As a die-hard Oilers fan, I’m sure every game gets you excited, but there’s no denying that every single year there are a handful of nights where you’re extra excited for the puck to drop.
As the clichè goes, they’re games you have circled on your calendar.
With the season just a day away, I’ve decided to take on the task of counting down what I believe are the ten most anticipated games of the upcoming season.
10 – REMATCH OF THE 2015 DRAFT
As much as the two players will say this is just another game, it’s always fun to see Eichel and McDavid go head-to-head. It’s usually a night where we get to see the best out of each player.
The Oilers host Eichel and the Sabres on January 14th and will be in Buffalo on March 14th.
9 – FIRST CHANCE AT TORONTO
There aren’t very many things that make me happier than seeing the Oilers beat the Leafs. On Twitter, it always seems like Oilersnation and Leafsnation are chirping each other and it’s created a highly entertaining rivalry between the two fanbases.
Take that and combine it with the “McDavid vs Matthews” storyline and the fact that the Leafs could be a Cup contender this year and it should create a pair of fantastic matchups.
The Oilers will head to Toronto on February 27th and host the Leafs on March 9th.
8 – TAKING ON THE CUP CHAMPS
This is what the players and coaches will call “a measuring stick game”.
Getting to see the likes of Ovechkin, Kuznetsov, Backstrom, and Holtby roll into Ice District will be exciting and watching the Oilers try to earn two points against the defending Stanley Cup Champions will be intriguing.
The fact that this game happens early in the season makes it even better. The Capitals will be in Edmonton on October 25th.
7 – THE RETURN OF HALLSY
For some fans, this is a chance to see their former favourite player Taylor Hall return to Edmonton. For other fans, this is a chance to remind everyone that they didn’t mind the trade because Larsson is a great defender and Hall had “character issues”.
Regardless, Oilersnation will be buzzing on March 13th when reigning MVP Taylor Hall takes to the ice at Rogers Place.
6 – CROSBY vs McDAVID
There will only be so many chances for us to see two of the greatest players of all time go head-to-head. These two teams met twice last season and each time it was a one-goal win for the Penguins.
Regardless of who wins, with McDavid and Crosby on the ice, it has the potential to be a historical night.
The Penguins roll into Edmonton on October 23rd, and the Oilers will head to Pittsburgh for the rematch on February 13th.
5 – WESTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPS RETURN
The Vegas Golden Knights stunned the sporting world last year and won the Pacific Division last season. This year, I think they’ll be fighting with the Oilers for a playoff spot.
The Oil played Vegas pretty well last year, coming out victorious in three of their four meetings. If Edmonton is going to make the playoffs this season, Vegas is one of the teams they might have to pass to get there, making each of their head-to-head games that much more important.
The Golden Knights first trip to Edmonton is on November 18th.
4 – FIRST BATTLE OF ALBERTA ON HOME ICE
I’m a huge fan of Sunday night Oilers games. It’s the perfect way to end a weekend, in my opinion. I’m also a big fan of the “Battle of Alberta”, even if it has been underwhelming the past few years. With both teams having playoff aspirations, each one of there matchups will be amplified this season. This isn’t the first B.O.A. of the year, but it’s the first here in Edmonton and presents Oilers fans with their first chance to “boo” the Flames.
The Flames will make their first trip to Edmonton this year on December 9th and it’s one game that I’m really looking forward to taking in.
3 – THE HOME OPENER
Watching the Oilers take to the ice in Edmonton for the first time is always exciting. This year, we have to wait until October 18th to see them play their first regular season game at Rogers Place. But we’ll see the player intros and there should be a great pump-up video at the rink. Add on the fact that early in the year optimism is usually at it’s highest and the crowd is extra loud. The bottom line: the home opener is just fun!
2 – SATURDAY NIGHT DIVISIONAL MATCHUP
The first “Battle of Alberta” this year falls on Saturday, November 17th. A rivalry game on Hockey Night in Canada? Yes, please!
On top of that, this will be the Oilers first game against a Pacific Division Opponent this year, and each of these games will go a long way in deciding the Oilers playoff fate.
1 – THE SEASON OPENER
There’s absolutely no doubt that the most anticipated game of the year, every year, is the regular season opener. After a long summer of waiting, hockey FINALLY returns, and considering how horrible 2017-18 went, fans are even more antsy to get 2018-19 underway.
Does it suck that they’re playing their first game at 11 am from Sweden? Sure, Oilers hockey is finally back so we shouldn’t complain!
Also, it’s a great excuse to head to The Pint Downtown for our Season Opener Brunch Party for some early afternoon wobbly pops!
Which game this season are you looking forward to most and why? Let me know below!