Thursday, July 17, 2008


Canucks Get Another Brutal Schedule

by Jes

I usually don't get too excited when the NHL releases its schedule for the upcoming season, but news is slow and my curiosity is piqued.

Looking at the Canucks schedule, the big news is that they'll begin the season at home versus Todd Bertuzzi and the Calgary Flames. A nice way to start the season. Practice those boos and hisses.

Unfortunately, the Canucks are then scheduled to play SIX straight away games versus Calgary, Washington, Detroit, Buffalo, Chicago, and Columbus.

Yes, the Canucks get fux0red over by the schedule makers once again. Instead of making one nice Eastern seaboard sweep, the Canucks have to travel across the continent again in November to play the two New York teams. As if the Western teams don't have enough travel to do!

While this might seem like sour grapes, the long and grueling travel schedule does take its toll on the West Coast teams over the course of a season. How many Stanley Cup winners have we had here? Exactly, one.

While the Eastern teams can almost ride a bike to half of their games, teams like the Canucks are forced to make two or three cross-country roads trips every season, and it certainly has a negative effect on their play. The least the NHL can do is try to ensure that all West Coast/Alberta teams make one cross-continent trip each year and play their games in one swoop.


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1) Jes: Wasn't it you guys out west who wanted a more balanced schedule? That would seem to mean MORE travel for west teams than before, no? Agree that the schedule makers do seem to do some silly things each season with every team
2) Detroit must have done the most travel last season being in the east time zone but playing 13 of their 14 west opponents in the other time zones. There probably is a site that lists each teams travel somewhere
3) Haven't the last 2 Cup winners hailed from the West?
And yet, somehow, someway, the Wings find a way to win the Prez Trophy every year, and the Cup once in awhile. It's mind-boggling, when you sit down and think about it.

Oh, yeah...the Ducks did manage to do the same thing in '07. With a LOT of help from Lady Luck, and the referees. ;)
Its often quoted how "bad" Detroit's travel is since they are one of the eastern-most West Conference teams, but its a fallacy.

In terms of total miles travelled, Detroit travels less than most West Conference teams each year.

Most importantly, they face tired travelled teams. Detroit usually is among the leaders in games played against teams on the end of long road trips. This is because it is comon to have a game at Detroit on the way back from an East Coast road trip for a West Coast team.

I haven't looked in detail at this year's schedule, but it is not uncoomon in the past that Detroit leads the league in games against trave-weary teams.

I argue the schedule usually benefits the Detroit Red Wings.
It would be nice if you could provide some actual numbers, to support these claims. Or, a link to an article from a publication or website, making this argument in an organized fashion.

Not saying it isn't true, I'd just like to see the facts, instead of just opinion presented as fact.
1) There has to be a site or some nerd who's run the travel numbers for each team. LOL
2) What PSH writes makes sense, but we'd love to see the actual numbers to confirm this.
3) What is for certain is that the new schedule has to INCREASE the travel for everyone.
Yes, yes, the Wings benefit from their position in the Western Conference... I guess Nashville, Chicago, Minnesota, and all the other teams who aren't on the coast gain instant advantage over the coastal teams...

If they don't like it, relocate. That simple.

We can't make the continent any smaller, and we can't relocate cities...

This new schedule at least has more inter conference games, which means you guys will face some tired Eastern teams at some point in the season (or maybe next with the weird home-and-home setup)...

Why does anyone even look at the schedule at this stage? Doesn't make sense to me... These dudes are supposed to be in the best shape a human body can get in to... Can't handle a little travel? C'mon...

Ask and you shall receive. This link is for this season, but the poster does include his links to the previous 3 seasons as well.

Detroit traveled 59362 KMs last year and Vancouver travelled 87208 KMs. In fact 17 other teams had more travel then the Red Wings had to endure last season. Also included is the back to back games a team has, the number of times a team faces 3 games in 4 nights and their longest home stand.
Impressive work by PecaFan! See, a little OCD can really go a long way.

Well, Detroit does have more back-to-backs and 3-of-4 stints than Vancouver, so I don't think you can say they're schedule is easier.

Colorado, now...they've got an easy schedule, going just by the numbers. They aren't going to do squat with it this year, but it's a nice, comfy schedule.
I'm surprised at how much importance everyone puts into this stuff... Really... Guys... The only thing that can happen with people complaining about travel and whatnot is that the NHL decides to streamline things and put all teams in the middle of the continent. OR - possible re-align the conferences again...

To me, the teams affected with seemingly unfair travel schedules aren't good enough to be labelled serious Cup contenders anyway, so what's the problem? Be glad you have a team in your hometown and that's that...

Anaheim likely had to do a bit of travelling too in the season they won the Cup...

Just sayin'...
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