Four Opponents That We Will Miss on the Bruins 2020-21 Schedule

SAN JOSE, CA - FEBRUARY 19: Joe Thornton #19 of the San Jose Sharks skates against the Boston Bruins at SAP Center on February 19, 2017 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Rocky W. Widner/NHL/Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, CA - FEBRUARY 19: Joe Thornton #19 of the San Jose Sharks skates against the Boston Bruins at SAP Center on February 19, 2017 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Rocky W. Widner/NHL/Getty Images) /
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Four opponents that won’t be on the Bruins’ schedule under the proposed divisional alignments in 2020-21 and it’s unfortunate.

Under the proposed NHL realignment divisions for the 2020-21 season, the Boston Bruins will have just seven opponents in the regular season.  Unfortunately for the Bruins, that means that they’ll be missing some much-anticipated annual matchups during the regular season.

Here are four matchups that Bruins fans will not get to see this winter, but there’s always hope for a matchup or two in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Toronto Maple Leafs

The main reason for missing these annual four games is it means Joe Thornton won’t return to the TD Garden for Toronto’s two regular-season matchups. Drafted first overall in the 1997 Entry Draft, Thornton played his first eight seasons in Boston before being dealt to the San Jose Sharks in November of 2005.

Thornton played 15 seasons in the Bay Arena and racked up 804 assists, but like in Boston, he was unable to win the Stanley Cup. Hoping to go to a contender that has a chance to hoist the Cup in 2021, he signed a one-year, $700,000 with the Leafs, who also signed Wayne Simmonds and T.J. Brodie.

At 41 years old, this is Jumbo Joe’s last shot at winning the Cup.

Montreal Canadiens

Because of travel restrictions this season at the US/Canada border, there’s no hope of seeing the Habs in the regular season. Playing in an all Canadian Division with the Maple Leafs, the Canadiens made a couple of moves to make themselves better this season.

First, they traded for Columbus Blue Jackets’ talented winger Josh Anderson who has been sidelined for a year following shoulder surgery in December 2019. Then they signed Tyler Toffoli to a free-agent contract to add more scoring. Just looking across at the jersey on the other side is reason enough to miss these annual battles.

Tampa Bay Lightning

The last two years, the Bruins and Lightning have been the President Trophy-winning teams, slugging it out in the Atlantic Division. Last season in the Toronto playoff bubble, the Lightning dispatched the Bruins in five games in the Eastern Conference Semifinals on their way to winning the Stanley Cup.

The emotions picked up last year in their regular-season matchups and in the postseason. Four games this season would have been tremendous theater as the two teams would have been in yet another battle in the division standings.

St. Louis Blues

Although the Bruins and Blues play just twice a year, this season these two games would have given the Bruins a chance to see old friend Torey Krug who signed with the Blues in free agency in October.

You also don’t need to be reminded either of what happened in the 2019 Stanley Cup. I’ll leave it at that.

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While there is the possibility that the Bruins could see any of these teams in the playoffs, these would have been annual regular-season matchups that would have been circled on the calendar for 2020-21.