These European starts to the season keep getting weirder and weirder. Like, tonight is the NHL's Christmas Eve (or Hanukkah Eve, whatever you like) and it absolutely doesn't feel like it.
For four fanbases, their teams are opening the season an ocean away. That reeks of excitement, doesn't it? Tampa and Pittsburgh are technically the home teams tomorrow, too. So they have pseudo home openers tomorrow.
For the rest of the league, it's business as usual. There is still a whole slate of pre-season games through Monday night. Hell, most teams don't really even start their seasons until Friday or Saturday -- there are only four games on Thursday night to open the season.
So what do we make of this? It's not your traditional opening night. There aren't 12 cities hosting home openers. There are a couple of teams playing in front of hopefully raucous European crowds and beamed back home on CBC (sorry, America). That's not a bad thing. I'm all for playing in Europe. It just feels weird and awkward. Not quite like school picture day in middle school, but closer to random neutral site pre-season games, except they mean something. But who am I kidding, these teams will still have 80 games to play when they get back. Are we really missing that much?