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What’s been lost: Five best early December games you won’t see

Nov 24, 2012, 4:00 PM EDT

Alex Ovechkin, Henrik Lundqvist Getty Images

Unfortunately, labor discord has cost the NHL and its fans another two weeks worth of games through December 14 as well as the All-Star Game.

Now it’s time for us to ponder what could’ve been (much like we’ve done before) and taking a look at the five games we’ll miss the most between December 1-14.

December 1: Washington vs. Carolina

Alex Semin‘s not-so triumphant return to Verizon Center in Washington would’ve been a fun way to kick off the month. After wearing out his welcome with the Caps and teasing going to the KHL, Semin signed a monster one-year deal with Carolina to presumably torture Alex Ovechkin and his former teammates in the Southeast Division. You can’t help but wonder how loud the boos would be for this game.

December 5: Washington vs. NY Rangers

Who doesn’t love a playoff rematch? The Caps and Rangers played one of the tightest seven-game series in recent memory last spring and seeing new head coach Adam Oates send Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom into attack against Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers would make for a fascinating game… If it happened.

December 8: Toronto vs. Boston

All right, you’re probably tired of the Phil Kessel trade needling by now, but there was a good chance a fully armed and operational Bruins team with all pieces from that hotly debated deal would be on the ice. Sure there’s Kessel against Tyler Seguin, but Dougie Hamilton too against a potentially poor Leafs team? It would’ve been a good night for lots of boos from the Leafs faithful.

source: Getty ImagesDecember 8: Los Angeles vs. Minnesota

Ric Flair always said, “To be the man, you gotta beat the man” and seeing the new look Wild against the defending Stanley Cup champions would’ve made for a fun one. After all, it’d be Zach Parise lining up against Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty, and Jonathan Quick just like they did in June. Add in Ryan Suter, Mikael Granlund, and Charlie Coyle for the Wild and you would’ve had a heck of a showcase for young talent.

December 10: Detroit vs. Boston

So just how would the slightly new-look Red Wings fare against a potentially beastly Bruins team? Sure, the Wings would have Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg to dazzle and line up against Zdeno Chara, but how would a Nick Lidstrom-free Wings blue line be able to handle Seguin, Patrice Bergeron, and a healthy Nathan Horton? Niklas Kronwall and Carlo Colaiacovo would have their hands full handling them and Milan Lucic. Yikes. Maybe the Wings are better off missing out on this one.

  1. Eberwizzle - Nov 24, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    Really? Best games include Washington twice, Carolina, and Toronto who hasn’t been relevant in 10 years?

    • bushay44 - Nov 24, 2012 at 4:59 PM

      Wings have won 4 in a row vs the bruins and 5 of 6. Hardly think they’re real worried about playing the Bruins.

    • stakex - Nov 24, 2012 at 5:09 PM

      Well hes not saying these were the best games of the year…. just the first two weeks of December.

  2. broadstbully33 - Nov 24, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    Lol^^^^ so true

  3. loinstache - Nov 24, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    typical east bias

  4. dannythebisforbeast - Nov 24, 2012 at 10:33 PM

    What’s next. Pick who will win the imaginary Stanley cup this year?

  5. ironmike778 - Nov 25, 2012 at 5:58 AM

    The B’s would have eaten them for lunch!

  6. omniusprime - Nov 25, 2012 at 8:59 AM

    Yeah the Nature Boy Ric Flair said that to be the man you have to beat the man, but he didn’t need a hockey stick to beat the man in his sport.

    There truly is a Santa Claus as he’s delivered the best gift a sports fan could ever hope for, the NHL strike. Man just think how lucky we are to not have to endure those 5 most worthless NHL games this December. Now all Santa needs to deliver for a perfect sports fan gift is no NHL hockey at all this season. Can you dig it? Yeah!!! Go Away NHL!!!

  7. bruinsfan19 - Nov 25, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    Without lidstrom the bruins would have had a field day with that red wings defense

  8. kitshky - Nov 26, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    I knew there was a reason I wasn’t that upset yet!

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