OK, now having had the chance to look at it in some depth, I offer the following added observations (and some corrections):
- Actual number of back-to-backs is 12, not 7. Eyes are failing as I get older, I guess . . . Still, a big improvement over the 20 from last year. Half of these fall on Mon/Tues, and some are not "bad" --i.e. home vs. Blues, @ Chicago; home vs. Wild, @ Nashville.
- First ten games will be a test, with San Jose, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary (twice) and Anaheim. Also have LA twice, Phoenix and Minnesota. 7 of these on the road, so 5 -5 or 6 - 4 in this stretch would be huge.
- By the completion of Game 24, we will have 14 of our 41 road games out of the way, including our worst two stretches (the opening 7 of 10 and the 5 game trip in early November). If we are close on Thanksgiving night, we are in good shape!
- Not great pickings for those interested in road trips (at least weekend road trips) -- isolated Saturday games in Nashville, St. Louis, Detroit, Minnesota and Sunday games in Washington and Chicago.
- Conversely, 19 of the 41 home games fall on Friday (5), Saturday (12) or Sunday (2) -- should be great for attendance.
- We play Detroit once in November, twice in December, then three times in April. That can be viewed either positive or negative, depending how you want to view it. Again, by April we better have a solid playoff spot sewn up!!
Again, this is a solid schedule, particularly in light of this being an Olympic year, when I would have expected more back-to-backs. Early challenges and lots of home cooking down the stretch. Promises to be fun!