The NHL’s 2014-15 regular season schedule was inexplicably released on Sunday afternoon, maximizing the apathy of fans who were either nowhere near the Internet on a beautiful June weekend or too amped up by the USA/Portugal World Cup game to see when Edmonton visits Ottawa this season.
While the most prevalent reactions to the schedule are usually about when rivals meet or which team gets humiliated at the Stanley Cup banner raising (LOL SHARKS), Dirk Hoag has always focused on another aspect: mileage.
Formerly of the Nashville Predators blog On the Forecheck and now with HockeygearHQ.com, tabulates the NHL “super schedule” every season. It shows the mileage traveled for all 30 teams and the number of back-to-back games they play, and compares it to previous seasons.
Here’s the newest mile counts, courtesy of HockeyGearHQ.com:
A few reactions:
* The Arizona Coyotes get a new name and a new place atop the leaderboard for most miles traveled. Their mileage is actually down from last season, but ahead of their pre-realignment pace from three years ago.
* Congratulations to the San Jose Sharks, who saw their incredible total from last season (57,612) decrease to 45,318 in 2014-15, the steepest decline for any team. A lot less plane time to think about blowing that 3-0 lead to the Kings!
* The Philadelphia Flyers, have the fewest miles to travel, as the New York Rangers go from 29,839 last season to 36,113 in 2014-15. Philly travels just 31,272, which is down from last season. Guess that makes then UNfrequent Flyers, amitrite? Sigh ...
* The Carolina Hurricanes (40,800) are the only Metro Division team to travel more than 40,000 miles next season.
* The Florida teams saw their travel decrease from last season, as the Lightning dropped nearly 6,000 miles while the Panthers saw only a slight decline.
* Overall just 10 teams saw their mileage increase from last season. We’ll go ahead and assume the NHL finally upgraded their GPS firmware.
* As far as back-to-back games go, the jam-packed Sochi Olympic schedule from last season produced two teams with over 20 of them. This season, no teams have over 20 back-to-back games, although the Buffalo Sabres and Columbus Blue Jackets have 19. The Los Angeles Kings and the Winnipeg Jets are the only teams in single digits for back-to-back games at nine.