Next year’s regular season schedule was announced today, revealing what we are all marking the days off on our calenders with big red X’s for (NHL.com).
The new arrangement in the National Hockey League has the Penguins playing 64 games within the Eastern Conference, and 18 more against Western Conference opponents. Every team will play every team this season.
And yes, we can finally say THIS SEASON.
Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby will meet each other early in the season in ’08, as the Washington Capitals make their first visit on October 16th. The series really means nothing between them, being that Sid has a clear advantage in in the win column, however it it always fun to watch two of the best players in the league go at it.
Just two days later, be prepared for the Maple Leaf fans to make their first invasion of the Mellon Arena. If you’ve been to a home game against the Leafs, you know how terribly annoying the games with Toronto can be if the Penguins are losing. It turns in to a veritable home game the boys up north.
Me and my family went for my father’s birthday in Crosby’s rookie season when ticket sales were still struggling. There were so many of them there that it was hard to pick out Pittsburgh fans. They were so obnoxious that I took one of their flags and broke it in half. Let’s just say that Geno’s hat trick last year was sweet revenge.
In Novemeber the Penguins make a swing around some of the Western Conference, and land in Detroit on November 11th. Mark your calendars for this one. It proves to be as heated a game as any, especially since number 18 will be in red and white.
The BIG one happens February 8th. Detroit comes to town for a 3 p.m. game that will likely be on NBC. I hope to be there, and I expect an atmosphere very close to that of the Stanley Cup Finals.
The miniature Penguins, also known as the Tampa Bay Lightning, will bring their host of former ‘Guins to Mellon Arena on December 23rd. As much hate as there will be against Detroit, there should be just as much opposite respect in the game against the Lightning. It’d be far to hard to boo the likes of Ryan Malone and Gary Roberts.
Western Conference teams that visit Pittsburgh are the Edmonton Oilers, Minnesota Wild, Vancouver Canucks, Anaheim Ducks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Detroit Red Wings, San Jose Sharks, Los Angeles Kings and Calgary Flames.
Games against the Western Conference at home have always lack atmosphere at the Igloo. Hopefully the new schedule this season will revamp those matchups. It will be cool to watch Vancouver and Calgary come to town, teams that I haven’t seen in years.
Finally, here are the Pens vs. Flyers dates:
Tuesday Oct. 14 – Flyers @ Penguins, 7 p.m.
Thursday Nov. 13 – Flyers @ Penguins, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday Dec. 13 – Penguins @ Flyers, 1 p.m.
Tuesday Jan. 13 – Penguins @ Flyers, 7 p.m.
Saturday Feb. 21 – Penguins @ Flyers, 1 p.m.
Sunday March 22 – Flyers @ Penguins, 3 p.m
Mark your calendars.
*Update 7/17/08 @ 1:26 p.m.
If you have trouble reading the schedule at NHL.com, here is the version from penguins.com:
Sat., October 4th @ Ottawa, 2:30 PM (Sweden)
Sun., October 5th vs. Ottawa, 2:30 PM (Sweden)
Sat., October 11th vs. New Jersey, 7:30 PM
Tue., October 14th vs. Philadelphia, 7:00 PM
Thur., October 16th vs. Washington, 7:30 PM
Sat., October 18th vs. Toronto, 7:00 PM
Mon., October 20th @ Boston, 7:00 PM
Thur., October 23rd vs. Carolina, 7:30 PM
Sat., October 25th @ New York Rangers, 7:00 PM
Tue., October 28th @ San Jose, 10:30 PM
Thur., October 30th @ Phoenix, 10:00 PM
Sat., November 1st @ St. Louis, 8:30 PM
Thur., November 6th vs. Edmonton, 7:30 PM
Sat., November 8th @ New York Islanders, 7:00 PM
Tue., November 11th @ Detroit, 7:00 PM
Thur., November 13th vs. Philadelphia, 7:30 PM
Sat., November 15th vs. Buffalo, 7:30 PM
Tue., November 18th vs. Minnesota, 7:00 PM
Thur., November 20th @ Atlanta, 7:00 PM
Sat., November 22nd vs. Vancouver, 1:00 PM
Wed., November 26th @ New York Islanders, 7:00 PM
Fri., November 28th @ Buffalo, 7:30 PM
Sat., November 29th vs. New Jersey, 7:30 PM
Wed., December 3rd @ New York Rangers, 7:00 PM
Thur., December 4th @ Carolina, 7:00 PM
Sat., December 6th @ Ottawa, 7:00 PM
Mon., December 8th vs. Buffalo, 7:30 PM
Wed., December 10th @ New Jersey, 7:00 PM
Thur., December 11th vs. New York Islanders, 7:30 PM
Sat., December 13th @ Philadelphia, 1:00 PM
Thur., December 18th @ Atlanta, 7:00 PM
Sat., December 20th vs. Toronto, 7:00 PM
Mon., December 22nd @ Buffalo, 7:00 PM
Tue., December 23rd vs. Tampa Bay, 7:30 PM
Fri., December 26th @ New Jersey, 7:00 PM
Sat., December 27th vs. Montreal, 7:00 PM
Tue., December 30th vs. Boston, 7:30 PM
Thur., January 1st @ Boston, 7:00 PM
Sat., January 3rd vs. Florida, 1:00 PM
Mon., January 5th @ New York Rangers, 7:00 PM
Tue., January 6th vs. Atlanta, 7:30 PM
Thur., January 8th @ Nashville, 8:00 PM
Sat., January 10th @ Colorado, 3:00 PM
Tue., January 13th @ Philadelphia, 7:00 PM
Wed., January 14th vs. Washington, 7:30 PM
Fri., January 16th vs. Anaheim, 7:30 PM
Sun., January 18th vs. New York Rangers, 3:00 PM
Tue., January 20th vs. Carolina, 7:30 PM
Wed., January 28th vs. New York Rangers, 7:30 PM
Fri., January 30th @ New Jersey, 7:00 PM
Sat., January 31st @ Toronto, 7:00 PM
Tue., February 3rd @ Montreal, 7:30 PM
Wed., February 4th vs. Tampa Bay, 7:30 PM
Fri., February 6th vs. Columbus, 7:30 PM
Sun., February 8th vs. Detroit, 3:00 PM
Wed., February 11th vs. San Jose, 7:30 PM
Sat., February 14th @ Toronto, 7:00 PM
Mon., February 16th @ New York Islanders, 2:00 PM
Thur., February 19th vs. Montreal, 7:00 PM
Sat., February 21st @ Philadelphia, 1:00 PM
Sun., February 22nd @ Washington, 3:00 PM
Wed., February 25th vs. New York Islanders, 7:30 PM
Fri., February 27th @ Chicago, 8:30 PM
Sun., March 1st @ Dallas, 3:00 PM
Tue., March 3rd @ Tampa Bay, 7:30 PM
Thur., March 5th @ Florida, 7:30 PM
Sun., March 8th @ Washington, 3:00 PM
Tue., March 10th vs. Florida, 7:30 PM
Thur., March 12th @ Columbus, 7:00 PM
Sat., March 14th vs. Ottawa, 3:00 PM
Sun., March 15th vs. Boston, 3:00 PM
Tue., March 17th vs. Atlanta, 7:30 PM
Fri., March 20th vs. Los Angeles, 7:30 PM
Sun., March 22nd vs. Philadelphia, 3:00 PM
Wed., March 25th vs. Calgary, 7:30 PM
Sat., March 28th vs. New York Rangers, 1:00 PM
Wed., April 1st vs. New Jersey, 7:30 PM
Sat., April 4th @ Carolina, 7:00 PM
Sun., April 5th @ Florida, 5:00 PM
Tue., April 7th @ Tampa Bay, 7:30 PM
Thur., April 9th vs. New York Islanders, 7:30 PM
Sat., April 11th @ Montreal, 7:00 PM
Home games in BOLD
All start times are in Pittsburgh time.