10 must-watch hockey games in the 2022-23 NHL season

10 must-watch hockey games in the 2022-23 NHL season

For hockey fans, there’s nothing like cheering on your favorite NHL team in the Stanley Cup finals. But before we reach that climactic showdown, there’s a ton of great games to watch on NHL CENTER ICE during the 2022-23 NHL season.

With 32 teams playing 82 regular-season games apiece between October 2022 and April 2023, the selection is almost overwhelming. You may wonder: “With so many NHL games tonight, how do I choose what to watch?”

To help you make your hockey TV viewing decisions, here are 10 must-watch games. Let’s drop the puck!

Must-watch NHL games in October 2022

Oct. 7-8: San Jose Sharks vs. Nashville Predators 

The Czechs have produced legendary hockey players like Jaromir Jagr and Dominik Hasek, so it’s exciting and fitting for the NHL to kick off its 2022-23 season with two games at the O2 Arena in the scenic Czech capital of Prague. For Prague-born San Jose Sharks forward Tomáš Hertl, it’ll also be a homecoming. 

Oct. 12: Toronto Maple Leafs at Montreal Canadiens

This isn’t just an opener between Canada’s two most famous teams. Each club is also renewing its quest to end a long Stanley Cup drought. The Toronto Maple Leafs last won the Cup in 1967, while the Montreal Canadiens haven’t won since 1993. Tick, tock!

Toronto fans hope two-time NHL goals leader Auston Matthews can build on his 60-goal campaign in 2021-22 and take the Leafs all the way. Montreal fans hope Juraj Slafkovsky, the 2022 Olympic MVP and No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 draft, will dazzle in his NHL debut and become their savior.

Must-watch NHL games in November 2022

Nov. 4-5: Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Colorado Avalanche

After Prague in October, the second chapter of the 2022 NHL Global Series plays out in Finland. This two-game set at the brand-new Nokia Arena will see Tampere-born sniper Patrik Laine of the Columbus Blue Jackets vying for bragging rights with fellow Finnish forwards Mikko Rantanen and Artturi Lehkonen of the Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche.

Nov. 10: Philadelphia Flyers at Columbus Blue Jackets

Veteran NHL coach John Tortorella is famous for winning the 2004 Stanley Cup with the Tampa Bay Lightning but also for his colorful quotes and antics like trying to fight coach Bob Hartley of the Calgary Flames in 2014.

“Torts,” who coached the Columbus Blue Jackets from 2015-16 to 2020-21 before getting fired, will finally return to the Ohio capital behind the bench with the Philadelphia Flyers, long nicknamed the “Broad Street Bullies.” Stay tuned for potential fireworks.

Nov. 19: Calgary Flames at Florida Panthers

The Calgary Flames failed to re-sign Matthew Tkachuk to a long-term deal after his career-high 104-point season in 2021-22. So they traded the talented 24-year-old agitator in July to the Florida Panthers for a package featuring 29-year-old ace Jonathan Huberdeau, coming off his personal-best 115-point season.

Who’ll come out on top in their first post-trade showdown?

More must-watch games in the 2022-23 NHL Season

Jan. 2: Pittsburgh Penguins at Boston Bruins

What’s not to like about watching Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins dueling Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak of the Boston Bruins? For baseball fans, that scenario gets even better at the 2023 Discover Winter NHL Classic. It’s taking place outdoors at Fenway Park, the home of the Boston Red Sox.

Feb. 4: 2023 NHL All-Star Game

Imagine watching today’s top NHL superstars sharing the same ice, from Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers to Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals to Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche. Your best chance is, naturally, during the 2023 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend.

The 2023 NHL All-Star Game is slated to take place at the FLA Live Arena, where the Florida Panthers play.

Feb. 9: Colorado Avalanche at Tampa Bay Lightning

This Stanley Cup finals rematch marks the first meeting between these two powerhouses since the Colorado Avalanche edged the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 in Game Six of the 2022 Stanley Cup finals at Tampa’s Amalie Arena.

Can Colorado aces, like Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog, outdo superstar Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy again?

Feb. 18: Washington Capitals at Carolina Hurricanes

Never before have the Carolina Hurricanes hosted an outdoor game. That streak ends with this installment in the 2023 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series.

The Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, N. C. hosts this battle between two clubs with one Stanley Cup apiece. Carolina won in 2006, while Washington triumphed in 2018.

Feb. 25: Chicago Blackhawks at San Jose Sharks

The 2022-23 season will witness some big-name jersey retirement ceremonies, from Dustin Brown (Los Angeles Kings) to Ryan Miller (Buffalo Sabres). However, it’s extra-special when the guy retiring is the all-time leader in NHL games played (1,779).

Expect nostalgic tears aplenty when San Jose Sharks legend Patrick Marleau gets his No. 12 jersey raised to the rafters at the SAP Center at age 43.

Catch all the NHL action you crave

Find all of your favorite match ups on the DIRECTV hockey schedule. And don’t miss a game with NHL CENTER ICE!

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