisted for the first time in Washington Capitals history barely ends. The last drop of bubbly barely dried after many a sip. The end to the 2017-18 season barely concluded.
This weekend the 2018 Entry Draft is underway in Dallas. The NHL brass projects a salary cap in the 80-million range. The schedule for the 2018-19 season was released Thursday.
These games will draw a little more interest of the 82 total as the Bruins pick up the pieces, look for another 100-plus-point season — and a deeper run in the 2019 playoffs. With that in mind, here are five Bruins games to watch for 2018-19
Wednesday, Oct. 3, at Washington
Yep, the B’s opener is at Washington against the Stanley Cup champs. Who’da thunk that one as Game 1 of the new season? No shortage of pre-game pomp and celebration as the Capitals raise that banner after 43 years of waiting. Boston will have its hands full out of the gate.
This will also mark the second straight year where the Bruins face a representative from the Cup Final the previous season. The B’s downed the Predators in the 2017-18 season opener at TD Garden last October.
Saturday, Oct. 27, vs. Montreal
Bruce Cassidy and his boys cleaned the Claude Julien clock last season, sweeping the Canadiens in four games. Montreal missed the playoffs; Boston went two series deep. This one will have a little payback as one subplot in the Hockey Night in Canada feature; never a shortage of several more.
Saturday, Nov. 10 vs. Toronto
Two weeks later, a second HNIC telecast as one of the Bruins’ top rivalries renews in a rematch against the Leafs, still smarting after climbing back from a first-round series loss. Toronto, down 3 games to 1, took the Black and Gold to a third-period lead at 4-3, only to implode in the 7-4 final at TD Garden.
Tuesday, Jan. 1, vs. Chicago (Winter Classic at Notre Dame Stadium — South Bend, Ind.)
Any game against the Blackhawks is a marquee affair, but on New Year’s Day in one of the most storied venues in sports history with Touchdown Jesus looking down will go down as one of the biggest in the history of the two Original Six franchises — and clearly the biggest since Game 6 of the 2013 Cup Final.
Wednesday, Feb. 20, at Vegas Golden Knights
Can they replicate the sports story of the century thus far? That, of course, the improbable run of the Vegas Golden Knights to the Stanley Cup final before bowing out in five games to Washington. They were 500-1 odds to win the Cup a year ago when they entered the league. The B’s return to the desert in mid-winter this date. The Vegas story will be extended in those odds before Game 1 of the season and where they are in the standings when Boston comes to the Strip.