A year late, a trophy short

You can tell a lot of stories in 82 games, and not all of them end. Sometimes you don’t ever play the Hawks. Sometimes, you never get to swing. And no one knows who mattered most.

Like Led Zeppelin, some people give the fans what they were begging for … months or years after it really mattered.

But look what’s still on the table.

What makes a Key Game?

1) You could have last year’s Stanley Cup Champions and last year’s President’s Trophy winners lining up.

2) You could have both of those teams struggling to rebuild. Strip each of them of … oh … 2 defining stars. Have them both fighting to stay above .500, scraping the ground floor of conferences stronger for the players they lost.

3) Or they could be the marquee teams in an argument over the sport. Have one of them say, be definitive in a defensive, physical, older style of play. Make the other young, offense-minded, and reluctant to drop the gloves.

(Fuck it. Do something absurdly symbolic. Like having the league leaders meet, that very week, to discuss changing the sport in one direction or the other.)

4) Make it personal. A rising offensive wing, a rising goaltender … and they’re brothers. Shit, make it the first time they’ve ever played each other in the NHL. Unlikely, but hey, we’re just thinking here.

5) It could be the only time they’ll play each other for years.

6) Hell with underdogs. Make one the most intentionally loved team in the league, the other the most unintentionally loved.

Or do all of it.

10:00 Eastern Standard time.


UPDATE: Gorram! Season should get more interesting. But of course, it has nothing to do with tonight … nothing at all …