Remember when I mentioned the Rookie Tournament, Preseason, and Home Opener schedule yesterday? Well, guess what. The Leafs (along with the rest of the league) have jumped greatly ahead of their usual routine and released the full season schedule this afternoon. Here’s what you need to know.
- As mentioned yesterday, the season is being opened at home against the Montreal Canadiens. This isn’t the first time Toronto has faced them first (too many to count, including six straight years), and it certainly won’t be the last. That’s on October 8th.
- The Leafs are a staple of Hockey Night in Canada, and the new overlords at Rogers see no reason to stop that. 24 of the 82 games the Leafs play this year will be on Saturday night, and six will be on Sunday, broadcasted on CityTV.
- The boys in blue and white have a jammed pack schedule down the stretch, with 21 games in the final 39 days of the season. Toronto had no more than three regulation goals in any game after February; doing this again this year would be extremely catastrophic.
- Playing in every rink is fun, and so is hosting every team. The Leafs will be doing just that this year, with 28 games being devoted to the Western Conference. Each Metropolitan team gets three games (half with home, half two away), and every Atlantic team will be faced a minimum of four times. Detroit gets a third game in the ACC, and Ottawa gets to host Toronto three times to make them five-time opponents and bring the total to 82 games.
- Toronto’s longest homestead (Nov 29-Dec 9) is only two weeks away from their longest road trip (Dec 21-Jan 3). It’s going to be interesting to see how the team reacts to two polar opposite situations.
- The seemingly annual trip to California is from January 12th to 15th (LA, day off, Anaheim, San Jose), and the Western Canada run will be occuring from March 13th to 16th (Calgary, Vancouver, day off, Edmonton).
- That California trip may very well be a week of death; they travel to St. Louis for a Saturday game to cap it all off.
- Toronto has 18 back-to-back game situations over the course of the season, and only once do they stay in the same city. Twelve of them see them as a visitor. If you’re not a fan of back-to-backs, this is worrisome.
- None of this will matter when Phil Kessel scores his 93rd goal and 216th point of the season in mid January, obviously.