By Brad Lee
The Blues released their schedule for 2008-09. We're taking a look and breaking it down. Importantly, the Blues open the season at home and not on the West Coast for the first time in three years. Also: There is no Road Trip From Hell (patent pending) in March.
At first glance there are some interesting things about the schedule.
- Eight of the Blues' first 10 games are at home.
- Almost half (20) of their 41 home games are on a Friday or Saturday. That is amazing.
- The longest road trips are five games apiece: a weird West Coast swing that ends up going to Buffalo and Chicago and five-game trip in the last few days of the season in April that's thankfully confined to the Midwest and Phoenix.
- The Blues have 11 total games in January with a full seven days off after Jan. 21.
- The Blues have a total of 14 games in February -- a month with only 28 days.
- Only one home game in April -- After baseball season starts.
- The NHL got away from the push to close the season with only divisional games.
Buy your tickets early for Saturday, Nov. 1 when the Sidney Crosby Experience rolls into town. Other Eastern Conference matchups that could be fun include Montreal on Nov. 16 (unfortunately, a Sunday night game which are always awkward), the Bruins on Dec. 21 (also a Sunday), the Devils on Dec. 30, the Flyers Jan. 31 (probably a really fun Saturday night game) and the New York Rangers on Feb. 16.
On the surface, this looks pretty good for the Blues. March will be more kind. They still play too many home games really early in the season. There aren't the big gaps on the schedule in October like the last two years. And while we still have to see Columbus and Nashville a little too often, there's plenty of good matchups. And the number of Friday and Saturday games is outstanding.
What do you think? Tell us in the comments.