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BOSTON (CBS) — So here we are, in the middle of another lockout, just when it seemed like the NHL was gaining some momentum and climbing back into American sports fans’ collective consciousness. Preseason games in September have already been canceled, and with no reported plans for the NHL and NHLPA to meet any time soon, it’s only a matter of time before some regular-season games begin to get axed.
The most optimistic predictions appears to say that the best-case scenario is the the lockout ends by the end of the year and the season will began on Jan. 1 at the Winter Classic in Michigan. If that is indeed the case, then the Bruins would open their season Jan. 2 in Edmonton at 10 p.m. local time on a Wednesday night.
Phooey, once more.
So if we’re all unfortunate enough to be without hockey until 2013, here’s what we’ll be missing out on in Boston.
Oct. 11, at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
The season opener is always an emotional night, and when you make it a nationally televised event against the hated Flyers, you’ve got yourself a doozy. That’s a theoretical doozy, of course, because it seems highly unlikely to happen.
Oct. 16 and Oct. 18, Home-and-home series against Montreal
The Bruins’ third game of the year is scheduled to be in Montreal, with a game against the Habs in Boston scheduled to be the Bruins’ home opener just two days later. Thinking about this home-and-home not taking place hurts already.
Oct. 20, vs. Dallas, 7 p.m.
In 2008, the Bruins and Stars had their famous brawl-fest at the Garden. In February 2011, the two teams had three fights in the first four seconds of the game, and four fights in the first four minutes. The Bruins also staked a 2-0 lead in the opening 1:20 in one of the most memorable games of the Stanley Cup-winning season. Would this be a
worthy follow-up? Probably, but we won’t know.
Oct. 25, vs. Anaheim, 7 p.m.
Teemu Selanne is 42years old and is an NHL legend. Bruins fans are scheduled to say goodbye to him on Oct. 25 at the Garden, as this is supposed to be his final season. Instead, you’ll have to send him a postcard or something.
Oct. 30, vs. Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Hey, Ryan Miller. Welcome back to Boston. Meet Milan Lucic. Milan, meet Steve Ott. Brad Marchand, meet Patrick Kaleta. This game would have so many meetings and greetings.
Nov. 2, at Washington, 7 p.m.
The last time these two teams met, well, you remember what happened. And if you’re a Bruins fan, you probably didn’t like it. There’s no way to ever change that history, but there’s little doubt the team would come out fired up for this one. And you would, too.
Nov. 6, vs. Minnesota, 7 p.m.
The Minnesota Wild spent about $4 billion on Zach Parise and Ryan Suter before the owners cried poor and forced this lockout. This would be Bruins’ fans first live glimpse at the new and improved Wild. Instead of watching it, you’ll have to wait a day and watch the Celtics play the Wizards. Bully for you.
Nov. 23, vs. New York Rangers, 1 p.m.
The annual day-after-Thanksgiving matinee, broadcast nationally on NBC again, featuring two teams that seem to always play 1-0 games against each other. But if the lockout’s still going strong, you’ll be eating your leftover turkey in silence, or to reruns of Family Matters, or whatever it is you do in your own time.
Nov. 24, vs. Penguins, 7 p.m.
Just a day after Rick Nash is scheduled to visit Boston, Sidney Crosby and Co. are next in line. Alas, if the lockout goes through December, you won’t be seeing Sidney in Boston this season. Oh well, right?
Dec. 10, at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.
If you love hockey, then you love watching the Bruins play the Red Wings. Being that this is the only meeting of the year between the two Original Six clubs, missing this game would be a rather big bummer.
Dec. 17, vs. Los Angeles, 7 p.m.
The lone meeting of the season between the last two Stanley Cup winners will be a casualty of the lockout if it continues through December. Hey, no big deal, Gary Bettman and the owners! None of your fans would want to watch this game! No. Big. Deal.
Dec. 29, at Vancouver, 10 p.m.
No explanation necessary.
So there you have it. Remember, it’s the best-case scenario for you to “only” miss these games (plus the other 23 games not listed).
The moral of the story here is that no matter who’s at fault — the greedy owners or the greedy players or the egotistic negotiators or whoever — it is us, the fans of the game who just like watching NHL hockey, who will lose. See you in January, I guess.