5 games on the 2023-24 NHL schedule you need to see in person

With another exciting NHL season underway, which highly-anticipated NHL match-ups are must-sees in 2023-24? Here are five games you should check out in person.

Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid
Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid / Ethan Miller/GettyImages
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1. Colorado Avalanche @ Toronto Maple Leafs — Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024, 7:00 p.m. EST

This game features a potential Stanley Cup match-up that we could see in 2024. Bleacher Report believes that the Colorado Avalanche have the fifth-best odds of winning the Stanley Cup this season, and the Toronto Maple Leafs have the second-best odds. No Canadian team has won the Stanley Cup since 1993. Could this be the year a Canadian team ends the 30-year drought? The Maple Leafs are certainly in the mix, so it's a possibility. The Avalanche go head-to-head with the Maple Leafs in Toronto on Jan. 13, 2024. 

The Avalanche topped the Central Division in the regular season last year, edging out the Dallas Stars by one point. The 2022 Stanley Cup winners failed to advance past the first round of the playoffs in 2023. Colorado continues to be a strong team with high hopes for another cup run. In 2022-23, Mikko Rantanen scored a staggering 55 goals, and Nathan McKinnon scored 42. The Avalanche also have one of the strongest offensive defensemen in the game, Cale Makar, the 2022 Norris Trophy winner. Devon Toews excels as a versatile, puck-moving defenseman.

Last season, Toronto was second in the Atlantic Division behind the Boston Bruins. They made it to the second round of the playoffs, knocked out by the Florida Panthers. The Maple Leafs are stacked with talent. Franchise player Auston Matthews, who is now armed with a new contract, scored 40 goals in 2022-23 and 60 in 2021-22. Mitch Marner hit 99 points last year, his second season in a row coming close to breaking 100. Notable defensemen John Klingberg and Max Domi are new Maple Leafs this season.

Don’t miss the opportunity to see an exhilarating match-up between these two contending teams. They both aim to go far this season. The Avalanche also take on the Maple Leafs at home in Colorado on Feb. 24, 2024.

Key Avalanche: Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, Artturi Lehkonen, Devon Toews, Cale Makar
Underrated Avalanche: Tomas Tatar
Avalanche X-Factor: Bowen Byram

Key Maple Leafs: Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, Willian Nylander, Matthew Knies, Morgan Rielly
Underrated Maple Leaf: John Tavares
Maple Leafs’ X-Factor: Timothy Liljegren

The 2023-24 NHL season has plenty more must-see hockey. See you at the arenas.

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