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Thursday, July 17, 2008

2008-2009 Schedule is Released

The NHL schedule has was released today.

The Penguins' schedule looks like this:

Games of interest? Easily Tuesday November 11th at Detroit and Sunday, February 3rd when the Wings return to the Igloo. I hope Hossa is ready for the boos that will await him in a game that will likely be seen nationwide on NBC (it's a 3pm Sunday start.)

Also, I will miss ending the season against your own division. I made for a very interesting stretch run.

I do however like the seven game homestand at the end of March/early April. And while the division games would have been more interesting towards the end of the season, playing the Islanders, Hurricanes, Lightning and Panthers towards the end could be in the Pens' favour.

The release of the schedule make me anxious for hockey season to begin. I can't wait until the puck drops on Saturday October 3rd in Sweden.

The good news for Pens' fans is that, thanks to the Sweden games and the run to the Stanley Cup Finals, the Pens have the shortest offseason in the entire league and therefore the fans have the shortest wait without hockey. The Wings open the season on October 9th against Toronto where Hossa will get to see the banner raised.

I wonder if the short offseason combined with the international travel will have any impact on the Pens. Likely not, but I remember Brian Burke not being too happy last year when the Ducks were in a similar situation. The 2007-2008 schedule saw the Ducks open the season with two games in London, England. There were only three days between the England games and their first game in North America. The Penguins have a six day break between the Sweden games and their home opener against New Jersey.

I don't think it will be a factor and, besides, Brian Burke complains a lot.

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