With the 2011-12 season rapidly approaching, the gang at PHT decided to take a look at all 30 NHL teams’ schedules. Each team’s highs and lows will be studied in detail to give you an idea of what the future might hold for each squad.
Note: Mileage figures via On the Forecheck’s “Super Schedule.”
Colorado Avalanche schedule analysis
Total mileage: 48,945 (eighth most miles in NHL and 3rd most in the Northwest Division)
Back-to-back games: 10
People around the Avalanche probably won’t be saying Happy 2012 come January. The team doesn’t play consecutive games at home for the entire month which means the team will basically be living out of a suitcase. They play an eight game stretch between December 31 and January 16 when they play in eight different cities. As if that wasn’t difficult enough, all but one of the games will be against Western Conference opponents. Needless to say, they’ll need to figure out a way to keep their head above water throughout the month.
Take January and combine it with an Eastern Conference road trip at the beginning of the season and it will be important for the Avalanche to maintain a bit of consistency.
There’s no question the Avalanche will need to take advantage of their eight-game homestand between November 18 and December 4. Unfortunately for the Avs, they’ll need to deal with the Sharks and Canucks at the beginning of the homestand and the Red Wings to close the home dates. Depending on how individual teams perform, Colorado could have a relatively easy stretch at the end of October/beginning of November with games against the Flames, Oilers, Kings, Coyotes, and Stars. They’ll need to beat the other fringe playoff teams in the Western Conference if they want to sneak into one of the last playoff spots.
Unfortunately for the young Avalanche team, they’re season could be over almost as quickly as it gets started. After the opening night game at home against the Red Wings, they’ll have a tough five-game Eastern Conference road trip. When they return, they’ll be greeted by a home-and-home with the Chicago Blackhawks. The season could be a nightmare before Halloween. Like just about every other team in the Northwest Division, they’ll spend plenty of time flying from city to city. If they want to compete for a playoff spot, they’ll have to beat up on the likes of the Oilers, Flames, and Wild during their six interdivisional games. Otherwise, they’ll be counting the miles from Pepsi Center to the 2012 Entry Draft in Pittsburgh.
Last week, the Flames stated they would no longer pursue a new arena in Calgary after two years of discussions with the city.
On Monday, Flames president and CEO Ken King said the organization is now receiving funds as part of the National Hockey League’s revenue sharing.
He said the team used to be among the top 10 revenue-earning teams in the NHL who, under the league’s revenue-sharing agreement, contribute funds to the lower-earning teams.
“We have now crossed the line. We are now receivers. We’ll get a cheque this year. Isn’t that ridiculous, in this beautiful market?” he said.
“And I can say, sadly, that we have crossed one of the remedies off the list, and that is the new facility. I honestly do not know where that part of the story is going to end.”
He also stated that the organization’s decision to publicly state it will no longer pursue a new arena in Calgary was not political posturing.
The Flames currently play out of the Saddledome, which is 34 years old and has drawn criticism from the team, as well as NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.
Last week, the Flames released a report online and in local newspaper advertisements, saying they were prepared to contribute $275 million in funding toward a new arena. Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi responded, saying there were some “errors of omission” in what the Flames released.
The NHL’s Department of Player Safety has issued another two-game preseason suspension, this time to Andrew Desjardins of the New York Rangers.
The incident occurred during the first period of Saturday’s game between the Rangers and New Jersey Devils, as Desjardins delivered a hit to the head of Miles Wood.
Desjardins received a match penalty for an illegal check to the head, and a two-game preseason ban on Monday.
“Desjardins, looking to prevent Wood from cutting to the front of the net, steps in front of Wood and delivers a high hit, which makes the head the main point of contact on a hit where such head contact was avoidable,” stated the Department of Player Safety in a video explanation.
“It is important to note that Wood is eligible to be hit on this play, provided it is done in a legal manner. However, rather than taking an angle of approach that results in a legal, full-bodied check, Desjardins takes an angle of approach that picks Wood’s head, making it the main point of contact.”
The Rangers are in action right now versus the Philadelphia Flyers. They have one game remaining on their preseason schedule after tonight, as they take on the Flyers again tomorrow.
Desjardins was attending Rangers camp on a professional tryout.
Tough night for the Ottawa Senators and, specifically, goaltender Mike Condon on Monday.
Playing the New Jersey Devils in the Kraft Hockeyville showcase in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Condon allowed seven goals on 17 shots before the midway point of the second period.
Andrew Hammond then entered into the game for Ottawa, with the Senators down 7-0.
Marcus Johansson started the scoring onslaught for New Jersey. Nico Hischier gave the Devils a three-goal lead before the eight-minute mark of the opening period, and John Quenneville scored twice in less than 30 seconds to put New Jersey up by seven in the second period.
The Vegas Golden Knights have chosen an interesting way to honor their season ticket members, as the organization inches closer to starting its inaugural NHL regular season.
The Golden Knights will, for the first time, play on their home ice at T-Mobile Arena on Tuesday against the L.A. Kings in preseason action. To commemorate this historic season, the organization will embed the names of its season ticket members into the ice surface at their home arena.
(You can check out the video here. Very cool.)
“That it was feasible, if we wanted to do something special on the ice, that we had the ability to put texture to something on the ice, before the laid the last round of it,” said Todd Pollock, Golden Knights vice-president of ticketing and suites.
“It’s in the thousands, the number of names out there. Many thousands.”
The Golden Knights have played four preseason games so far — all on the road. They open the regular season with two games in two nights on the road, on Oct. 6 versus the Dallas Stars and the following night versus the Arizona Coyotes. They return to Vegas for their home opener against the Coyotes on Oct. 10.