By: Evan Michael | Follow me on Twitter @00EvanMichael
“Feel Good February.”
It’s one of those alliterative monthly expressions that keen calendar keepers like to rally around — although it’s certainly no “Sober October” or “No Shave November.”
And in 2021, the year of the shortened, bubble-free NHL season, the month of February may indeed have many good feels for the Bruins and their fans if all goes according to… well… schedule.
Nationally televised NHLonNBC games aside, the B’s will have a timely test of 14 games in 28 days (yup, February is the shortest month of the year), playing every team in the new “East” division save for the Penguins.
So that’s six-out-of-seven marquee match-ups against the Capitals, Flyers, Sabres, Rangers, Islanders and Devils, in that order, in just under four weeks. Bedeviling, indeed!
Let’s take a closer look at the key moments during this challenging schedule stretch, including an awesome outdoor contest against Philly (feel-good fingers crossed).
The B’s will tackle their first of three back-to-backs during the month on Friday the 5th on the road against the Flyers and Saturday the 6th at home versus the Sabres.
This marks the first time, in my opinion, the now Zdeno Chara-less D-core (read this brilliant “Me and Z” tribute by fellow BN’G blogger Mike Cratty… it will move you like a classic Chara hip check) will be heavily taxed and challenged in terms of minutes distribution.
And, to speculate further, it could be the first time Head Coach Bruce Cassidy faces a between-the-pipes challenge with letting his hot goaltender “ride” in net for consecutive days… if the B’s of course even have a hot goalie by then. All fun factors to truly factor in once we get there… so Mark It On Your Bruins 2021 Calendar!
New York, New York
Start spreading the news. The B’s will be leaving on this day — February 11th — to play back-to-back games on the road against the Rangers and the Islanders the following weekend (the 12th and 13th of the month respectively).
And if they want to wake up in the city that never sleeps to find themselves celebrating multiple W’s, then this Friday/Saturday one-two New York punch may be the perfect time to welcome back *David Pastrnak (who is expected to miss the first month of the season while recovering from his offseason hip surgery as B’s writer Ray Guarino broke down last month).
The last time I was in New York I had some of the best pasta of my life (thank you Rao’s) so here’s hoping the B’s will get their very own helping from an elite scorer known for his goals and helpers!
*And if not on this weekend, they’ll have another Rangers/Islanders back-to-back two weeks later that could serve up some Pasta dishes for us to feast on.
Only one Bruins game is scheduled between February 19th and 24th? Surely, you can’t be serious!
As Dr. Rumack from Airplane would say: “I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley.”
Well, the B’s may surely be looking forward to air travel out West the weekend of February 19th-21st because that’s when, according to Hockey Night In Canada‘s Elliotte Friedman, Boston may be playing Philly literally “on the ice” in an epic outdoor contest on Lake Tahoe!
As excerpted from his article, which our own internet guru Andrew Taverna excitedly broke down here, “Friege” said the following about this mid-Winter scheduling quirk:
When the NHL on NBC broadcast schedule was released last week, one game stood out as an oddity: Colorado at Vegas on Feb. 20. It is the network’s lone Saturday telecast before April 17.
The next day, there’s a Philadelphia-Boston matchup that’s also a bit strange. For the Bruins, it’s their only game in six days; for the Flyers it’s their only one in five. In the travel-friendly East Division, that’s unusual.
There is a logical explanation.
According to multiple sources, the NHL is beginning its Mystery, Alaska experiment, with four teams as part of a unique two-game, two-day “Outdoor Weekend” showcase at Lake Tahoe. Edgewood Tahoe Resort, home of the popular celebrity golf tournament, is hosting these games, which will be played around the 16th, 17th and 18th holes.
Now that’s what I call an “Ace” Bailey of an idea, hockey fans–with all the February Feels–so definitely go ahead and Mark It On Your 2021 Bruins Calendar!
ICYMI: Check out Part I from my BN’G calendar series right here!
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