That’s right: the CBA has been ratified, the schedules are out. We are seven days away from watching NHL hockey. Seven days away from screaming at the boys in burgundy and blue again. Here is the link to the full schedule, but I’ll break it down for you all now.
-The season starts on the 19th, in Minnesota.
-The first home game will be on the 22nd, against the LA Kings.
-There are three games against all conference teams.
-Five games each against the Minnesota Wild and the Edmonton Oilers.
-Four games each against the Vancouver Canucks and the Calgary Flames.
-Seven games in January, 12 in February, 15 in March, and 14 in April.
-There will be eight sets of back to back games-that wouldn’t be too many in a regular season, but it could be a lot in this shortened time, especially considering five of them come in the last five weeks.
-The longest roadtrip will be a four game one, spanning from January 26 to January 31. The Avs will play the Sharks, the Oilers, the Canucks, and the Flames.
-There are two four game homestands, which will be the longest of the season. The first is from February 2-February 11 (Oilers, Stars, Ducks, Coyotes) and the second from April 13- April 21 (Canucks, Blue Jackets, Oilers, Blues).
I’m pretty happy that the two divisional rivals that the Avalanche have to face five times are the Oilers and the Wild. These are the two teams that the Avs have had the most success against in the recent past. Of course, the Avs have done pretty poorly in their division as a whole the past few years, so that doesn’t say much. If there was ever a year to break the streak of mediocrity that is the Avalanche divisional record, it would be this one. 37% of the season will be against the division, versus the usual 29%.
Training camp starts tomorrow morning at 10:00 am at the Family Sports Center. The Avs are expected to practice there until Saturday, at 10 am each morning, with the exception of Thursday. I can’t wait to get things started-Avs fans, assemble!