2022-23 NHL schedule takeaways — What to watch for and games you can’t miss

The NHL’s 2022-23 schedule has been canceled and fans across the league are already planning their homestands and road trips.

Here are some things that stand out in the newly released schedule, from which games to watch to which trends are important.

Return to normal…almost

The NHL expects to play a full “traditional” 82-game season for the first time since 2018-19. Last season, the league took a roughly three-week hiatus after its All-Star hiatus to accommodate players competing in the Winter Olympics, which didn’t happen due to COVID-19 postponements and concerns over player safety in Beijing. This season, the NHL All-Star Weekend – hosted by the Florida Panthers – falls on February 3rd and 4th.

The last scheduled day for the regular season is April 13; last season it was May 1st.

There’s a twist on the schedule when it comes to the NHL’s signature regular-season game: The Winter Classic. The duel between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Boston Bruins at Fenway Park will be played on January 2, rather than on the traditional New Year’s Day. That’s because January 1 falls on an NFL Sunday. It is only the third time since the outdoor event began in 2008 that it will not be played on New Year’s Day.

Panic! At the cup party

The NHL likes to start its season with the Stanley Cup champion raising his latest banner, just like the Tampa Bay Lightning did to open the 2021-22 season. Unfortunately, the Colorado Avalanche will not be raising their banner on October 11th because their home, the Ball Arena, is booked with a panic that night! At the disco concert. Instead, the Avalanche will celebrate their first Stanley Cup since 2001 on Oct. 12 before their game against the Chicago Blackhawks. Well, that calls for a toast. So pour the champagne, pour the champagne…

The Stanley Cup Finals rematch will have to wait until Thursday, February 9, when the Avalanche visit the Lightning.

Thanksgiving Eve and Season-Ending Chaos

Two of the NHL’s greatest traditions continue this season. On Wednesday, November 23, the NHL has 15 games before nightfall on Thanksgiving. Only the Los Angeles Kings and Lightning are off duty the day before Turkey Day.

Wednesday, Nov. 23 (all times Eastern)

  • St Louis in Buffalo, 7 p.m

  • Boston Florida, 7 p.m

  • Toronto, NJ, 7 p.m

  • Calgary in Pittsburgh, 7 p.m

  • Philadelphia in Washington, 7 p.m

  • Arizona at Carolina, 7 p.m

  • Montreal at Columbus, 7 p.m

  • Winnipeg, Minnesota, 7 p.m

  • Nashville at Detroit, 7:30 p.m

  • Edmonton at NY Islanders, 7:30 p.m

  • Chicago at Dallas, 8:30 p.m

  • Vancouver, Colorado, 10 p.m

  • Ottawa in Vegas, 10 p.m

  • NY Rangers in Anaheim, 10 p.m

  • San Jose in Seattle, 10 p.m

Then, on April 13, it’s another 15-game extravaganza with 12 games between division rivals – hopefully at least one of those will contribute to important playoff implications…

Thursday April 13th

  • Ottawa at Buffalo, 7 p.m

  • Boston at Montreal, 7 p.m

  • Detroit at Tampa Bay, 7 p.m

  • Carolina in Florida, 7 p.m

  • Toronto at NY Rangers, 7 p.m

  • New Jersey in Washington, 7 p.m

  • Pittsburgh at Columbus, 7 p.m

  • Minnesota in Nashville, 8 p.m

  • Philadelphia at Chicago, 8:30 p.m

  • St.Louis in Dallas, 8:30 p.m

  • Winnipeg, Colorado, 9 p.m

  • San Jose in Edmonton, 9 p.m

  • Vancouver, Arizona, 10 p.m

  • Los Angeles at Anaheim, 10 p.m

  • Vegas in Seattle, 10 p.m

… especially in the Pacific Division.

Orientation for freshmen at Coyotes

As the Arizona Coyotes seek a new arena in Tempe after the city of Glendale refused to renew their lease, the Coyotes will play in a new arena on the Arizona State University campus for at least the next three seasons.

There was some speculation that the Coyotes would have to start the 2022-23 season on the long road trip while work on ASU’s new multi-purpose arena was completed. The New York Islanders, for example, had to play 13 games away to start last season when the UBS Arena was completed.

Although they don’t start the season with a long road trip, the Coyotes are rarely at home for the first two months of the season. After opening the season with six road games, they play four straight games at Arizona State, including their Oct. 28 home game against the Winnipeg Jets. Then the Coyotes embark on a 14-game road trip that takes them from the east coast to Vegas to the mid-Atlantic back to the west coast and then ends with a swing through western Canada.

Their next home game after a November 3 contest against Dallas is December 9 against Boston.

The Coyotes tell ESPN the road trip is intentional. The outhouse with the NHL-quality dressing rooms won’t be ready until December. The four home games in October will be played in makeshift dressing rooms to “break up the schedule a bit for the players,” the team said.

Of course things balance out. The Coyotes are playing 19 of their last 26 games of the season on campus.

The games you can’t miss

Jan. 16: Dallas in Vegas, 6 p.m. ET
It’s the Pete DeBoer Revenge Tour, which sees the fired Golden Knights coach lead his new team against a conference rival and his former players.

October 15: Los Angeles in Minnesota, 8 p.m. ET
First game back in Minnesota for Kevin Fiala after being traded to the Kings in the offseason.

December 5: Vegas in Boston, 7 p.m. ET
This game has two interesting points. The first is the return of former Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy to Boston as Vegas head coach. The second is the first game in Boston for Boston University graduate Jack Eichel as a member of the Golden Knights.

Nov. 15: New Jersey in Montreal, 7 p.m. ET
No matter who comes first and who comes second in the 2022 NHL draft, this would be the first scheduled meeting between these two rookies — assuming they both play in the NHL next season. If they don’t…hey, Jack Hughes vs. Nick Suzuki is still on the card.

March 1: Toronto in Edmonton, 8 p.m. ET
March 11: Edmonton in Toronto, 7 p.m. ET

Connor McDavid vs. Auston Matthews, twice in 10 days. McDavid, last season’s NHL all-time leader and Hart Trophy runner-up. Matthews, last season’s top scorer and winner of the NHL’s MVP award. Two generations of talent and always a must for ice hockey fans.

Oct. 15: Calgary in Edmonton, 10:00 p.m. ET
Oct 29: Edmonton in Calgary, 10:00 p.m. ET
December 27: Edmonton in Calgary, 9 p.m. ET

The Battle of Alberta. If you got a taste for mayhem during their epic playoff streak, suffice it to say their regular-season meetups are just as fun.

November 9: Pittsburgh in Washington, 7:30 p.m. ET
Jan. 26: Pittsburgh in Washington, 7 p.m. ET
March 25: Washington in Pittsburgh, 8 p.m. ET

We have just a few years left to see Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin battle it out for their respective teams in this decades-old rivalry. Cherish them and enjoy these fren-emies while we can. 2022-23 NHL schedule takeaways — What to watch for and games you can’t miss

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