Tomorrow's Schedule Release Could Hint Who Wins Atlantic Division

Get ready for images like this to start the season.
It's with great anticipation NHL fans wait to find out how their team's 48-game schedule will shape out. Once the players ratify the new CBA agreement tomorrow morning, Gary Bettman and the league office will release the season docket.

Here are the facts we already know:

  • Each team will play two of their divisional rivals 5 times each (10 games)
  • Each team will play the other two divisional rivals 4 times each (8 games)
  • The remaining 30 games will be played against the other 10 teams in their conference (3 games/non-divisional conference team)
As it's already been well reported and highly speculated, the Penguins should start the season off with a home-and-home vs. the dreaded Flyers. Fitting, isn't it? And you have to think the league will make sure Pens vs. Flyers is a 5 games season series. If this comes true, the Penguins knock out two critical divisional games right off the bat.

I like this format, but I don't. It's nice to know there won't be any west coast swings. Staying up until 10 p.m. is miserable the next morning. At the same time, you have to think also this format isn't necessarily fair. Two teams get to play the Islanders 5 times, and it probably won't be the Penguins. That's an easy 8 points in the standings. So this leaves either the Penguins' other 5 game divisional season series with the Rangers or the Devils. Tough opponents increasing strength of schedule, but not making it any easier to win the Atlantic Division.

Be sure to expect tight races leading up to the very end of the season. Buckle up because it's going to be one hell of a season.


Damian Romano said...

I can stay up till 10 no problem Corey. :)

Corey Trojanowski said...

Of course you can... haha

Damian Romano said...

Nevertheless, the Pens could really start some serious momentum if they can take down two of the juggernauts in the East right off the bat. At least we know Geno will be ready.

Natasha said...

Or they could be 0-2 30 hours into the season against key divisional opponents. This thing sucks. I don't mind the Islanders thing one bit. That shitty home & home Isles series in late March cost us the top seed.

Natasha said...

I meant to say Pens won't open home & home against PHL, they will playe two consecutive games on the road, 1/19 @PHL at 3 pm and 1/20 @NYR at 7 pm. Both Flyers and Rangers home schedules were released to season ticket holders. Sucks big time for Pens.

Damian Romano said...

And so it seems playing the top divisional rivals on the road proved to be in their favor. :)

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