Wednesday 3rd October 2018

Event of the Day: NHL Opening Day

Our event of the day is the Opening Day of the National Hockey League. The Washington Capitals, the defending Stanley Cup Champions, host the Boston Bruins at the Capital One Arena. The Capitals will seek to capitalise on their first Stanley Cup win and use that momentum to prove that they are a force to reckon with in the Eastern Conference. Meanwhile the Bruins will look to start their season off well, hoping they can put a string of mediocre seasons behind them. The Bruins last reached the Stanley Cup in 2013 before proceeding no further than the second round of the playoffs in the subsequent seasons. We are sure to be in for an exciting night of hockey. Winning back-to-back Stanley Cups is a rare event in the NHL but the 2018-19 Capitals might be the team to do it. They have a well-balanced core of talented players. They are led by the heavy shooting and highly durable Alex Ovechkin. The 2018 league MVP is well-respected by his teammates and leads by example for the potent offensively driven team. However, the team also boasts playoff star Evgeny Kuznetsov as well as the talented Nicklas Bäckström. The only major difference to the Capitals roster will be the absence of goaltender Philipp Grubauer, who was traded to the Colorado Avalanche. Overall, this is a strong team with little in the way of weaknesses and a strong passion and drive to strive for another championship.

The Bruins come into the 2018-19 season looking to recover some of their former glory. Once a household name, and often a ‘playoff bound’ team at the start of the season, recent years have not been kind to the Boston side. They missed the playoffs in 2015 and 2016; lost in the first round in 2017 and were bounced in the second round in 2018. They look to build on a undeniably impressive 50-win season in the 2017-18 season with an exciting young roster built around a veteran core. However, their depth will be tested early with first line defencemen Torey Krug out for three weeks and his replacement, Matt Grzelcyk, also battling injury. The Bruins will be hoping to avoid a slow start to the season, but the Capitals don’t intend to make that easy.

Honourable mentions around the globe to the MLB, where the New York Yankees host the Oakland A’s at Yankee Stadium for the American League Wildcard Game. Despite winning 100 games, the Yankees were forced to settle for the Wildcard Game due to the Red Sox’ division dominance. They face the A’s, who recorded their best season since 2002 and make their first playoff appearance since 2014. It is sure to be a hard-fought game with no clear favourite. Elsewhere, in the UEFA Champions League, Tottenham Hotspur looks for their first win of the tournament as they host Barcelona at Wembley. Spurs are in a tough group, having been drawn with Inter Milan and Barcelona, two true giants of European football. However, the London club will be looking to draw on their experience from last year, which saw them top their equally tough group. Be sure to catch the match to see if Spurs can upset one of the best teams in the competition.

Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!

Fixture

Photos by NHL

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