We’re about two weeks removed from the Bruins’ bitter loss to the Blues in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. And now the B’s can look forward to their rematch with the champs as well as the rest of their upcoming 82-game slate.
The NHL already announced a few of the Bruins’ contests for the upcoming 2019-20 season when they announced the home openers for all 31 teams. They revealed Boston’s remaining 79 matchups on Tuesday with the full schedule release.
Bruce Cassidy’s squad will begin their quest for the Cup on Oct. 3 as part of a four-game road trip. Here’s a list of five Bruins games to watch in 2019-20.
Oct. 3 at Dallas — opening night
Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, Ben Bishop and company were one goal away from knocking out St. Louis in Round 2. That marked a major step forward — compared to 2017-18 — under first-year head coach Jim Montgomery.
The Stars and Blues — along with the Avalanche — will be in the thick of the Central Division race again, especially with the Predators and Jets already trading away key defensive cogs like P.K. Subban and Jacob Trouba, respectively. The Bruins and Stars usually come down to the wire when they meet and this matchup will likely be no exception as the two teams will face high preseason expectations.
The Bruins go from Dallas to Arizona for the Coyotes’ home opener on Oct. 5. They’ll close out their season-opening four-game trip in Vegas (Oct. 8) and Colorado (Oct. 10).
Oct. 12 vs. New Jersey — home opener
The Devils already made noise last weekend when selecting Jack Hughes first overall in the 2019 Entry Draft. Then they added Subban and a suddenly pedestrian early season matchup with the Devils became a must-see home opener.
The Bruins will officially christen a renovated TD Garden in the second week of the season. The Columbus Day weekend matchup with New Jersey is one of six home games in an eight-game stretch to close out the first month of the campaign.
Oct. 26 vs. St. Louis — Stanley Cup rematch
Don’t need to expand much on this one. The Bruins get their first shot at the defending champs early, only this time with a mere two points on the line for both teams.
Both teams will have most of their core intact for the first Stanley Cup rematch. Will either make a significant upgrade this off-season? And will the two teams look similar when they meet again on the second to last game of the season on April 2?
Either way, at least we won’t hear too much from Craig Berube about the Blues being the least penalized team in the league, we think.
Nov. 29 vs. NY Rangers — Black Friday matinee
The rebuilding Rangers might be on a fast track after acquiring Jacob Trouba from Winnipeg prior to the Draft. Trouba, along with second overall pick Kappo Kakko, provides intrigue to a Blueshirts squad full of young and talented prospects.
The Bruins will see the Rangers once in October before hosting them for a Black Friday matinee on Causeway St. David Quinn’s squad took two of three from the Black and Gold last season, and look to play spoilers again with a year of development under their belts.
March 7 vs. Tampa Bay — A battle for Atlantic Division supremacy
The Lightning and Bruins finished 1-2 in the Atlantic Division for the last two years. They’ll both be among the two preseason favorites in the eight-team division again.
But this year, Boston and Tampa have something to prove. Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara and the Bruins have a bitter Game 7 loss to the Blues as fuel for another long run. Reigning MVP Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos and the highly-skilled Bolts exited the playoffs in embarrassing fashion after getting swept by the Blue Jackets following their historic regular season in 2018-19.
The Maple Leafs face an off-season of uncertainty — especially with Mitch Marner’s contract — following another Game 7 first round loss to the Bruins. The Canadiens made strides under Claude Julien in his second season, but aren’t quite ready to make the jump to division contention yet. Joel Quennville’s arrival in South Florida could rejuvenate a stagnant Panthers franchise, especially if they land a prized free agent like Artemi Panarin or Sergei Bobrovsky.
But make no mistake, the Bruins and Lightning are the class of the Atlantic. And this final matchup of the season will give a better idea on where the two teams stand heading into the home stretch of the 2019-20 regular season.
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