5 NHL Preseason Games Worth Attending
Although it feels like just yesterday that the Washington Capitals won the franchise’s first ever Stanley Cup, preseason hockey is just a few weeks away. With the early games set to kick off on September 15, now is the perfect time to start shopping for tickets to see your favorite team in action.
Here are our picks for the 5 best preseason games coming in September.
September 18 – Boston Bruins @ Washington Capitals
In the nation’s capital in the second week of September, the Washington Capitals will play their first home game since they won the Stanley Cup back in early June. The Caps will be an interesting team to watch this year as they made a coaching change due to a contract dispute with former coach Barry Trotz. Todd Reirden will be the man behind the bench this season as he tries to steer Washington to the Finals yet again in his first year as a head coach.
Their opponent that night will be the Boston Bruins, who made it to the Eastern Conference semi-finals last year. Boston has a fantastic mix of wily veterans and young stars, with David Pastranak and Charlie McAvoy both less than 23 years of age. They’ll surely be looking to make another playoff run in 2018-19.
September 20 – Winnipeg Jets @ Edmonton Oilers
After failing to make the playoffs for three straight seasons, the Winnipeg Jets came out of nowhere in 2017-18 and ended up making it all the way to the Western Conference Finals before they were defeated by Vegas. Winnipeg are a team worth watching this year if not only to see their young superstar Patrik Laine. The 20-year-old Finn has already experienced tremendous success in the league, scoring 80 goals and tallying 54 assists in 155 games.
Edmonton also has some young star power in their ranks in center Connor McDavid. The 21-year-old has strung together back-to-back 100-point seasons and finished his 2017-18 campaign with 41 goals. The Winnipeg/Edmonton preseason matchup will likely be a sign of things to come in the Western Conference as Laine and McDavid will surely continue to be some of the league’s best players for the foreseeable future.
September 21 – Tampa Bay Lightning at Nashville Predators
Even though Nashville isn’t considered to be a “traditional hockey market,” the Predators have become one of the most exciting teams to watch in the league. Nashville is also one of the best places to visit in the United States as it has a fantastic blend of nightlife, restaurants, and things to do and see. Fans of country music will surely enjoy their time in Tennessee, and given how good the Predators have been as of late, hockey fans will enjoy their stay as well.
September 24 – Montreal Canadiens at Toronto Maple Leafs
Towards the end of September, two of the “Original Six” teams will get together to play a game at the ScotiaBank Arena in Toronto. Maple Leafs fans have been waiting over 50 years for the franchise to win another Stanley Cup, and coach Mike Babcock has the team trending upwards as they’ve made the playoffs in back-to-back years. Toronto continues to be one of the most exciting teams to watch in the league thanks to their young trio of Mitch Marner, Auston Matthews and William Nylander.
Their opponents that night are the Montreal Canadiens, who have missed the playoffs in two out of their last three seasons. Head coach Claude Julien will surely be under a tremendous amount of pressure this season, as Montreal fans have little patience for losing.
September 28 – Los Angeles Kings @ Las Vegas Golden Knights
Our final game worth attending shouldn’t come as much of a surprise: a Vegas Golden Knight’s game. The Knights made an incredible run to the Stanley Cup Finals in their first year in the league, and they’ll be eager to show the league that their success last year was not a fluke. Thanks to a fantastic atmosphere and raucous fans, the T-Mobile Arena has become one of the best places in the United States to see a live sporting event. Catching a game in Las Vegas should be on every hockey fan’s bucket list.