After an unfortunate ending to last season, the Canucks have just completed an eventful off-season. The two most notable moves included an unusual coaching swap with the New York Rangers, followed by an unexpected trade with the New Jersey Devils. With all the events that occurred in the off-season, this upcoming season has fans eager for the action to get started.
With training camps now underway, the new season will shortly be upon us. Here are five games that you must see this season.
1. Vancouver Canucks @ San Jose Sharks (Thursday, October 3 at 7 p.m.)
This will be the first game to kick off the season, so aside from the match-up, fans will get to take a look at John Tortorella’s first game behind the bench. Fans will also get to check out any new additions to the roster making their debut on this night.
The Canucks will also look to earn some subtle revenge against the team that swept them in the playoffs. The Sharks and Canucks will likely become very bitter towards each other as the season progresses. They now play in the same division since the realignment was put in place during the off-season, meaning that these teams will see more of each other.
2. New Jersey Devils vs. Vancouver Canucks (Tuesday, October 8 at 7 p.m.)
In only the fourth game of the new season, Cory Schneider and the New Jersey Devils will come into town. The goaltending saga finally ended in Vancouver with Schneider’s trade to the Devils. If Schneider does start this game over long time Devil Martin Brodeur, then all eyes will be on the men between the pipes in this contest.
3. Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Vancouver Canucks (Saturday, November 2 at 7 p.m.)
This will be a historic night at Rogers Arena, as Pavel Bure’s jersey will be retired. He will be the fourth Canuck in history to have this honour bestowed upon him.
The game will be televised on Hockey Night in Canada as two of the most pressure cooked franchises in the league will battle. The Leafs look to end a serious skid versus the Canucks, as they haven’t beaten them since before the 2005 lockout.
4. Vancouver Canucks @ Winnipeg Jets (Friday, January 31 at 5:30 p.m.)
Although this will be the Jets third season since relocating from Atlanta, the Canucks have yet to play a game at the Jets home arena, the MTS Centre. The Canucks will become familiar with this arena since the Jets moved over to the Western Conference. Tortorella is already familiar with the Jets fans, after they serenaded him in his last visit to the arena.
5. New York Rangers vs. Vancouver Canucks (Tuesday, April 1 at 7 p.m.)
This will be Alain Vigneault’s first visit to Rogers Arena since he and Tortorella switched teams in the offseason. Arguably the most successful coach in Canucks history, Vigneault will look to steal a win from his old club in one of the final games of the season. Aside from Vigneault making a return visit, this game will likely have playoff implications, as the Canucks only play five more regular season games after this one.
Which game are you most looking forward to this season?
Head over to the Vancouver Canucks website for the full schedule and to purchase tickets.
Image: Rishad Daroowala