"The Skinny" …On the 2014-15 Schedule
By Eric Hornick
On the second day of summer, the National Hockey League released the 2014-15 schedule. You can find the Isles schedule here http://islanders.nhl.com/club/schedule.htm
…but you can find some Skinny on the schedule below….
Open and Close
The Isles open the season with a home-and-home series with division rival Carolina. The Isles will be in Raleigh on Friday, October 10 and will host the Canes on Saturday, October 11.
It's the second time in club history that they have opened the season with a home-and-home (2007 vs. Buffalo) and the second time that they have played Carolina in the home opener (2005, the first home game following the lockout).
It's the 27th consecutive season that the Isles will have a weekend home opener; all but 1999 were on a Saturday.
The home opener will be played on the 31st anniversary of the 1983-84 Opener; the night the Isles raised their fourth (and most recent) Stanley Cup banner that night.
This is the final season on the Coliseum lease so the 1,673rd (and final) regular season game will be played at the Coliseum on Saturday, April 11, 2015 against Columbus.
The Isles have ended the season against Columbus once before, in 2012.
By the Calendar
Isles games by month:
· October 10
· November 14
· December 13
· January 12
· February 15
· March 13
· April 5
Saturday is Hockey Night. The Isles will play 25 Saturday games, playing every Saturday except January 3 and January 24 (All-Star Weekend). The Isles have 13 Saturday home games this season.
For the second straight season, the Isles will play exactly 20 Tuesday games, 3 Wednesday games and 13 Thursday games.
The Isles play 11 Friday games, including 3 at the Coliseum; they will play four Sunday games (2 at home) and six Monday games (5 at the Coliseum)
The Isles will once again host a game on Thanksgiving Eve, but they will be in Washington for a late-afternoon game on Black Friday.
The Isles will host an MLK Day matinee and will be home for a President's Day night game against the Rangers.
The Isles will play two arguably their two biggest rivals five times each this season: the Rangers and the Penguins.
The Rangers will be the only team to visit the Coliseum three times (1/27, 2/16 and 3/10) while the Isles will make three trips to Pittsburgh this season.
Rest of the Schedule
· 4 games vs. the remaining Metropolitan Division opponents (Columbus, Carolina, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Washington) (30 games, including Penguins and Rangers)
· 3 games vs. the eight Atlantic Division opponents (24 games)
· 2 games vs. the seven Central Division and seven Pacific opponents (28 games)
A New Opponent
Well, sort of. The Isles will face the renamed Arizona Coyotes on 11/8 in Glendale and 2/24 on Long Island.
After alternating road and home for the first eight games, the Isles then head west for five games to end October and start November. Three of the first four games of that trip are against the two division champs; there's also a meeting with the Stanley Cup champion Kings.
The Isles have only two other long trips – seven straight games starting on New Year's Eve afternoon (5 pm NY time) in Winnipeg and four games in late March.
The Isles will have three four-game homestands: one in February and two in March.
Starting February 10th, the Isles will play 18 of their final 29 games at home.
Besides the All-Star break, when they will have seven consecutive days off, the Isles never go four days between games. They have three consecutive days off four times.
The Isles will play 11 games starting at 5pm or earlier. Five of those games are at home (12/6, 1/19 and 3/28 are at 1pm, while 2/28 and 3/29 are at 5 pm). The Isles will also play one 6:00 game at the Coliseum, on February 22nd vs Vancouver.
Home and Home
The opening pair with Carolina is one of five times the Isles will meet the same opponent in consecutive games; the other four sets all occur in a 10-game stretch between November 15 and December 4.
Back to Back
The Isles will play 16 sets of back-to-backs, including sets that begin and end the season (The Isles had 18 such sets last season).
Three of those sets are at home (2/27-28, 3/13-3/14, 3/28-29) while four others are on the road. The remaining nine are split, with one game at the Coliseum and the other on the road.
A Different Pace
After playing an entire 48-game season in 98 days in 2013, and playing 48 games in 99 days early last season, the Isles do not have a stretch in which they play 48 games in less than 104 games.
There are 41 regular season home games left in the Coliseum era. The first one is less than 16 weeks away.
Eric Hornick has been the statistician on Islander home game telecasts since 1982. Information contained in "The Skinny" has been gathered from various sources. Follow Eric @ehornick on Twitter.
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since January 21, 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick