Raiders fans can get hockey fix with NHL restarting

Raiders celebrate a goal during the 2019/20 season (pic John Scott)

Raiders celebrate a goal during the 2019/20 season (pic John Scott) - Credit: Archant

With our own hockey season looking even more unlikely as the country went into a third national lockdown, at least the puck drops for a new NHL campaign next week. 

Most Everyone Active Raiders fans will be hoping to stream some of those games I'm sure and, if they haven’t already, are picking a team to follow to provide a hockey fix. 

It will be an interesting season with the divisions being re-aligned to save travelling and help aid the shortened season which could create or even re-kindle big rivalries especially playing each more often. Some would even say it will have more of a play-off feel to it throughout the season. 

The first game on the schedule will be Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers and that just goes to show you how, despite no crowds, it could prove to be an intense campaign. 

The eastern division will be of real interest to most fans due to the earlier face-off times and many being on at 10.30pm or midnight as opposed to most western games being on in the early hours.  

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The new-look Canadian division will create some fierce rivalry with face-off times all over the place due to games being played both on the west and east coast.  

Tampa Bay Lightning stole the show when the play-offs came back in the summer to give hockey fans something to watch and cheer about but there has been a ton of activity since then with the NHL draft taking place and free agency now live for almost two months with lots of UFA signings and trades being made. 

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New York Rangers are arguably the biggest winners of the off-season. They won the draft lottery after finishing 18th in the overall standings and losing in the play-in round to get the honour of picking Alex Lafreniere 1st overall - building off their 2nd overall pick in 2019 when they selected Kaapo Kakko.  

It's safe to say that the Rangers are well on their way towards becoming an elite team again in the not too distant future, especially after signing superstar left winger Artemi Panarin in 2019 as an unrestricted free agent.

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