Breaking Down the 2014-15 Schedule
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There’s still plenty that will take place between now and then, including the 2014 NHL Draft, the opening of free agency, Summerfest, training camp and more, but it’s never too early to start planning. Schedule download links, including a printable calendar and list option, are available below.
Now, here is a breakdown of some of the highlights from the Canes’ 2014-15 schedule.
Opening Against the Islanders
As announced yesterday, the Hurricanes will drop the puck on the 2014-15 regular season by hosting the New York Islanders on Friday, Oct. 10. That will be followed up with a trip to Long Island the very next night, where the Islanders will begin their final season at Nassau Coliseum.
(As a side note, the teams won’t meet again until Feb. 17 in Raleigh – and then again on Feb. 28 in New York to close out their four-game season series.)
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Ring in the New Year
For the third straight season (the shortened 2012-13 season aside), the Canes will ring in the New Year with a hockey game. Though, unlike last year when the team hosted the Canadiens, Carolina will spend Dec. 31 on the road in Pittsburgh in 2014. The last time the team spent New Year’s Eve away from Raleigh was in 2011, a 5-2 loss in Tampa Bay. The Canes 5-4 overtime victory over Montreal in last year’s New Year’s Eve tilt was one of the more, if not the most, memorable wins of the season.
All-Star Weekend returns this year and will take place in Columbus on Jan. 24-25. The league will pause from Thursday, Jan. 22 until Tuesday, Jan. 27, but the Canes’ All-Star break is a bit longer, as they’ll play their last game on Tuesday, Jan. 19 in Toronto.
Home-Heavy Second Half
The Canes will play nearly half of their home games (20) following the All-Star break, and 11 of those take place in March alone. Carolina has two season-long five-game home stands during the month of March, at one point playing 11 of 13 in the friendly confines of PNC Arena. The team has one other season-long five-game home stand, falling from Nov. 29 through Dec. 8.
In April, the team closes out the season with four of six on the road, including a three-game road swing through Buffalo, Detroit and Philadelphia, but the season finale takes place in Raleigh against Detroit on Saturday, April 11.
As a realignment refresher, the Hurricanes play 30 games against the other seven teams in the Metropolitan Division. Since that doesn’t divide evenly, the Canes play four games (two at home and two on the road) against five teams and five games (three at home and two on the road against one team and two at home and three on the road against the other team) on a rotating basis.
This season, the Canes will play five games against the Eastern Conference Champion New York Rangers – two at home and three on the road – and the Philadelphia Flyers – three at home and two on the road.
The Canes will play 16 back-to-back sets throughout the season, down from 20 last season and equal to the total in 2011-12. Three of the back-to-backs will be home-and-home games: Oct. 10 and 11 against the New York Islanders, Nov. 28 and 29 against the Pittsburgh Penguins and Dec. 20 and 21 against the New York Rangers. Three more of the back-to-back sets will not involve travel for the Canes: Nov. 1 vs. Arizona and Nov. 2 vs. Los Angeles, Dec. 7 vs. Detroit and Dec. 8 vs. New Jersey, and March 28 vs. New Jersey and March 29 vs. Boston.
The busiest months for the Hurricanes will be November and March, which each feature 15 games. The lightest month (April notwithstanding) is October, in which eight games are spread out over 22 days.
Plan to spend your weekends with the Canes, as almost half of the team’s 82 games (40) will be played on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Saturday marks the busiest day of the week throughout the season, featuring eight home games and 13 road games; in fact, the All-Star break aside, the Canes will play on every Saturday in the 2014-15 season except four. Further, the team will spend every Saturday in February on the road, and they’ll close the season out with five straight home Saturday tilts.
Friday is a day worth singling out, too, as the Canes will play eight home games and just three road games on the last day of the traditional workweek. Opening Night versus the New York Islanders falls on a Friday, as do six straight Friday home dates over 10 weeks from January 2 through March 6.
Wednesday remains light, as it is NBCSN’s exclusive television night; the Canes will play in Florida on Thanksgiving Eve and in Pittsburgh on New Year’s Eve.