We still have to wait for the first game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday evening, but that doesn’t mean that real hockey where the games count isn’t happening today! There are five games, the first starting at 12:00 pm ET and the last one starting at 10:30 pm. potentially ending around 1:30 am. That’s over 12 hours of hockey, all day! I call it bliss.

Speaking of those 5 games...

What To Watch Today

New York Rangers vs Carolina Hurricanes — 12:00 pm on Sportsnet, TVAS, NBCSN, NHL.TV, FS-CR, and MSG

Chicago Blackhawks vs Edmonton Oilers — 3:00 pm on Sportsnet and NBC

Florida Panthers vs New York Islanders — 4:00 pm on Sportsnet One, TVAS, NBCSN, NHL.TV, MSG+, and FS-F

Montreal Canadiens vs Pittsburgh Penguins — 8:00 pm on CBC, Sportsnet, TVAS, and NBC

Winnipeg Jets vs Calgary Flames — 10:30 pm on CBC, Sportsnet, NBCSN, NHL.TV

I’m gonna have some fun with this and make some predictions. I will win nothing if I go 5 for 5 and neither will I lose anything if I go 0 for 5.

NYR-CAR: Rangers win 5-3

CHI-EDM: Oilers win 4-3

FLA-NYI: Islanders win 3-1

MTL-PIT: Penguins win 5-1

WPG-CGY: Jets win 4-2

Think you can do better? Well you probably can, but if you don’t leave your predictions in the comments then I call you a coward, sir! A coward!

Why I raised my fist | by JT Brown, published on NHL.com

Diversity and Representation in Maple Leafs Organization: A Halfhearted Reality | by Marsha Joseph at TLN

Game On: Has Robertson’s strong camp forced Keefe’s hand? | by TSN.ca

Report: Kyle Clifford, Jack Campbell trade has new conditions | by Katya

Sheldon Keefe on Jake Muzzin: “In the exhibition game, he really looked like he was making a statement about how prepared and committed he is to being a difference-maker for us” (Transcript) | by MLHS

The short- and long-term potential of Toronto’s Nick Robertson | by Corey Pronman at The Athletic

Blue Jackets’ Werenski: Maple Leafs forwards ‘a big challenge’ | by Mike Johnston at Sportsnet.ca

On a final note, you all likely know that the issue of diversity in hockey has been a hot button topic this week. The NHL and its players’ gestures of standing together has been criticized pretty heavily due to its weak, and mixed message.

Yesterday, it led to thousands of people tweeting pictures of themselves taking a knee in their team’s jersey with the hashtag #Kneel4Hockey. It was pretty great to see, and one hopes that the NHL and its players see it and act accordingly. Well, some good news is that after an initial report a couple of days ago that the Hockey Diversity Alliance was frustrated with the NHL. Well, on Friday it was reported that they started having significant dialogue with each other. We can only hope it leads to something better than the lame “standing united” or their #WeSkateFor movement that is being heavily marketed and monetized with “some” of the proceeds going to the NHL Foundation, which might use “some” of that towards diversity initiatives and ending racism.

But gestures and statements are all well and good, but what about real action that can help? A lot of people who knelt and tweeted about it also donated a little bit of their money to an organization dedicated to diversity in general, in sports, or in hockey. I pitched in a bit to Black Girl Hockey, an organization to help black girls get into hockey. It would be nice for everyone to donate to an organization they believe in to help make the world a better place.

And after, we can watch a full day of hockey getting mad a the refs for their calls and the league for their blunders and for Chicago for tanking hard against Edmonton!