With the recognition that excitement is more legitimate for some games than others, a mid-August glance at the Bruins’ 2019-20 slate of games gets the mind racing with possibilities . . .
Bruins at Stars, Oct. 3
The opener, in Big D. It’s hockey time again — truly, really, it’s back. The Stars have Joe Pavelski and Corey Perry now. They already had Tyler Seguin and Miro Heiskanen. If you’re a Bruins fan, you’ll be a lot more interested in how they’ll line up, who made the team, who is healthy — and have Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo signed?
Bruins at Coyotes, Oct. 5
If they don’t start selling Phil Kessel Desert Dogs at the concessions, what are they even doing out there?
Bruins at Golden Knights, Oct. 8
New addition to the always-entertaining Vegas pregame show: Ryan Reaves will marry two lucky fans, but at random. He gets to choose. And it’s legally binding.
Bruins at Avalanche, Oct. 10
The battle for “Best Line in Hockey” rages on. Oh, and Nazem Kadri plays here now.
Devils at Bruins, Oct. 12
Home opener. Jack Hughes and P.K. Subban make the Devils vastly more intriguing than they were last year. Suggestion to TD Garden: To avoid fan angst, raise the “Eastern Conference Champions” banner that afternoon, sans ceremony.
Ducks at Bruins, Oct. 14
Should be able to find cheap tickets. “Boston cheap,” anyway.
Lightning at Bruins, Oct. 17
Good one here. Two teams that did not appreciate how their playoff runs ended.
Bruins at Maple Leafs, Oct. 19; Maple Leafs at Bruins, Oct. 22
Speaking of! This should be a fun little series.
Blues at Bruins, Oct. 26
Just grab that Game 7 scab and rip. Anyone humming “Gloria” will be ejected from the building.
Bruins at Rangers, Oct. 27
In which Artemi Panarin teaches Kaapo Kakko how to score after a puck goes off the netting.
Sharks at Bruins, Oct. 29
Serious question: Jumbo Joe’s last game on Causeway?
Senators at Bruins, Nov. 2
Let’s check in on the Senators’ five-year plan.
Penguins at Bruins, Nov. 4
Sidney Crosby always a treat to watch.
Bruins at Canadiens, Nov. 5
It’s the Habs, in Montreal.
Bruins at Red Wings, Nov. 8
An Atlantic Division game, in case you forgot.
Flyers at Bruins, Nov. 10
How good is Carter Hart? Let’s assess.
Panthers at Bruins, Nov. 12
Noel Acciari Night. Rhode Island rejoices.
Bruins at Maple Leafs, Nov. 15
Last look at the Leafs until March.
Capitals at Bruins, Nov. 16
Remember 7-0? Brad Marchand probably does.
Bruins at Devils, Nov. 19
Has the buzz worn off in Newark, or are the Devils a contender? More importantly: Have McAvoy and Carlo signed yet?
Sabres at Bruins, Nov. 21
Marcus Johansson gets a tribute video, and it’s 20 seconds long. Bunch of nice plays, though. Also, will the Bruins be missing his zone entry/playmaking abilities at this point?
Wild at Bruins, Nov. 23
The Coyle-Donato trade, rehashed, again.
Bruins at Canadiens, Nov. 26
Atlantic Division points . . .
Bruins at Senators, Nov. 27
. . . are available.
Rangers at Bruins, Nov. 29
The traditional Black Friday matinee (1 p.m.). Bring the whole family.
Canadiens at Bruins, Dec. 1
It’s 5 p.m. Do you know where your RFAs are?
Hurricanes at Bruins, Dec. 3
Carolina will be charged up . . . until they see Tuukka Rask again.
. . .
OK . . . so, we’re almost 30 games in. At this point, the season has taken shape, and we’ll be talking about where the Bruins stack up. What are the major issues? Who’s hurt and when are they coming back? Does this team have the look of a Stanley Cup contender? Which teams, to this point, are thinking trade deadline to patch their holes or punt toward 2020-21?
We’ll be well into hockey season again. No need to hunt for reasons to watch.
Follow Matt Porter on Twitter at @mattyports