The NHL has announced the schedule for the upcoming 2018-2019 season, including the 82 games the Colorado Avalanche will play between October and April.
The Avs revealed their path through the regular season in unique fashion, sharing this video on Twitter.
A Quick Breakdown
The Avalanche will play Central Division rivals Chicago Blackhawks (3 home, 2 away) and Winnipeg Jets (2 home, 3 away) five times each next season, the most against any team. There will be four games (2 home, 2 away) against each of the four remaining Central teams (Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators, and St. Louis Blues). There will be three games between each of the eight Pacific Division opponents, and finally a home-and-home against all 16 teams in the Eastern Conference.
Visually, the NHL breaks it down as follows:
Colorado Avalanche - Central Division - 7 teams
2 Home, 2 Away
Dallas, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis (4)
3 Home, 2 Away
2 Home, 3 Away
Within Conference (Non-Division)
2 Home, 1 Away
Edmonton, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Vegas (4)
1 Home, 2 Away
Anaheim, Arizona, Calgary, San Jose (4)
The odd home and away schedule between Chicago, Winnipeg, and the Pacific Division dpesn’t appear to be anything unfair. Colorado, a strong team at home, will get two cracks at the Western Conference Champion Vegas Golden Knights next season, which should be a bonus to them. However, they will have to play three games in Winnipeg, not fun.
The Avalanche will have 11 back-to-backs next season, three of which will be in November alone. Aside from that month, which is early in the year, the Avalanche basically get one per month. My month: Oct: 1, Nov: 3, Dec: 2, Jan: 1, Feb: 2, Mar: 1, Apr: 1. The worst back-to-backs with travel include Calgary to Vancouver in November, Winnipeg to Calgary in January, and Colorado to Chicago (a home-and-home with the Hawks) in March.
Colorado had 10 back-to-backs last season, which is among the easiest schedules in the league in that regard, only Winnipeg and Anaheim had easier rides. Assuming things stay about the same as last year, the Avs should continue to have fewer back-to-backs than most of the league.
In general, the road trips aren’t going to be very long for the Avs, with the majority of them being short distances between each other. Some of these include the California Road Trip, a trip through the North Eastern U.S., and a Western Canadian road trip (with a brief stop-over in Nashville).
However, there will be one grueling five-game trip through Canada that includes going through Winnipeg, Calgary, Montreal, Toronto, and Ottawa before finally coming back home. I know it all feels like Canada, but the trip from Calgary to Montreal is essentially going across half the country, only to double back to Toronto (in order to head back East to Ottawa). Not to mention all of this will be happening during the coldest time of the year in Canada: mid-January. Luckily, the Avs will have four days between games to start the trip, and three days before flying to Quebec.
The Avalanche will get their league mandated bye-week right after the NHL All-Star Break at the end of January. Don’t worry, the Avs won’t be cheated out of any dates, but it does mean there will be a solid NINE DAYS between hockey games. I would seriously suggest planning to find something to binge in Netflix during that tough week in the middle of winter.
On the other hand, Colorado will be at Pepsi Center a lot in December of 2018. They play nine games between Dec 11 and Jan 4, with two of the away games being before and after the Christmas break in Arizona and Vegas (Vegas Christmas Party, baby! Woo!!!).
The full schedule can be found in the link below, credit to NHL.com for putting that together.