By Mike Harrington
One more day for Sabres fans to wait but Saturday is finally Opening Day for the NHL -- three months and nine days later than the orginal Oct. 11 date on the schedule.
The Sabres are holding a 10:30 practice at First Niagara Center that will last until about 11:15. Owner Terry Pegula, president Ted Black and GM Darcy Regier have a noon press conference planned in the Lexus Club to preview the season, which begins tomorrow at 12:30 against Philadelphia.
(Sabres.com is scheduled to stream that presser live and we'll have full coverage here on the Edge this afternoon).
In today's paper, check out my story on Mikhail Grigorenko, who has made the Sabres roster for at least the first five games. And in my Sabres notebook, Lindy Ruff will be watching the TV to see how officials call things today.
As for the rest of the NHL, it's opening day on 13 fronts. Obviously, the one we'll be paying the most attention to is the Flyers' 3 p.m. game in Philly against the Penguins (Ch. 2). NBC will open the broadcast with the Kings' Stanley Cup-banner raising ceremony in Los Angeles (prior to their game against the Blackhawks, and then switch Eastern viewers to Philadelphia).
Here's what I'm most interested in:
Rangers at Bruins -- An early heavyweight battle. Every team will be a little rusty but it will be interesting to see how a potential Eastern Conference final might look.
Leafs at Canadiens -- Which team is going to stink less? The Habs have kept No. 3 overall pick Alex Galchenyuk, just as the Sabres have done with Mikhail Grigorenko.
Caps at Lightning -- The NHL debut of former Canisius star Cory Conacher in Tampa, as well as the Lightning's new monstrous scoreboard in the Tampa Bay Time Forum.