The 117th in our 118-part series.
What day of the year feels like your birthday, Christmas (or other similar religious holiday), Thanksgiving (or other similar national holiday), and every other fabulous holiday all rolled into one, but a zillion times better? That’s right: NHL Opening Night. After months of no hockey, and before that months of playoffs with its ever-decreasing number of teams (along with the decrease in teams comes a decreasing chance you’re going to like the outcome every night), Opening Night is like water in the desert. Or actually, more like manna from heaven. Except even that’s not quite a strong enough term to describe it’s soul-enriching succor. It just… Opening Night. One day you go from desperately hoping to find a preseason game — any preseason game — somewhere in the 600 channels on DirecTV, and the next day you go to having real hockey. And the morning after that, when you go online, there are real games, real standings, real league leaders, and a lineup of games on slate for that night. And the next night. And the next night. At the risk of stating the stupidly obvious, Opening Night brings hockey back! It is the single best, symbolic, significant day of the year.
Okay, so this season is starting with a wonky stutter-step, with these two crazy day games in London, then a few days off, and then what will really feel like Opening Night on Wednesday, but the fact remains: tomorrow it all comes back. And if you don’t want to count tomorrow as Opening Day, then defer the celebration until Wednesday. One way or the other, it’s time to break out the bubbly and start pommerdoodling!