Having a chance to take more than just a passing look at the Capitals' schedule for the upcoming season, here are just a few thoughts.
The Caps play back-to-back games 12 times this season. The interesting thing about the games back to back, almost all will be in different cities. There are 7 back-to-backs the Caps play where they will be either traveling to or from home between games (only one of those is a home and home - Devils Nov. 14 and 15). The other 4 are on the road so they will be traveling between games then as well. There is only one home back-to-back, Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 where the Caps will host the Red Wings and Senators respectively.
The Caps have two western swings relatively early in the season. The first will be a short 3 game swing through Calgary, Phoenix and Dallas from October 21 - 25 playing every other day. Then a bear of a road trip. Nov. 15 - 24th they start off in New Jersey (finishing a home and home with the Devils) then jump coasts to Anaheim, Los Angeles, San Jose then Minnesota. While they do take a longer road trip in late March due to the Frozen Four a the phone booth, their trip then will mainly stay in the eastern time zone.
The Caps will play on New Year's Day at home, they play the Lightning at 7 pm after the hoopla with the Winter Classic in Chicago.
I am sure you have all circled your calendars for when the Pens (Oct. 16), Flyers (Dec. 20), and Lightning (Nov. 10) come to town. But one game I am actually looking forward to is the Capitals' season opener against the Thrashers (Oct. 10). With both coaches best friends, now divsion foes, you know its going to be pretty intense.
The Caps open and close the season on the road. They actually spend their last three games in divsional foes buildings.
The return of the 6 games against divisional foes seems to work okay for now. I am excited to see the Red Wings, Oilers and Kings come to the phone booth. Since we don't get to see those teams very often on the west coast. Now we have to just hurry up and wait.