NBC Sports released their schedule for the upcoming NHL season and will showcase 106 NHL games between NBCSN and the main NBC station. The Blues get a nice chunk of time on the nationwide broadcasts, 12 games on NBCSN, but will go from 3 NBC games to zero this year. The big news is that NBC will carry all three outdoor games this year, the Winter Classic and both Stadium Series games. The Winter Classic features Montreal and Boston while the Stadium Series games are Chicago vs Minnesota and Detroit vs Colorado.
The Blues portion of the TV Schedule is pretty broad and will feature a lot of St. Louis City as 8 of the 12 games will be at home. So come show what true hockey fans are all about when the NBCSN crew is in the building. The schedule also provides a nice mix of familiar foes and interesting match-ups from both the East and the West.
The first game falls on Tuesday, October 27th as Ben Bishop leads the Tampa Bay Lightening to St. Louis. Bishop is 1-2-1 against the club that drafted him and is coming off back to back losses, but he can say that he has played in a Stanley Cup Final and did it all injured. This should be a really fun game to watch as Tarasenko and Stamkos go toe to toe.
November 3rd and 4th see the Blues play back to back games on national TV against a recent nemesis and a hated rival. Tuesday night sees the LA Kings in town in what is sure to be a physically grinding game. Over the last four seasons the Blues are 2-8-3 against the Kings during the regular season and don't even start on the playoffs. This game would be a good early exclamation point on how good this team can be by beating a solid LA team who has our number.
The next night the Blues travel to Chicago to take on the defending champs. This will be our first look at the Hawks this season and hopefully they will still be hungover from the off season parties they have been having. Playing another physical game one night after a bruising game against LA will show us how this team will rebound.
We will have to wait another month and a half before we see another NBCSN game but the December 29th game will definitely be a doozy. Nashville comes to town and we all know how good these games are as 7 of the last 8 games have been decided by 1 goal.
Sidney Crosby comes to town on Monday, January 18th and the Blues will look to continue their mastery of keeping him from scoring. Entering this season, the Blues are the only team Crosby has not scored a goal against, although he did have one disallowed this past season which only serves as motivation for Crosby.
Two nights later the Blues are in Detroit for the somewhat diminished rivalry game between the Blues and Wings. A once hated bloody rivalry has in recent years been dulled to a mere hatred of older fans who remember what has transpired between the two teams. For young fans, imagine the hatred we have for Chicago and you will know what this game means to us older fans.
The next game I have circled on my calendar because not only is it a must watch game but it happens to fall on my birthday so I will likely be at the game rooting the Blues on. February 16th sees the Dallas Stars arrive in town and I for one think this could be our next great rivalry. The Stars always play us tough and with their firepower this game could be ridiculously high scoring.
Less then a week later the Sharks visit on February 22nd. Another team that always plays a tough game, the Sharks will likely not be what we have come to expect when they come in for this game. We still shouldn't over look them but this should be a much easier game then people think.
Sunday, March 6th takes us back to where our season ended last year, Minnesota. The Wild showed us what they can be when healthy last year but will Devan Dubnyk be what he was down the stretch last year or will he revert to the guy who surrendered 30 goals in 7 career games to the Blues before landing in Minnesota?
March 9th the Blues welcome Chicago to Scottrade for the last time this season. At this point both teams should be jockeying for playoff positioning and a win here would be huge. This marks the last Wednesday Night Rivalry Game for the Blues this year.
The Blues wrap up the national TV schedule with two games against Colorado. The first will be at home on Tuesday, March 29th and then after a game against Boston at home they will travel to Colorado for a Sunday evening affair. These games could prove to be vital as it could determine not only the Blues seeding in the playoffs but also if Colorado makes the playoffs or suffers another year missing out. Patrick Roy's coaching future could also be on the line at this point too so it will be interesting to see how his team plays.
Tell us which game interests you the most in the comments section below and look for more schedule analysis as the season approaches.