It appeared a slam dunk that the Boston Bruins would travel to Montreal to take on the hated Habs with that game already in the books for the expected Jan. 19 opening date for the NHL season.
It would appear the Bruins might still open things on the road as they would have at the Bell Centre, but the Habs will instead host the Toronto Maple Leafs to open the 2013 season, according to an RDS report. Theres been no confirmation of this, but it would be safe to assume CBC might have been an influence in getting things changed. After all, what would be better for Hockey Night in Canadas opening broadcast of the season than the Habs and Maple Leafs tangling in an Original Six showdown for a national Canadian TV audience.
The New York Rangers were originally scheduled to face a Western Conference team in the original, pre-lockout 2012-13 schedule.
So perhaps the NHL schedule-makers will instead create another Original Six showdown at Madison Square Garden between the Black and Gold and the Blueshirts. It would be a legitimate grudge match between the teams that many envisioned in the Eastern Conference Finals as last years regular season unfolded, but of course only the Rangers got to before falling to the New Jersey Devils.
There should also be no surprise if the NHL arranges for the Bruins and Sabres to tangle in the season-opening extravaganza on Jan. 19 given their bad blood over the last two seasons. Perhaps there's even an outside chance the B's host that game in Boston against Buffalo.
But theres currently no confirmation of which team the Bruins will open up the season with, or if theres a chance they may instead host that opener at TD Garden. The NHL schedule is expected to be announced at the end of this week once the NHL Board of Governors and the NHLPA membership have approved the CBA memorandum of understanding that will be in place for the rest of this shortened season.
At that point individual game tickets will be on sale and season ticket holders will get a full update on their situation as well. Dribs and drabs are leaking out about that first day of games, however, and at least the Bruins know one likely opponent that they wont be playing.