Sep 28, 2011, 9:00 AM EST
With the 2011-12 season rapidly approaching, the gang at PHT decided to take a look at all 30 NHL teams’ schedules. Each team’s highs and lows will be studied in detail to give you an idea of what the future might hold for each squad.
Boston Bruins schedule analysis
Total mileage: 33,770 (fifth lowest in NHL, second least in Northeast Division)
Back-to-back games: 13
The Bruins start with a cushy schedule, but they’ll pay for it during the last three months of the 2011-12 campaign. Each month has a rough stretch that will test the defending champions.
The first tough run begins in Carolina on Jan. 14, followed by back-to-back road games against Florida and Tampa Bay. The final game of that four-game trip takes place in New Jersey, which is followed by back-to-back afternoon games (home vs. the Rangers on Jan. 22, followed by an NBC game in Philly). That treacherous run concludes two days later in Washington. (Overall, that’s six of seven games on the road with two back-to-back contests.)
The middle of February is rough as well. They’ll play six straight road games in that span, concluding with a game in Buffalo on Feb. 24 followed by a contest versus Ottawa on Feb. 25.
March is a bit more forgiving, but not a cakewalk either, with eight of 12 road games during one span.
Seven of the Bruins’ first 10 games are at home, which should give the team a nice chance to bulk up for that tough end of the season. Going without back-to-back games in October won’t hurt their cause, either.
The second half of November isn’t fun, but the first half is borderline cuddly. Six of their first seven games are in Boston, including five in a row.
After a scattered December, the Bruins only have a few promising chances to stockpile relatively easy points. January includes a four-game homestand and starts their last above average stretch (five of seven games at home from Jan. 31 to Feb. 14).
The Bruins have a light travel schedule, a manageable 13 back-to-back games and some excellent opportunities to earn an early buffer.
For that reason, the team should provide a great test for the old “Stanley Cup hangover” cliche. If they indeed stumble out of the gate, things could get sketchy because the end of their season provides some harrowing stretches. Boston finished last season remarkably healthy, but if they might limp into the playoffs in 2011-12.
(Assuming they follow reasonable logic and make the postseason to begin with, of course.)
- Crosby: If I had to guess Thornton’s suspension, I’d say 10 games 16
- Cowen gets two-game suspension for hit on Girgensons 12
- Rangers must consider Callahan’s injury history in contract talks 12
- The Chip ‘n’ Chase: Outrage over hockey violence, Gary Bettman is a happy man, Darryl Sutter is awesome, and more! 28
- Report: Isles coach Capuano not seen as problem 11
- Rivalry Night on NBCSN: Flyers challenge top-ranked Blackhawks 17
- Update: Ryan Callahan out 4-6 weeks with MCL sprain 15
- Four goals: Ovechkin wills Caps to stunning shootout win vs. Bolts 62
- Bettman: No decision on expansion, but they’re listening 13
- Neal admits kneeing Marchand was ‘not the smartest decision’ 80
- Video: Penguins’ Orpik stretchered off ice; Bruins’ Thornton given match penalty (182)
- Neal suspended five games for kneeing Marchand in the head (156)
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ (138)
- Pens put Orpik on IR (132)
- Orpik suffers from concussion, including memory loss (118)