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20 July 2008

New Schedule Is Out!

Finally, the schedule is out with the new layout. I like the way they fixed it. This season will display three home and three away in each teams own division. The schedule will have four games each against every other team in its own conference. It also consists at least one game from each team in the opposite conference. The teams will also play three teams in the opposite conference one other time. The specials for this season will show four regular season games starting off the season taking place in Prague between the Lightening and the Rangers and Stockholm between the Penguins and the Senators. It will also have an outdoor classic in Chicago between the Blackhawks and the Red Wings. This season seems to answer all the problems it has had in the past couple years, making our young, new superstars available for every team to see at least once. It looks to be an exciting season and I can't wait! You can download a copy here: 2008-2009 Pittsburgh Penguins Season Schedule.


Inside the 2008-09 Schedule
John Kreiser | NHL.com Columnist
Jul 18, 2008, 10:00 AM EDT

The 2008-09 NHL schedule was announced Thursday. The season begins on Oct. 4 with two games in Europe and ends 27 weeks later, on April 12. Each team will play 82 games, 24 against teams in its own division, 40 against non-division teams in its own conference and the rest against the other conference.

Here’s a look at some of the more interesting numbers for the upcoming season:

0 — Games scheduled on Oct. 26, the only non-holiday or All Star-related date in the season on which there are no games scheduled.

1 — Games on Feb. 23 (San Jose at Dallas) and March 2 (Colorado at New York Islanders) — the only dates on which only one game is scheduled.

2 — Games on Nov. 28, when the United States celebrates Thanksgiving — and neither involves a U.S.-based team. The Nashville Predators, who had hosted (and won) a Thanksgiving night game in each of the last three years, don't have one this season.

3 — Longest homestand for the New York Rangers, who have four of them. The Rangers are the only team that doesn't have at least one four-game stretch of home games.

4 — Road games at the start of the season for the Boston Bruins, who always have a trip right around the start of the season due to arena commitments (they opened with five in a row on the road in each of the last two season). It's the longest season-opening trip for any team. The Bruins are the visiting team for three home openers (Colorado, Minnesota and Montreal) before they finally play their own home opener at the TD Banknorth Garden on Oct. 20.

5 — Consecutive games at home to start the North American portions of their schedule for the Ottawa Senators and Tampa Bay Lightning, two of their four teams that open the NHL season with a pair of games in Europe.

6 — Home games in their last seven for the Detroit Red Wings and Edmonton Oilers, the best losing stretches for any team. The St. Louis Blues have the opposite: They play six of their last seven games away from home.

7 — Road trip for the Edmonton Oilers from Oct. 30 through Nov. 10. It's part of a grueling season-opening stretch in which the Oilers play 12 of their first 15 games and 14 of their first 19 away from Rexall Place

8 — Longest homestands of the season, for the Colorado Avalanche, Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins. The Senators are also one of the two teams, along with the Chicago Blackhawks, to have an eight-game road trip.

10 — Home games for the Montreal Canadiens in an 11-game stretch from Nov. 29 through Dec. 21. The Canadiens play seven in a row at the Bell Centre, make a quick visit to Carolina on Dec. 16, then go back home for three more games. The Canadiens also have nine home games in a 10-game stretch from March 10-31.

12 — Afternoon home games for the Boston Bruins, by far the most in the NHL. The first of those games is a noon meeting with the New York Islanders on the day after Thanksgiving; nine of the remaining 11 are on Saturdays. Boston also has at least three afternoon contests on the road.

13 — Games on Dec. 23, March 12 and April 7, the most on any weekday. The Dec. 23 games come before the NHL takes two days off for the Christmas break.

15 — Games on Oct. 25, only the second time the NHL has scheduled all 30 teams to play on the same day. The other was Oct. 5, 2005, when every team played on the first night of the season as the League returned after the work stoppage.

18 — Inter-conference games for each team, up from 10 in the previous three seasons. Each team plays every team in the other conference (15 games), plus, there are three wild-card games.

20 — Road games for the Vancouver Canucks in a trio of long trips. The Canucks play six straight road games after opening at home against Calgary on Oct. 9, play seven in a row away from General Motors Place from Nov. 29 through Dec. 14, and end March with six in a row on the road.

22 — Games at Staples Center for the Los Angeles Kings in their first 31 contests. The Kings open at San Jose before playing their next four games at home, have a seven-game homestand from Oct. 27 through Nov. 11, play 10 of their first 13 games at home and don't have a trip of more than two games until the week before Christmas. The payback: Beginning on March 13, 12 of their last 16 games are on the road.

40 — Actual home games for the Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning, each of which will play their 41st "home" game during a season-opening two-game trip to Europe. Pittsburgh and Ottawa will face off twice in Stockholm, Sweden, while the Rangers and Lightning will play a pair of games in Prague.


Euro opening, Habs' centennial highlight new season
Dan Rosen | NHL.com Staff Writer
Jul 17, 2008, 12:00 PM EDT

The first pucks in the 91st NHL regular season will drop in two European countries that have supplied the League with a number of premier players over the last two decades.

Sweden and the Czech Republic have opened their doors to the NHL for many years now by developing greats like Nicklas Lidstrom, Daniel Alfredsson, Henrik Lundqvist, Jaromir Jagr and Dominik Hasek.

The NHL will give back in early October when the first major event of what should be a star-studded 2008-09 season takes place. The New York Rangers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins will compete in the NHL Premiere on Oct. 4-5 in Prague and Stockholm.

The Rangers will play back-to-back nights in Prague against the revamped Lightning, who now boast No. 1 draft pick Steven Stamkos, as well as Ryan Malone, Gary Roberts, Adam Hall, Vaclav Prospal, Mark Recchi, Radim Vrbata and Matthew Carle.

Meanwhile, Alfredsson will be bringing the Senators to his home country to play Sidney Crosby and the Penguins in Stockholm. It’s a showdown of the last two Eastern Conference champions, who also have met in the playoffs each of the last two seasons.

The Rangers, Lightning, Senators and Penguins will play exhibition games prior to the NHL Premiere, showcasing the NHL in Germany, Finland and Switzerland.

The Rangers will play Russian club Metallurg Magnitogorsk in the IIHF Victoria Cup on Oct. 1 in Bern, Switzerland. Alfredsson will get a chance to play his old team, the Frolunda Indians of the Swedish Elite League, in his hometown of Gothenburg on Oct. 2.

Alfredsson played three seasons (1992-95) for Frolunda.

“I know Sweden is proud to have a chance to host these two games,” said Mats Sundin, one of Sweden’s legendary NHL stars. “The tickets were sold out hours after they were released. It’s a huge thrill for hockey fans to watch Crosby and Alfredsson and others playing. I think it’s great exposure for the National Hockey League in Europe.”

On the homefront, two of the most storied franchises in all of sports will open the season against one another when the Detroit Red Wings begin defense of their Stanley Cup championship against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Joe Louis Arena on Oct. 9. The Wings’ newest Stanley Cup championship banner will rise to the rafters that night in Joe Louis Arena.

Two more Original Six franchises will open another one of the League’s legendary buildings the next night as the New York Rangers begin their home schedule against the Chicago Blackhawks in what is sure to be a sold-out Madison Square Garden.

Montreal starts celebrating its centennial season Oct. 10 in Buffalo, and opens the home portion of their schedule Oct. 15 against the Boston Bruins.

The Bruins get the honor of opening three road buildings before their own – the Pepsi Center in Colorado, the Xcel Energy Center in Minnesota and the Bell Centre Montreal. After a game in Ottawa, they open the TD Banknorth Center Oct. 20 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Bruins have the latest home opener in the League.

Fans will get their first taste of reigning MVP Alexander Ovechkin when the Washington Capitals
open their season in Atlanta on Oct. 10. The Caps host Chicago at the Verizon Center the next night.

The legends will come out for Hall of Fame Weekend in Toronto on Nov. 8-10. A pair of legendary franchises, Montreal and Toronto, will begin the celebration by playing in the Hall of Fame Game on Saturday night at the Air Canada Centre.

Class of 2008 inductees Glenn Anderson, Igor Larionov, Ray Scapinello and Ed Chynoweth (posthumously) will be honored at the induction ceremony two nights later.

For the second straight season the League is bringing the game outdoors on New Year’s Day. NHL Winter Classic 2009 will pit the Chicago Blackhawks against the Detroit Red Wings at Chicago’s Wrigley Field in the NHL’s third outdoor game, but first in a baseball stadium. The game will be televised live on NBC in the United States and on CBC and RDS in Canada. NHL Radio will provide coverage across North America and NHL.com will provide extensive digital video coverage.

“It should be great for the League, the Blackhawks, our city, our fans and our product,” Chicago Blackhawks General Manager Dale Tallon told NHL.com.

Arguably the biggest story heading into the 2008-09 NHL season is the 100th season of the Montreal Canadiens hockey. The League is celebrating its most successful franchise in history by bringing All-Star Weekend and the 2009 NHL Entry Draft to the Bell Centre.

All-Star Weekend will be Jan. 24-25, 2009, and includes the SuperSkills Competition and the 57th All-Star Game. The Entry Draft will be June 26-27.

“It’s going to be our centennial year and we said from the beginning that we want to do everything so that Montreal really becomes hockey-centric and that it’d be a year of celebration of not only the franchise but of our national sport and our great game and all of its heroes,” Canadiens president Pierre Boivin told Canadian Press.

The second half of the NHL season begins Jan. 27 with a slate of 11 games, including Washington at Boston, Carolina at the New York Rangers, Detroit at Columbus, New Jersey at Ottawa, Montreal at Tampa Bay, Philadelphia at Florida, Toronto at Minnesota, Atlanta at Dallas, San Jose at Colorado, Buffalo at Edmonton and Anaheim at Phoenix.

Right around then the rumors start to fly as trading season heats up, culminating on March 3, Trade Deadline Day, easily one of the most anticipated days of the season for any hockey fan.

The last day of the regular season will be April 12, when four games are on the schedule and perhaps some playoff berths or divisional titles could be on the line.


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