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Highlights of the Stars' schedule

I might be a little late to the party, but that won't stop me from spilling beer on myself and being an asshole throwing out some sporadic thoughts regarding the Stars' schedule:

Opening Night (Friday, Oct 10): The 'Stache returns

Gotta hand it to

Forgive Brett Hull and Ken Hitchcock if they think back about 10 years on this night when the Blue Jackets visit the Stars.

Avery returns (Monday, Oct 20)

The Rangers probably rank pretty low on the list of teams that were jilted by Sean Avery, but it should still be fairly interesting to watch Avery, the unsavory's return to MSG.

(Expect numerous Men's Vogue jokes)

Home Games, by the month:

October - 5
November - 5
December -8
January -4
February - 10
March - 7
April - 2

Away Games, by the month:

October - 6
November -7
December - 5
January - 8
February - 3
March - 9
April - 3

So, by my super sophisticated calculations, the Stars have:
  • One more road game in October
  • Two more road games in November
  • Three more home games in December
  • Four more road games in January
  • Seven more home games in February
  • Two more road games in March
  • One more road game in April
Don't be surprised if the Stars have a fairly middle-of-the-road start, explode around Valentine's Day and then once again struggle a bit toward the end of the year. With all the stat heads blowing their wads about fancy, Beautiful Mind-ish equations it would be funny if the Stars' season came down to the simple math you see in that list...

Significant road trips

Oct 31 - Nov 11 is a five game road trip
in which the Stars visit the refurbished Chicago Blackhawks, the not-so refurbished/hard to believe they almost signed Mike Modano Boston Bruins, and then a BoC trip to SJ, Anaheim and then LA for a home-and-home with the Kings.

The Stars might immediately fuck up their New Year's resolutions in a tough four-game Western Conference road trip that goes from Edmonton (Jan. 3) to Colorado (Jan. 5) to Detroit (Jan. 8) and then finally to Phoenix (Jan. 10). Thankfully, there's a nice break between Colorado and Detroit (although the Stars always struggle in John Denverland and we all know Turco's had a struggle or two as a pro in the Joe).

Aside from those two trips, the Stars have a few 3-gamers here and there. With just a quick glance, I'd say the Stars were spared by the road trip gods.

Home stands

Both of their biggest home stands come in February, the month Stars fans should hope that the team is at its hungriest and healthiest.

The first is a four-game one. It starts with their second game of the season against the New York Rangers (Feb. 6), then a game against the hated Nashville Preda-thors (Feb. 8), then Gretzky, Jokinen & Co. (Feb. 11) and finishes off with the punch-less Canucks (Feb. 13). The Stars should be deeply disappointed if their record is worse than 3-1 in those four games.

The biggest stand comes after they have a two-game shite tour of the Central Division (vs. Chicago and C-Bus).

It's a six-game monster that will almost certainly be a huge factor in where (hopefully not 'if') the Stars are seeded in the playoffs. It goes Oilers (Feb. 19), Chicago (Feb. 21), Sharks (Feb. 23), St. Louis (Feb. 26), Ducks (Feb. 28) and Penguins (March 1).

That should definitely be an interesting run of games.

Bits and pieces

Why does the NHL think it is a good idea to go against the sports tradition of dark road jerseys?
  • The Stars will play against all five Atlantic division teams. The Rangers and Penguins should both be among the hardest-to-get tickets. The Rangers come on a Friday and the Penguins on a Sunday.
  • The Ducks are this year's season finale. Could the Pacific Division be on the line that night?
  • The Canadiens are coming to town. There might be some lame storylines in Mike Ribeiro vs. his former team and maybe a Gainey thing if you're really desperate. But the Habs should be worth every penny based on their high flying offense and their kick ass uniforms.
  • It will be a great logo year for the Stars in general, facing off against the Habs, Blackhawks, Bruins and the Red Wings. Nice.