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Report: Penguins-Flyers likely to highlight Jan. 19 opening day

Jan 2, 2013, 9:37 PM EST

Crosby and Giroux Getty Images

One of the NHL’s fiercest rivalries could kick off the 2012-13 season.

That’s the word out of Pittsburgh on Wednesday evening as Rob Rossi of the Tribune-Review reports the NHL is targeting a Jan. 19 start date, with a game between the Flyers and Penguins — in Philadelphia — as one of the marquee games of the day.

According to Rossi’s sources, rivalry contests will highlight the opening day/night schedule, setting the tone for a 48-game regular season in which teams will reportedly play divisional opponents seven times and other conference foes twice.

More, from the Tribune-Review:

Philadelphia‘s Wells Fargo Center is booked for Penn State men‘s hockey in the evening, but the Flyers are tentatively scheduled to face the Calgary Flames at 1 p.m.

A 48-game schedule will preserve most of the previously booked arena dates, but matchups will change because clubs will play only in-conference opponents.

The Penguins-Flyers rivalry was arguably the league’s fiercest a year ago, culminating with an epic opening-round playoff series in which Philadelphia beat Pittsburgh in six games. The teams combined for 56 goals, 309 penalty minutes and three separate suspensions totaling six games.

The series also put the Claude Giroux-Sidney Crosby rivalry on a new plateau. The pair spent the offseason exchanging barbs, with Giroux accusing Crosby of injuring his wrists and Crosby saying he didn’t recall doing it — but that if he did, he wasn’t sorry about it.

Note: Before we all go getting ahead of ourselves with this report, some perspective — NHL schedule makers have contingency plans for a number of scenarios, so it’s unfair to suggest this indicated a new CBA has been reached.

Rossi also notes that “several sources” say the plans are subject to change.

  1. steelcity333 - Jan 2, 2013 at 9:40 PM

    Already can’t wait and by the way we didn’t win the division last year, Rangers did.

    • Mike Halford - Jan 2, 2013 at 9:42 PM

      Dang, you’re quick. I barely had time to edit.

    • flyerssuck - Jan 2, 2013 at 9:58 PM

      You are correct THE RANGERS WON THE EAST…remember that and also remember who beat the Flyers 6 times last year…YOU CANT BEAT US

      • steelcity333 - Jan 2, 2013 at 10:09 PM

        Actually, I’m a Pens fan and we beat you 4 times last year.

      • flyguys26 - Jan 3, 2013 at 7:33 AM

        Brian Boucher circa 2010 begs to differ. What if broad street didn’t fight back?

  2. antkowiak666 - Jan 2, 2013 at 9:43 PM

    HELL YEAH!!let the hate begin.GO FLYERS!!

  3. jaredo10 - Jan 2, 2013 at 9:43 PM

    jaredo10

  4. jaredo10 - Jan 2, 2013 at 9:44 PM

    rangers won the coference/ division.. we the beast the east

    • flyguys26 - Jan 3, 2013 at 7:36 AM

      That can’t get it done in the post season…granted you even get there

  5. sportsfreak13 - Jan 2, 2013 at 9:50 PM

    The thought of seeing a pens vs flyers game in 17 days sounds to good to be true. Man I hope it happens.

    • jtrain1966 - Jan 2, 2013 at 10:27 PM

      I hope so too . That’s coming from a St. Louis Blues fan !

  6. icelovinbrotha215 - Jan 2, 2013 at 9:50 PM

    It would be nice but I have a feeling both teams will be to busy ‘getting into the flow of hockey’ for it to be typical Keystone hockey. That being said, no need for me to get ahead of myself ha.

  7. Stiller43 - Jan 2, 2013 at 9:50 PM

    LETS GO PENS baby

  8. therealjr - Jan 2, 2013 at 9:51 PM

    “Clubs would play seven games against division opponents and a home and road game against each of 10 remaining conference teams”

    First of all, that is ridiculous and would completely invalidate conference seeding for the playoffs. You can’t play almost 60% of your games in division and then be judged against a team outside the division.

    Secondly, they do realize that will be boring as sh*t right? It certainly will be easier to ignore.

    • jtrain1966 - Jan 2, 2013 at 10:29 PM

      Well, if you’re in the Central, or Northeast Divisions it won’t be boring .

      • therealjr - Jan 3, 2013 at 11:08 AM

        They used to play 8 in division and it was very tedious. That was in a full season, this is going to be 7 games in three months.

        And you ignored my first point which is you can’t seed by conference with such a heavily unbalanced schedule.

        Four games against each conference opponent is the way to go. If it means extending the season an extra 2 weeks, so be it. Everything is already screwed anyway.

    • mp1131211 - Jan 2, 2013 at 10:49 PM

      Shove it.

  9. purp1234 - Jan 2, 2013 at 9:53 PM

    Not looking good for the Isles…Rick DiPietro just hurt his wrists reading about Crosby maybe or maybe not hurting Giroux’s wrists.

  10. itsallniceonice - Jan 2, 2013 at 9:59 PM

    That was a nice playoff series but lets see a real rivalry opening day. Bruins, Habs, and some bloodshed.

    • zetaone - Jan 2, 2013 at 10:22 PM

      I dunno.. I’m a Sabres fan, and every time I see a Pens/Flyers game on GCL when the Sabres aren’t playing, I get a huge grin on my face and tune in immediately. So much talent and so much bad blood for each other, it’s great.

      • itsallniceonice - Jan 2, 2013 at 10:30 PM

        Cool. You’re right. No talent on Bruins or Canadiens and definitely no bad blood.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Jan 2, 2013 at 10:44 PM

        Itsallniceonice- the Habs drafted third in the nhl draft and the flyers-pens series was a barn-burner. The league will want to capitalize on this hot rivalry to gain as much exposure for the NHL as they can following a lockout that has turned off a ton of fans. They want the spotlight asap, and no offense to your historic rivalry, but Flyers-Pens might be the best rivalry in hockey right now.

      • zetaone - Jan 2, 2013 at 11:21 PM

        Plus Boston/Candiens really have no “front runner” guys you can say “player x vs player y”. They are pretty balanced. Chara/Lucic don’t count because everybody hates them, and Subban doesn’t either because he won’t fight, he just runs his mouth.

        With Pens/Flyers its: GIROUX AND JVR VS MALKIN AND CROSBY!! As games end 8-7 with 5 fights and a misconduct or two..

      • zetaone - Jan 2, 2013 at 11:32 PM

        Also, Carey Price is the Tony Romo of hockey. Actually, that title probably belongs more to Roberto 7uongo.

      • flyguys26 - Jan 3, 2013 at 7:37 AM

        @zetaone JVR isn’t with the Flyers anymore. He’s on the Leafs now.

    • whiteqbs - Jan 2, 2013 at 10:43 PM

      Quit trying to sell us on this crappy game. Any hockey fan from anywhere other than those two cities would rather watch Pens-Flyers.

    • leeo00 - Jan 2, 2013 at 10:50 PM

      ya this site only talks about the big teams , you rarely hear about teams like the blues . they had a knock down drag out against the sharks last year in the playoffs, and they wonder why teams struggle in marketing, because they don’t get a quarter of the headlines, and they finished 2nd place last year in the west.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Jan 2, 2013 at 11:16 PM

        I really like the Blues, they have a deep roster, but they just don’t have a superstar. The reason the Flyers-Pens is advertised goes beyond the fact that they hate eachother, it has a lot to do with Giroux vs Crosby. The interstate competition combined with those two guys makes the matchup extremely marketable.

      • misterchainbluelightning - Jan 3, 2013 at 12:34 AM

        Completely false on the idea that this site only talks about the big teams.

        Either you’re lying
        or
        You’re rarely ever here enough to be qualified to make a statement like this

  11. ravenscaps48 - Jan 2, 2013 at 10:17 PM

    I’m just as optimistic as the next guy, but planning a schedule before a deal is done? That’s getting everybody way too excited, way too early. Now. If they agree to a deal. Then lets start talking schedules

  12. ducksk - Jan 2, 2013 at 10:19 PM

    I will be there! When you lose something you realize how much you miss it. No one is locking me out, and I’ll bet there will be a full house! Oh, go kid!!!!

  13. mountainmantride - Jan 2, 2013 at 10:30 PM

    Wait, let me turn down the sound of the NFL playoffs and the college bowl games, NBA season heating up, first tourney of PGA in Maui, etc….what’s that now, what’s this you say…the NHL, might be starting up. What’s the NHL? Oh right, I forgot, that’s the league that some idiot coach said was like, um, bowling. Yahoo eh, the NHL might be back for a “mini me” season. Whatever. Anyway, back to those “other” games that are keeping me, and a gazzilion other sports fans happy and watching.

    • whiteqbs - Jan 2, 2013 at 10:39 PM

      NBA? PGA? Get the hell out of here!!

      • mountainmantride - Jan 2, 2013 at 11:05 PM

        NHL = Irrevelant.

        “Despite wanting to be one of the ‘Big Four’ North American pro sports leagues, the NHL has just three players on this year’s Power 100: Chicago’s Jonathan Toews (No. 69), Vancouver’s Daniel Sedin (No. 76), and Boston’s Tim Thomas (No. 86), and ‘ol Timmy boy ain’t in the league no more.

        The NHL’s representation in the Power 100 is so low that it trails every other sport except boxing. By comparison, the National Football League has 26 players on the list, followed by the National Basketball Association, with 20, and Major League Baseball, with 16.

        The cold reality is that hockey has an identity crisis. The NHL lacks a core group of marketable superstars. Of the 39 athletes who made a repeat appearance on each of the last three Power 100s, not one plays hockey.

        As for the NHLers on the last Power 100, Pittsburgh’s “Golden Child” Sidney Crosby has missed the better part of two years due to concussions; Washington’s Alex Ovechkin is in the midst of back-to-back mediocre seasons, by his standards; and Chicago’s Patrick Kane still is shedding perceptions that he’s volatile off the ice. Even if both Crosby and Ovechkin were playing at their highest levels, it wouldn’t resonate much with marketers or consumers/fans. The NHL’s two biggest stars register a low 7 percent total “Awareness,” an E-Poll Market Research measurement that averages name and face recognition.”

        Soooo whiteqbs, with your jock strap all in a bunch, you got yourself a sport that’s virtually Irrelevant. And in middle of a lockout to boot. While you scoff at other sports, your beloved NHL is not much more than a passing joke for a vast number of sports fans. Oh, and there were 111 million people watching the SuperBowl last year and a whoooping 3 million people who watch the Stanley Cup. Go figure, eh.

      • misterchainbluelightning - Jan 3, 2013 at 12:02 AM

        And yet here you are waiting on bated breathe for any word on a deal and some hockey this year. LOL
        Funny stuff

  14. ducksk - Jan 2, 2013 at 10:47 PM

    I love pga,I can turn it on and fall asleep in minutes. NBA seriously? Packers rock, but, NHL best game in the history of the world.

  15. ducksk - Jan 2, 2013 at 11:02 PM

    Ok, go blues, yeah.

  16. ducksk - Jan 2, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    mountainmantride; you are irrelevant. You think it matters what “pro 100″ is. I never heard of it. Have you ever been to a live NHL game? Guess, you couldn’t afford it after your 12ver of bush light. Who really cares where hockey falls in “big four”? I could care less. It’s the greatest skilled game in the world. And class of players? Don’t get me started in my top 100 there.

  17. bufffalojoe - Jan 2, 2013 at 11:32 PM

    Have I missed something? Last I heard there was still no CBA something about a stand still in negotiating about pensions… The next hour should be very interesting, can they get this done?

  18. zannjusktagg - Jan 3, 2013 at 12:09 AM

    Just waiting for an update so i can go to bed…

  19. shortsxit34 - Jan 3, 2013 at 12:25 AM

    Mountain,
    I’m not arguing any of those points, but if you hate hockey so much, why post on a hockey website? Hockey could be the 10th most popular sport and none of us would care. Nobody here watches hockey due to its popularity, they watch it because its the best sport in the world.

  20. orangeandblack67 - Jan 3, 2013 at 12:51 AM

    I love how rangers fans think they are “the beast of the east” because they won the division and made it to the Conf. finals. Need I remind them what happened after the last time they got oh so close? That’s right, 7 years of no playoffs and only making it out of the first round once after that. Oh and didn’t they loose those finals to a divisional opponent? I believe they did.

  21. arbruins - Jan 3, 2013 at 4:00 AM

    I can’t understand how any hockey fan could be remotely interested in watching any NHL games this year. I feel betrayed!

  22. xjokerz - Jan 3, 2013 at 4:03 AM

    I could care less

  23. boondocksaint7 - Jan 3, 2013 at 4:29 AM

    I will believe it when I see it! Anyway, Let’s go Pens!

  24. connorgreg - Jan 3, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    PUCK ‘EM
    they can suck my STICK

  25. markcycy - Jan 3, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    who cares . the nba is playing. haha just kidding i had nothing else to watch

    let’s go flyers!!! let’s go flyers!!!!

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