Gary Bettman shared his hopes of preserving an 82-game season on Tuesday, revealing that such a thing could happen if it all began on Nov. 2.
While it’s important to note that a final schedule would likely present some tweaks to the current plans, PHT probed existing ones to see which teams might get off to great (or rough) starts.
Let’s start off with a few teams who could enjoy early gains
The immediate start isn’t too promising with back-to-back road games against playoff teams (Philadelphia, then Ottawa). Still, the streaky Ducks could take advantage of a six-game homestand before the pendulum swings the other way.
What would have been a four-game road trip is whittled down to just one away game (and the start of a home-and-home series) with the Edmonton Oilers. Including hosting the Oilers, the Red Wings will then enjoy a five-game home stand and seven of eight games at Joe Louis Arena.
(Not a bad way to start the post-Lidstrom era.)
The defending champs can raise the Stanley Cup banner during a three-game home opening run while their overall start includes seven out of ten games at the Staples Center. It gets a little rocky to end the month, but maybe their “hangover” will be gone by then.
After alternating home and road games, the Flyers play five of six in Philly. Only one of those teams (Ottawa) made the playoffs last season, although Minnesota did make big off-season changes. They do finish the month with the first three games of a five-game road trip, so they must seize an early opportunity to collect wins.
They begin the season with four of their first five games at home, play one more road game and then get three straight contests at the Phone Booth. That’s a friendly start for first-time head coach Adam Oates.