While it’s hard to believe anything related to the lockout lately–rumor has it that the Pittsburgh Penguins will play the Philadelphia Flyers in a nationally televised matinee to open the season on Jan. 19th.
Assuming there is one.
Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has reported that if the league can come to compromise with the players union, this is the matchup that will jumpstart what looks to be a 48 game season.
Rossi said sources told him:
“Games would be played throughout the day as a part of a celebration of hockey across North America. Rivalry games would dominate Day 1 of the shortened season to placate the NHL’s national television partners in the United States and Canada.”
Indubitably, the NHL wants to give the fans what they want. Not just the fact that it’s a hockey game, but it’s a ferociously barbaric rivalry that has spawned into NHL’s own “WWE SmackDown”. With a handful of the highest profiled players and truculent emotions toward one another, fans are now just wondering when the games can begin?
Last time the fans saw these two teams was in the past Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, where tensions got high and goals were scored more than they should have. From suspensions to penalty minutes, the anticipation for another backyard brawl is juicy. This game, if assumed definite, could have the potential at being much more than just a beginning.
However, in actuality–we don’t know what’s going to happen.
Every week it seems as though meetings will be held, but nothing will be executed. And sadly, fans are continually receiving false hope. But if everything that was in this report ultimately pans out, wouldn’t it be a joyous occasion. Hockey finally being resurrected would be an enduring accomplishment.
For now, fans are riding the pine–watching other hockey leagues.
The clock is ticking Gary.