2013 NHL schedule format could impact the Atlantic Division playoff race

Bruce Bennett

Some teams in the division might get the Islanders more than we do, and that just isn't right.

We've long expected the 2013 NHL schedule to include games only against Eastern Conference opponents, but we also have been going along with the assumption that we'd play an equal number of games against all of our Atlantic Division rivals.

Welp, no. Here's how the 48-game schedule will break down:

It's understandable why the NHL's doing it this way, since the alternative would have likely been seven games against each divisional opponent and just two games against each out-of-division opponent. And that would be less than ideal.

But also less than ideal? Some teams in the Atlantic are going to get the New York Islanders four times, and some teams are going to get them five times. Considering the rivalry situation, we can just about guarantee five games against the Stanley Cup Favorite Pittsburgh Penguins (what else is new), and given that the Rangers will probably get both NYC-area teams five times, we'll probably get the Devils five times as well.

That would be this breakdown:

* Flyers play Pens, Devils five times; Rangers, Isles four times.

* Rangers play Devils, Isles five times; Flyers, Pens four times.

* Devils play Flyers, Rangers five times; Isles, Pens four times.

* Pens play Flyers, Isles five times; Rangers, Devils four times.

* Isles play Rangers, Pens five times; Flyers, Devils four times.

And in that scenario, the Flyers probably have the roughest road. In a 48-game season, every single game is going to take on extra meaning, and the standings could be a whole lot tighter than usual. This schedule format could directly impact who wins the Atlantic Division and who makes it to the postseason.

***

Also, quickly of note from the Pittsburgh media today:

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Broad Street Hockey

You must be a member of Broad Street Hockey to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Broad Street Hockey. You should read them.

Join Broad Street Hockey

You must be a member of Broad Street Hockey to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Broad Street Hockey. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker