By the time the Boston Bruins reach the second month of hockey’s arduous upcoming season, many things could still be in flux for your 2022-2023 team: roster health, adjustments to new Head Coach Jim Montgomery, the Jeremy Swayman/Linus Ullmark tandem, organizational pressures and the like.
So, what will the game plan be for November? Simply put: survival of the fittest (aka “stay afloat” and “tread water” as long as possible). That’s because the competition all month long will be stiff and filled with noteworthy divisional and conference games.
As a result, here are some of the biggest battles and must-see matchups to, of course, mark on your Bruins calendar this November!
“Leafing” New England (November 1st – 5th)
The B’s will end October on the road in Columbus and stay traveling right through Halloween and the opening weekend of November. And for three consecutive road games, they’ll have some scary scheduling in the form of the Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs every other night.
Sure, it’ll be fun experiencing Johnny Gaudreau fever against his new hometown team the Blue Jackets to close out the first month of the year.
But if the Black N’ Gold don’t want up to end up as cannon fodder for the Pens, Rangers & Leafs on the 1st, 3rd and 5th of November respectively, then they’ll need to be at their best against these playoff-caliber teams (especially Toronto who they could be chasing much of the year) throughout this first extended away-from-home stretch of the season.
“West(ern) World” Comes to Boston (November 7th – 19th)
Some familiar foes from the Western Conference will scatter themselves throughout the B’s mid-month schedule, all of the games to be played at TD Garden.
First on the docket in Boston: Torey Krug and the hated St. Louis Blues return to town on the 7th (many of us are still not over that Game 7 at home loss in the SCF in 2019 so anytime revenge can be asserted, it’s a schedule blessing). Following the Blues to Mass is the mass exodus Calgary Flames where everyone wants out now including Matthew Tkachuk (and yes, we just mentioned the Gaudreau departure).
The B’s will make a quick jaunt up to Buffalo to hopefully blow out the Sabres before returning back to Boston against the Vancouver Canucks and Chicago Blackhawks on the 13th and 19th (Philly sneaks in for a game on the 17th as well).
These games could be a solid measuring-stick for Boston ahead of their extended new year trips out West which are always a highlight to mark on the calendar!
In For “Stormy” Weather (November 21st – 29th)
Lightning will truly strike twice against the Bruins to close out the month of November. But if the B’s hope to weather the storm during that final week, they’ll have to batten down the hatches against not only Tampa Bay but also the Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers. Yikes.
Boston plays Tampa and Florida on the road on the 21st and 23rd, then jets back to TD Garden for the Canes on the 25th (the only matinee of the month) and more Lightning strikes on the 29th.
All of these teams are not only playoff contenders but Stanley Cup contenders, two of whom the Bruins will most likely be looking up at in the divisional standings come the end of this month (Bolts & Panthers). The other? A recent playoff opponent who unceremoniously knocked out the Black N’ Gold just a few months previous (Canes).
If there’s any time of the year where the B’s will want to rise above their early season injury woes and lineup adjustments, it’s right here. This could indeed be the noteworthy stretch of games to mark on your Bruins calendar where we get to see if the 2022-2023 Bruins are truly back and in it to win it!
Stay tuned to the BN’G Hockey Blog all Summer long for more winning articles and content!