‘B&B’ decidedly does NOT stand for Bed and Breakfast. Not when it comes to Hockey.
No, for those of us who like our Hockey hard-playin’ and rivalry-driven, the NHL has given us the real B&B, what I like to call the ‘Black and Blue Schedule.’
On many occasions, they have given us back-to-back, home-and-away games between clubs with nobody to focus team energy, effort and anger upon but the same team who last scored on you, put that vicious check on your forward in the corner, or taunted you no end. (Some times, Gary Bettman and the NHL Scheduler need a big hug, and this would be one of ‘em.)
My theory is that, due to the increased nature of competition against the same foe for a consecutive game, the following things will happen in Game 2 of the pairing:
1. The opposite team will win the game
2. The likelihood of the game going into OT / SO is higher
3. There will be more penalty minutes awarded
And the above will apply even more so when it is an intra-Divisional game.
Using these three simple measures, we will compare these contests against the above criteria throughout the season. Below are the matchups we are going to cover with emphasis on comparing Game 2 to Game 1 in relation to the above three criteria. (Intra-divisional matchups are in BOLD font!)
We are also interested in two matchups for the Dallas Stars where they face a foe back to back but their foe has a game in between (ANA 12 & 16 NOV & SJS 13 & 16 DEC). Same goes for STL 18 & 22 OCT against CHI. Who will have the higher intensity in Dallas’ Game 2?
And we are curious to see how the LAK’s fare when they have two sets of back-to-back games over a five-day time span – will there be any gas left in the tank at the end of that week? (With 26 DEC vs ANA; 27 DEC @ SJS; 29 DEC @ PHX; and 30 DEC vs PHI – what a rough way to bring on New Year’s…)
Which of the above would you like to go see? How about NYI vs NYR, NJD vs PHI, CHI vs NSH, EDM vs VAN, CHI vs DET, or LAK vs ANA?
Which ones are not there you’d like added next year? How about OTT vs MTL for Eastern Canadian bragging rights? Or some TOR vs DET or BUF for USA versus Canada action? More CGY vs EDM for the championship of Alberta? TBL vs FLA for an in-state rivalry which is going to do nothing but heat up between Dale talon and Steve Yzerman? And who from Texas can pass up a DAL vs DET pairing?
Regardless of your preference, if you are a Hockey fan clear the decks for action because we both kick off the season with three pairings in the NHL’s 2010 European Premier and close it out again with three more, intra-Divisional pairs.
Take me to On Goal Analysis and the OGA Blogs.