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Hockey fans are ecstatically anticipating the start of the 2017-2018 NHL hockey season that will commence on Wednesday, Oct. 4th, 2017 with a total of 1,271 games slated throughout the season. All 31 teams in the league will play a total of 81 games as they make their way towards the Stanley Cup. In the end, the season is scheduled to conclude on April 7, 2018. Let’s take a look at a few highlights and expectations for the upcoming season.

The Las Vegas Golden Knights

Known as the 31rst franchise of the NHL, the Vegas Golden Knights will officially kickstart their season on October 6th as they go up against the Dallas Stars. The game will take place at the American Airlines Center and all eyes will be watching. What does this team have to bring? Because of the fact that this team is an expansion team, many predict that they will lack skill and have a sub-par season. As a targeted “easy team to beat”, this team is setting high expectations that may be hard for them to meet.

The Pittsburgh Penguins

When the 2017-18 seasons commences, the Pittsburgh Penguins have a highlighted moment where they raise their 5th Stanley Cup Championship banner. Unlike the Vegas Golden Knights, the Pittsburgh Penguins are the team to beat this season. While last season was the Penguin’s fifth title, it was also the second consecutive year in a row that they won the Stanley Cup. Last year the Penguins beat the Predators for the win. So which team will outshine the Penguins this season? Some say that the Edmonton Oilers just might have what it takes this season.

The NHL All-Star Weekend

The NHL regular season will pause for a brief moment between January 26th until the 29th in 2018 for the NHL 2018 All-Star Weekend in Tampa, FL at the Amalie Arena. The All-Star weekend highlights star players from each team in the league for 20 minute games in a 3-on-3 tournament. All four divisions, the Pacific, Central, Atlantic, and Metropolitan will put their best star players forward.   

As pre-seasons comes to an end, hockey fans are eager to see how their expectations will play out. Who will win the 2017-18 Stanley Cup? Stay tuned for more hockey talk as this season takes off.