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Poll: Who has the toughest, easiest schedule?

Jul 21, 2013, 8:47 PM EDT

aeroplanegetty Getty Images

On the Forecheck shared its annual super schedule on Saturday, chronicling all 30 teams’ approximate mileage and back-to-back sets for the 2013-14 season. This post covers the team with the most miles (San Jose Sharks) and other factors, but tonight seems like a good night to ask: who has it the easiest and who has it the toughest?

Easiest

It’s important to note that some might weigh sheer mileage more than back-to-backs (and the other way around), so check the super schedule to get a full view of the 30 teams. Of course, for many, quality of division and even conference might factor in, too.

Even so, here are five teams with fairly low travel totals and back-to-backs:

New York Rangers – 29,839 miles, 13 back-to-back
Buffalo Sabres – 34,812 miles, 13 BtB
Ottawa Senators – 34,850 miles, 16 BtB
Philadelphia Flyers – 34,929 miles, 14 BtB
Detroit Red Wings – 35,324 miles, 15 BtB

(The St. Louis Blues might face the easiest haul of the West teams, with 39,328 miles and 13 BtB.)

Vote below:

Toughest

The same factors could be considered for the roughest rides. Here are five of note:

San Jose Sharks – 57,612 miles, just 10 BtB
Phoenix Coyotes – 52,633 miles, 12 BtB
Vancouver Canucks – 48,510 miles, 17 BtB
Anaheim Ducks – 48,568 miles, 14 BtB
Los Angeles Kings – 48,432 miles, 14 BtB

(The Boston Bruins might have the toughest East mix with 42,389 miles and 17 BtB.)

  1. jacketsfan7 - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:58 PM

    Sharks-hardest
    Columbus-easiest

  2. Windmiller4 - Jul 21, 2013 at 9:00 PM

    It’s obvious that with the close proximity of the Rangers, Isles, etc that their schedule is going to be easiest. Likewise, teams that will be more spread out, like the canucks, dallas, it’s going to be tougher

  3. jacketsfan7 - Jul 21, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    Jk it’s obviously the rangers

  4. howintensive - Jul 21, 2013 at 9:05 PM

    Another thing to look at (at least in the east) is what teams are being played 5 times instead of the normal 4 times within the division. The Red Wings have Florida and Tampa Bay, or “Easy Street” as I like to say.

    • cheliostwin - Jul 22, 2013 at 12:55 AM

      But there will be extra miles traveled, playing 5 games in Florida. Okay, maybe spending a day or two in Florida in the middle of winter might be kind of nice.

  5. tcclark - Jul 21, 2013 at 9:33 PM

    I really don’t care much about miles traveled. Getting on a plane is a pain regardless of whether it’s a three hour flight or a four hour flight and these new divisions were disigned so teams didn’t have to travel as much as they used to, so the miles SHOULD be reduced (I haven’t checked that though. Still, the real test is the division you are playing in. I don’t care that the Rangers have the least amount of travel, playing in this stupidly named Metropolitan division is no easy task. That’s why i picked the team that i thought would have the hardest time in that division and that’s Carolina. They’re going to have to play perennial playoff teams like the Penguins, Rangers, Flyers, and Capitals, a team on the rise in the Islanders, and they’re quote unqoute easy teams like Columbus and New Jersey still have Cory Schneider, Martin Brodeur, and Sergei Bobrovsky in goal. That is a daunting task for any team, let alone one that has it’s two best players coming off injuries, a go-to player like Alex Semin who is very inconsistent, and a goalie who was having the worst year of his career prior last year prior to getting hurt. Plus they play in an area where the majority of Hockey fans are transplants from the northeast, so when they play teams like Pittsburgh, New York, or Philadelphia, their home stadium is full of their fans. For Carolina, road games are going to be in intense environments, and home games aren’t going to be much better. They’re going to be in for a rude awakening in this new division. They’re not in the Southleast anymore.

    • mrpinkca - Jul 22, 2013 at 12:27 AM

      Long miles come from long flights. Long flights (often) mean changes in time zone, and very late nights. Even on the planes teams fly on, falling asleep isn’t exactly easy. The miles do count.

  6. clefty1 - Jul 21, 2013 at 9:42 PM

    Glad to see the Wings in the east where they belong with a lot less travel, better start times for them and their fans plus no more late playoff games….

  7. btlpper68 - Jul 21, 2013 at 9:56 PM

    Even though I hate the wings it’s good for their great fan base on te west coast games end around 10 can’t imagine them starting at 10

    • Anoesis - Jul 22, 2013 at 9:57 AM

      What? Detroit hasn’t changed time zones, just divisions. A game starting at, say, 7:30 pm EST still makes it 4:30 PST on the West Coast (ending around 7:30, not 10). And a road game on the West Coast starting at 7:30 pm PST is still 10:30 at night back in Detroit.

  8. endusersolutions2013 - Jul 21, 2013 at 11:18 PM

    This is absurd – asking folks to vote just based on BTBs and miles. It’s also about:
    * The division you play in
    * Your same conference, ex division schedule
    * Your inter-conference schedule – who you get and don’t get.

    I expect the Hawks will have the toughest of the last two.

    • cheliostwin - Jul 22, 2013 at 1:00 AM

      Inter-conference every team plays every team in the other conference exactly twice, so that will be even.

    • supercoop8 - Jul 22, 2013 at 11:46 AM

      Division is the only true factor you list; conference games are about the same for everyone in said conference, and everyone plays every team in the other conference twice. With Detroit and even Columbus, who can give the Hawks fits, moving East the Hawks come out with a perceived easy schedule. Who knows how things settle though a lot of teams seem to be on an upside.

  9. blomfeld - Jul 22, 2013 at 12:13 AM

    “Encounters” Restaurant at LAX ! :)

    Great picture above, which is almost a ‘facsimile’ of the view from my old office window back in the day. An interesting sidebar is the fact that many people often mistook this ‘Jetson’s’ inspired structure for the control tower at LAX. This was due to it often being featured as a ‘welcoming’ beacon to Los Angeles on TV shows back in the 70’s and 80’s. Anyway, ‘travel schmavel’ say I to all this pansy commentary about the hardships being faced by today’s NHL teams. A little known fact which I’m prepared to share with you, is that the ‘current’ reigning Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings do their travel in an actual C-130 Hercules ! … yes sir … and they parachute right onto the very venue they’re slated to play in, night in and night out, replete with their equipment and personal gear ! It’s true friends and it’s yet another reason for you to join our ever-growing ranks right now ! We Kings are the ‘best’ and with another 82 x game schedule fast approaching, we’re going to prove that to everyone yet again ! Join us won’t you ? :)

    GO KINGS GO !!! .. TODAY, TOMORROW AND FOREVER !!!!!!

  10. girouxed - Jul 22, 2013 at 12:35 AM

    Obvii its the Sharks who have the easiest. Like duh isnt that obvious

  11. coyotes89 - Jul 22, 2013 at 3:17 AM

    Here’s an idea. If you create this bs poll you should probably at least have the coyotes as an option under the easiest schedule considering they are a nhl team. That’s just an idea though.

  12. vikingbulldog - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:43 AM

    So happy the Wings are in the East!!!!! Insomnia during the playoffs sucks!

  13. mclovinhockey - Jul 22, 2013 at 9:46 AM

    Thought you meant hardest schedule playing wise.

    Like the metro division, while having easiest travel, also is the hardest division.

  14. hildezero - Jul 22, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    Lol. This article is stupid.

  15. Anoesis - Jul 22, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t realignment undertaken in part because of concerns about Winnipeg’s travel? So of course their miles-flown goes from 44,627 in 2011-12 to 46,477 next season.

    Sharks travel is 16,222 miles above the league average. Yikes. One of only two teams over 50,000 miles (the other is Phoenix).

    Red Wings get 6,000 less miles than last year, Blue Jackets 7,000 less, Stars a little more than 1,000 less. Guess realignment worked out for a few teams travel-wise, but not all that much.

    Back-to-back games would seem a tougher road than more miles. Devils get hammered with 22 of those. Hurricanes are only other team with more than 20. Canucks appear to have the worst combination of miles and b-t-b games.

  16. kingcobraman - Jul 22, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    its gotta be Florida … who would want to leave to go the cold north…

  17. dallasstars9 - Jul 22, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    The biggest benefit for the change in alignment is going to the Dallas Stars. They were always near the top, if not the top, of the list for miles traveled and this should defiantly help their squad this year.

  18. macjacmccoy - Jul 23, 2013 at 3:53 AM

    I love how the Rangers were voted as having the easiest schedule but also the 9th hardest schedule all in the same post.

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