On Friday, when the Canucks’ 2013-14 schedule was released, we did what everybody does: we took a look at it and we pegged the games that are going to mean a little more than others. The opener. The home opener. The California road trip. Alain Vigneault’s return in April. Sami Salo’s return in January. The Boston Bruins’ return in December.
But, while some games are sure to be memorable, other dates look nigh unwatchable. Supposing you were looking for a few nights off — an evening to yourself, perhaps, or handful of dates to skip in an effort to make it seem like your family is more important to you than this team, these are the games you can probably sacrifice.
The first real lull in the schedule should come right here. Blue Jackets games are never that entertaining, and Sunday afternoon games (this one’s at 3pm) tend to be duds, so it already has two strikes against it. Here’s strike three: the day before, the Canucks visit Sidney Crosby and his very entertaining Penguins for an NBC game. It’s going to be tough for fans to muster much excitement for Columbus the following afternoon, especially since it will likely be tough for the team as well.
With the Canucks on the road for an afternooner in Carolina, puck drop for this one is just after 10am PST. On one hand, the early-morning game is a nice treat, because you don’t have to spend all day waiting for it. You can just roll out of bed and have it with your coffee.
But when it comes to these early games, speaking of coffee, it always looks like the Canucks could use some. Adding to their likely lethargy: this is their second game in two nights and third of a four-game trip.
You could watch the boys in blue and green go head-to-head with a team they never see, don’t care about, and likely won’t play that well against. Or you could go to church. Even if you’re not a churchgoer, that might be a better time.
No offense to the Oilers. They’re a fun and entertaining team. But this is the first of two games in two nights for the Canucks, and the second game features the Boston Bruins, back in Rogers Arena for the first time since the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. The Oilers game will be a little like finishing your vegetables so you can have dessert.
Yes, the Heritage Classic. I know I’m being a curmudgeon about this, but seriously: this will be the sixth outdoor game of the year, and the fifth outdoor game too many. Unless you’re in the building and the atmosphere in the stadium is infectious, good luck getting excited for the least “outdoor” event of them all. I won’t get into all the reasons I think this game is a bad idea because I’ve already done it, but this one’s a skipper in my honest opinion.
The Canucks play the Wild three times in 2013-14. That’s good news, in the sense that it’s three times fewer than they usually play the Wild, thanks to the demise of the Northwest Division. But it’s still three times too many. These games are always difficult to sit through, either because they’re boring or because the Canucks fail to show up. This suite will be no different.
The first one comes two days after (and will likely be overshadowed by) the Bruins’ return.
The second one is the second game after the Olympic break. Yeah. Good luck getting up for a visit from the Wild after that firecracker of a tournament.
And as for the third one, well, it’s the third time the Canucks play the Wild. After falling asleep during the other two, just try getting up for this one.