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Report: Teams to play 18 divisional games, 30 vs. rest of conference

Jan 8, 2013, 4:16 PM EDT

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The NHL has yet to announce what it’s 2013 regular season schedule will look like, but it appears the matrix has been set for how the games will be divvied up.

It will look like this…

Four games vs. two divisional opponents (4 x 2 = 8)

Five games vs. two divisional opponents (5 x 2 = 10)

Three games vs. 10 conference, non-divisional opponents (3 x 10 = 30)

…for a grand total of 48 games.

As expected, there will be no crossover play between the Eastern and Western Conferences.

The news, first reported by TSN’s Bob McKenzie, differs from last week’s report by the Pittsburgh Tribune’s Rob Rossi — in that matrix, teams were set to play divisional opponents seven times (7 x 4 = 28) and remaining conference foes twice (2 x 10 = 20).

We’re still waiting for feedback and analysis from various teams. It’ll be curious to hear how clubs will react to the unbalanced home/away split in the five-game series against divisional opponents.


NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly has confirmed to the Orange County Register the NHL will begin its 48-game schedule on Jan. 19.


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NHL confirms 48-game schedule, start date still up in the air

  1. bo1210 - Jan 8, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    I’m sure there will be some complaints, but since they were a part of the mess, they really have no room.

  2. killerpgh - Jan 8, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    Doesn’t it make more sense to play your divisional opponents an equal amount of times? Why should so e teams in the division have an advanage over another? Don’t you think the Flyers would rather play the Islanders and Devils 5 times than the Rangers and Penguins. On a short season points are that much more important.

    • therealjr - Jan 8, 2013 at 4:52 PM

      Seems like it wouldn’t have killed them to add two more divisional games to the mix but if things fell a certain way they could be playing on July 1. Anyway, if you aren’t good enough to be in the top 8 then you aren’t good enough. Complaining about two extra games out of 48 is a losing mentality.

    • stakex - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:55 PM

      There is certainly an advantage to the teams in the Atlantic that get to play the Islander that extra game, and you can find other examples of this around the league.

      However, if you need an extra game against the Islanders to make the playoffs… you are not going anywhere once you get there.

      • zetaone - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:07 PM

        The Kings were in 8th place in the West last year :/

      • stakex - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:14 PM

        Fair point, but they are more the exception then the rule.

      • tcclark - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:27 PM

        They played a 6th seed for the Stanley Cup

  3. solador78 - Jan 8, 2013 at 4:36 PM

    But will it be 4 games every 5 nights like in the NBA last season?

    That made basketball even less watchable than before.

    • killerpgh - Jan 8, 2013 at 4:59 PM

      We won’t know for sure until the schedule comes out, but I read some where that it is expected to 3.5 games per week.

  4. manchestermiracle - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:05 PM

    Less than half a season, no East/West games…Will the Cup be a half-sized version?

    • thailer35 - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:13 PM

      They are playing 48 games this year – 58.53% (>50%) of the usual 82 that they play.

      • tridecagon - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:45 PM

        And when you account for the, let’s say, 22 games (at an average of 5.5 games per series) of playoff hockey – you’re talking about 2/3 of a full season’s worth of games for the cup winners.

        I think playing 48 games in 14 weeks will actually be more grueling than your regular 82-game, 30ish-week season.

        Half a cup? Please.

    • stakex - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:58 PM

      Ask the 1995 Devils if their cup was any less meaningful because they won it in a 48 game season.

      The season will be the same length for everyone, and the winner will still have been the team that played the best at the end. The fact that they did it with a 48 game season vs an 82 game season will mean nothing by June.

      • manchestermiracle - Jan 9, 2013 at 12:18 AM

        14 weeks is less than half a season. Jamming 48 games into that time span will not make for a better campaign. How many more injuries will there be because of a compressed schedule and limited recovery times?

        Any team that doesn’t get hot and/or lucky early will have an impossible task ahead of them. Any team that gets hit by the injury bug early is history. No chance of an L.A. Kings-type run-at-the-end happening this year. The smaller number of games reduces the possibility that the true best team plays for the Cup.

        I get your points, guys, mainly because I feel the same way: Better a half (ass) season than no season at all. But don’t try to pretend it equals a real season because it doesn’t. Or are you saying you’d rather the regular season have less games every year?

      • jtrain1966 - Jan 9, 2013 at 6:23 AM

        Sorry stakex, i had to reply here . But, manchestermiracle 48 games in a 14 week schedule is kinda like having a full 82 game schedule . For the simple fact that there will be an additional game, or two every week adds that physical abuse that they would get from playing a full schedule .

  5. hawkeyplayer - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    it is SMART to not have TOO many divisional games… as like someone said its not really fair. We all know some divisions are less talented than others… like the Southwest.

    Travel should not be an issue as its is a job requirment, and that’s why they get paid millions.

    To be honest, I’m not a fan of all the divisions but I understand they have to find a way to seed teams into the playoffs. I wish it was Conference matchups… as then you cant blame crappy divisions as the only reason teams made the playoffs or had a great seed, etc. Like the Panthers 3rd seed last year, when we all knew they should have been 5th-8th in reality.

    • thailer35 - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:56 PM

      You mean to say that the Pacific Division (surely that’s what you meant when you said southwest) is weak? The only division represented in the Western Conference Finals last year? The division of the reigning Stanley Cup Champions?

      Open your eyes man.

      • tcclark - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:31 PM

        he probably meant southeast considering he was talking about Florida…

  6. h0ckeycoach - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    The coach is in the house. Let’s get ready to drop the puck. We’re going to see a mad dash to make the playoffs, and we should expect to see the same amazing hockey in the playoffs as we’ve seen in previous years. Can’t wait to be at opening night. Go NHL!

  7. icelovinbrotha215 - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:16 PM

    I don’t see what there is to complain about. Usually, teams have east/west coast swings. There isn’t enough time for all that to happen. With this schedule, teams will be more familiar with each other. And based on that, the ‘rivalry’ in teams will show more on a nightly basis.

  8. iHeartHockey31 - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    My dad likes out local NHL team but I like to see all this visiting teams come to play. I hated that we could only see other conference teams once every other year but now we can’t see them at all this year. I hate to see the same teams over and over again. I was holing to see the teams that didn’t come to visit us last year.

  9. h0ckeycoach - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    Complain? We’ve been doing enough that. Now its time to move on and enjoy this great game. I think this shortened schedule will benefit the Rangers. Why you ask? Well! Tortorella pushes his players so hard that its difficult for the player to maintain the same level of intensity for 82 games, and to be at their prime when the playoffs begin. Cut the season to 48 games, and the Rangers should in perfect condition to hit the playoffs in stride.

  10. bigbadbruins77 - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:51 PM

    Damn I was lookimg forward to the Bruins beating up on the habs, sabres, sens etc a bunch of games

  11. icelovinbrotha215 - Jan 8, 2013 at 9:23 PM

    So, 5 games each vs. NYR and PIT? I’ll take that.

  12. charleslouis99 - Jan 8, 2013 at 11:18 PM

    this is going to seriously hurt Winnipeg. I still reserve the thought that bettman is bitter about the atlant-winnipeg move and not switching winnipegs schedule with a more geographically logical team is a way to get back at the populace.

  13. charleslouis99 - Jan 8, 2013 at 11:23 PM

    I obviously mean the jets not Winnipeg as a city lol

  14. greatminnesotasportsmind - Jan 9, 2013 at 2:09 AM

    The regular season will be a glorified playoff since there is no cross over between conferences. A 5 game losing streak essentially will put you in a hole you can’t dig out of. Especially since they still have that stupid rule where you get a point for losing a game in overtime.

    I have heard teams will have 4 games in 5 nights every 4 weeks

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