Schedule analysis: Breaking down what’s ahead for all 30 NHL teams

The 2011-12 season is nearly upon us, which means that many NHL fans are pondering hockey trips and all the nights they’ll spend screaming at arenas (at at their TV sets). Who knows how much each NHL team worries about their schedule – some have been known to complain, while likely none ask to give back long homestands – but PHT is in the process of breaking down all 30 schedules.

As we cover the divisions one-by-one, you might have trouble keeping track of all of the posts. Don’t worry, though, because they can all be found in this convenient post. Feel free to bookmark this page and come back to it for future updates.

Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division

New Jersey Devils
New York Islanders
New York Rangers
Philadelphia Flyers
Pittsburgh Penguins

Northeast Division

Boston Bruins
Buffalo Sabres
Montreal Canadiens
Ottawa Senators
Toronto Maple Leafs

Southeast Division

Carolina Hurricanes
Florida Panthers
Tampa Bay Lightning
Washington Capitals
Winnipeg Jets

Western Conference

Central Division

Chicago Blackhawks
Columbus Blue Jackets
Detroit Red Wings
Nashville Predators
St. Louis Blues

Northwest Division

Calgary Flames
Colorado Avalanche
Edmonton Oilers
Minnesota Wild
Vancouver Canucks

Pacific Division

Anaheim Ducks
Dallas Stars
Los Angeles Kings
Phoenix Coyotes
San Jose Sharks

Stars to scratch Nichushkin after rough outing versus Avs?

Craig Anderson
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Looks as though slumping Dallas winger Valeri Nichushkin could be a healthy scratch tonight when the Stars host the Oilers at American Airlines.

Per the Morning-News, Nichushkin — who barely played in the second and third periods of Saturday’s 6-3 loss to Colorado — is likely to be replaced by Colton Sceviour in the lineup.

Stars head coach Lindy Ruff was fuming after the Avs defeat, calling it “embarrassing, worse than disappointing.” It didn’t take a genius to realize one of the players in his doghouse was Nichushkin, who had just 2:02 of ice time in the second period and 3:24 in the third.

Yesterday, Ruff dropped Nichushkin to the fourth line in practice.

“I’ve been trying to help him by shifting him around,” the head coach explained. “He had some struggles early in camp on right wing, so I put him on left, and he doesn’t seem real comfortable at left right now.

“His game, everything has got to get a little bit quicker.”

The 10th overall pick in 2013, Nichushkin has struggled to build on the form shown in his rookie campaign, when he scored 14 goals and 34 points in 79 contests.

He missed nearly all of last season with a linger hip ailment and has been a virtual non-factor through the first two games this year.

Report: Teams ‘screaming bloody murder’ about Richards settlement

Mike Richards

When the Los Angeles Kings announced they’d settled with Mike Richards, it didn’t take long for the accusations of salary-cap circumvention to materialize.

And though NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly was adamant that the settlement was “far from” circumvention, apparently not everyone agrees with the league in that regard.

“Privately, other teams are screaming bloody murder and are threatening to make an issue about it at December’s Board of Governors’ meeting,” Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports.

Friedman goes into more detail in his story, so click the link to read more.

But remember how we wrote that the issue in this case was precedent, and that the “NHL and NHLPA can’t allow teams to escape onerous contracts through a back door”?

Well, one agent posed a good question to Friedman: “What’s to stop other teams from trying this?”