Somewhere, kids are sitting on a sidewalk, lacing up their rollerblades for some street hockey. It’s the only thing they have until the cold weather returns. After the awards ceremony two nights ago, the 2010-11 season has mostly been put to rest. And while nobody wants summer to pass by too quickly, there are little reminders than next season isn’t really that far away. Yesterday, the 2011-12 schedule came out.
Here’s a few highlights for now. Of course, once things get rolling, it will probably play out a bit differently.
October: Division 1, West 3, Home 7, Away 4
6th - We open the season in Boston and get to witness their banner raising ceremony. Ouch.
12th – Home opener. This time we get the other Stanley Cup Finalist, the Vancouver Canucks.
15th – Los Angeles comes to town. Not much of a wait for the return of Mike Richards.
27th – For the first time since 1996, Winnipeg comes to town. Hopefully as the Jets, with some great retro uni’s.
November: Division 3, West 2, Home 5, Away 7
5th – Jeff Carter makes his own return with the Blue Jackets
17th – Bryzgalov gets to give me a good birthday present by shutting out his former team, the Coyotes
19th – Flyers go to Winnipeg. That’s enough history with that franchise.
December: Division 3, West 4, Home 3, Away 10
8th-10th-13th: Pitt, Tampa, Washington – Let’s see how consistent our defense and goaltending are against some of the best offensive player in the league on consecutive nights.
27-29th: Tampa, Pitt – Ditto.
Lot’s of traveling this month.
January: Division 4, West 3, Home 7, Away 6
5th – Blackhawks come to town. A reminder of a the finals a few years back. You know, when we had lots of centers and nearly won it all.
7th-8th – First home-and-hoem of the season, vs Ottawa. Some good, historical brawls between these clubs. Playing a pair so close together could be fun.
24th-31th – All star break somewhere in there.
February: Division 5, West 5, Home 7, Away 6
4th-11th – Rangersx2, Leafs, Devils, Isles – lot’s of division games in a short span.
12th – @Detroit. Always a good litmus test.
25th, 28th – @Calgary and SJ – Late games, let the kids stay awake and watch.
March-April: Division 8, West 1, Home 12, Away 8
March 6th – Detroit comes here. Are we at all a good team?
March 11th-13th – Home-and-home vs NJ. Potentially awesome…or terrible.
The last month+ of the season is littered with division and conference games so teams will be moving around a lot in the standings. Let’s hope it doesn’t come down to a shootout again. 8 of the last 11 games are at home.
April 7th – Season ends at home against the Pens.
Playoffs – TBD
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