If there is such a thing as a big early-season game in the NHL, tonight's game at the Big House, the Wachovia Center down in South Philly, should be considered one.
The Philadelphia Flyers take on the Pittsburgh Penguins, a team that should be interesting for a number of reasons.
First, it is an appearance by one of the greatest hockey players of all-time, the Pens' Mario Lemieux.
Then the Pens toss in the new sensation in the game, top draft pick rookie Sidney Crosby in his first Philly appearance.
Finally, there is the return of two former Fly Boys who had extremely long and popular careers in the Orange & Black, John LeClair and Mark Recchi.
Add a measure of early-season desperation to all that, as the two teams, expected to be contenders, have just a single victory among them in seven combined games. For one club, it could be a nice jump-start, while the loser remains a struggling enigma.
Thus far, I have found the "new" NHL game a bit disjointed. Far too many penalties as players get used to the new rules that should prove to open the game up a bit. For me, the jury is still out. Should be a rollickin' good time in South Philly.