When the NHL schedule wasn’t released mid-week as expected, hockey fans understandably began to panic. I mean, sure, it was probably just a minor delay while the League sorted out some of the details of the Sochi agreement — you certainly can’t release a schedule when you’re trying to sort out whether or not that schedule will have a two-week Olympic break — but we’re not fully over the lockout just yet. What if the schedule didn’t get released until January? Because that happened recently.
Thankfully, we didn’t have to wait that long this time around: on Friday afternoon, we got our dates. Even more exciting: this year’s schedule has almost twice as many Canucks games as last year! Awesome!
The complete Canucks schedule can be found here, but if you’d rather just have someone tell you about the big dates, here’s what you need to know:
The club opens the season against new division rivals the Sharks on Thursday, October 3rd. That’s right: new division rivals. The Northwest Division is no more. All hail the Pacific Division, which should be easy enough to remember. If you’re stuck, just think of what body of water you usually swim in.
NO. IT’S NOT THE KITS POOL DIVISION, IDIOT. TRY AGAIN.
Anyway. The Canucks’ home opener is two days later versus the Oilers.
The next big date could be a very big date indeed, and it’s just three days after that: the New Jersey Devils, Cory Schneider’s new club, visit on October 8th. This will already be met with some fanfare, but it could be an even bigger deal if Schneider and Luongo happen to be manning opposite nets.
It seems unlikely, since Schneider probably won’t be the starter by game no. 4 of the Devils’ season. (My guess: he’ll take over partway through the year when Brodeur can’t stop the bleeding in Newark). But it’s important to note that this will be the second game of the Devils’ first road trip of the season, and it takes place one night after their first.
It’s a back-to-back on the road for New Jersey, a game where most teams typically play their second-stringer. Meanwhile, the Canucks will be playing on a day’s rest, so Roberto Luongo will probably be in net.
That is, if he reports to Vancouver, and his recent tweets suggest he’s coming to terms with the idea, especially the one from this afternoon:
When does the schedule for the KHL get released??? I kid I kid…….
— Strombone (@strombone1) July 19, 2013
All of this is to say that, while it’s not a guarantee, it’s not outside the realm of possibility for us to see Roberto Luongo vs. Cory Schneider practically right out of the gate. That would be great.
Or it could be Eddie Lack versus Martin Brodeur. That would be substantially less great.
And speaking of visits from old flames: Alain Vigneault returns to Vancouver on April Fools day (which suggests, to me, the shap crew were consulted on the schedule for some reason).
Other dates of note: