As if fans of the Los Angeles Kings weren't excited enough about the raising of their Stanley Cup banner. As per tradition, the defending champion opens the regular season at home with a banner-raising ceremony before playing. If there is a better scenario for the Los Angeles Kings to kick off the 2014-15 season, I don't know about it - and frankly, I don't want to know.
On Saturday, the National Hockey League released it's regular-season schedule for the 2014-15 season, which begins on October 8 as the Kings vs. Sharks will be just one of four matchups. The others will be the Flyers and Bruins in Boston, the Canadiens and Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre and the Canucks and Flames in Cowtown. Four matchups between four sets of fierce rivals. The opening night of the NHL season cannot get much better, especially with the Battle of California.
In hindsight, it really is hard to believe that the San Jose Sharks were on the precipice of sweeping the Kings right out of the opening round this past postseason. But all the silver-and-black did was make history, coming back from 0-3 down to win their series en route to winning two more grueling series before winning the ultimate prize.
After trading veteran defenseman Dan Boyle and stripping Joe Thornton of his captaincy, it will be very likely that, from now until the home-opener, the San Jose Sharks will look like a completely different team from the one that the Kings faced just two months ago.
In one sense, it would be wonderful to see the Kings face off against the same nucleus but at the same time, if we see a whole new Sharks team, then Kings fans can safely assume that their team were the orchestrators of their NorCal rivals' rebuild. Whatever anyone wants to believe, the Kings raising their championship banner in front of the hated Sharks will feel like sweet justice for those loyal supporters who don the silver-and-black.
October 8, 2014 falls on a Wednesday, so for those of you who like to take Hump Day in the literal sense, you can hang on for one more night as the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks will renew their heated rivalry and start the season off with a bang. Another date to look forward to - it should be a classic.