Montreal Canadiens players celebrate following their 3-1 victory over the Maple Leafs in Toronto in the teams' season opener on Wednesday. Only 81 games left 'til the playoffs. We see the Canadiens in their mainly white uniforms skating over to their bench congratulating each other and preparing to slap fives.

Montreal Canadiens players celebrate following their 3-1 victory over the Maple Leafs in Toronto in the team's season opener on Wednesday. Only 81 games left 'til the playoffs.
Photo Credit: CP Photo / Frank Gunn

The National Hockey League is up and running

Attention, Canadians! It’s safe to come back inside.

After a summer in withdrawal, Canadians can once again get their hockey fix, every night if they so desire.

Things are back to normal. The National Hockey League season is underway. Started on Wednesday.

The NHL is, of course, the premier professional hockey league in the world. It features the best players in the world.

The Chicago Blackhawks' Stanley Cup championship banner is raised to the United Center ceiling during a ceremony before their game with the New York Rangers on Wednesday. The stands in the arena are aglow with cellphone lights reaching to the upper rafters. The ice blow reflects the flood lights (in streaks). At the far end, we see a lot of people is suits as the giant white banner makes its way up.
The Chicago Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup championship banner is raised to the United Center ceiling during a ceremony before their game with the New York Rangers on Wednesday. © AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

It’s also a major money maker for owners, players, any media outlet you can get your hands on. Even the schmatte business. Hockey sweaters sell well.

Thirty teams in varying stages of development and ability now have set their hopes on one thing: winning the Stanley Cup.

Only one group of players will actually get there–to that place they all so much want to be: on the ice in a packed arena, sticks raised, beards full, the Cup raised above their heads, the fans going crazy.

Nothing says Canada like hockey. Or maybe it’s the other way around? Whatever. Most Canadians simply can’t get enough.

Bruce Dowbiggin is a Canadian journalist, author and media personality, who many believe is the best in the business when it comes to discussing hockey.

He spoke to RCI by phone from his home in Calgary.

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