Just a couple of months removed from Jonathan Toews raising the Stanley Cup for the second time in his brief career, a new NHL season begins tonight.
Three games grace the opening night schedule, including the marquee game of the evening, the Maple Leafs in Montreal.
These two teams should be in the thick of things come playoff time next spring, but like most other clubs in the NHL, there are concerns to deal with and questions to answer.
Most notably, are the Leafs on the rise, or was last year’s unit just a bunch of overachievers?
In Montreal, can the Habs stay relatively healthy and will Carey Price return to his elite status on a consistent basis?
I think the biggest question this season will be how great of an impact will realignment have on each club?
With two less teams in the West, compared to the East, there’s a better chance of making the playoffs.
But then again, you still have to win the games.
The Stanley Cup favourites are obvious, the Hawks, Penguins and Wings remain in that mix.
What I’m most excited about is having a full season again, along with a handful of outdoor games, and another two weeks of great Olympic hockey in Russia.
Tighten those skate laces and buckle that chin strap because, hockey fans, we’re in for a great ride.