If you are arriving today looking for 2018 NHL Draft coverage for the Carolina Hurricanes, you can find a four-part series primarily covering the opening of offseason trading in the links below.
Today’s Daily Cup of Joe takes a first look at the Carolina Hurricanes 2018-19 schedule which was released on Thursday.
A weekday home opener. The home opener which is also the season opener is on Thursday, October 4. The team has generally played the home opener during the weekend. Not counting the lockout season, the team has not played its home opener on a weekday since the 2010-11 season, and even that was an oddity because the Raleigh home opener was not until October 27 after starting the season in Helsinki and then jumping straight into the NC State Fair road trip. It will be interesting to see if the marketing department can muster a full house on a Thursday night.
A State Fair home game. The team will also play at home during the NC State Fair for the first time in forever with a 1pm home game on Saturday October 20. Here is hoping that someone comes up with a solid plan to handle parking.
Afternoon delights. In addition to the 5pm Sunday starts that have become standard, the team has four afternoon games, three with a 1pm start time and another at 2pm.
New Year’s Eve. December 31 makes a reappearance on the schedule with a 6pm home game against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Level of difficulty
The schedule is tough by default in that the Metropolitan Division continues to be the home of the Stanley Cup champion. In addition, the Hurricanes play a whopping 17 sets of back to back games making nearly half of the schedule (34 out of 82 games) back-to-back games.
November home stand. The longest home stand of the season entails six straight at PNC Arena in mid-November. If the team gets off to a decent start in October, that stretch would represent a great opportunity to climb above the playoff cut line early.
A new year away from home. Once the calendar flips to 2019, the Hurricanes face an extended run of mostly road hockey. They play 13 out of 19 games away from home including a season-long five-game road trip in early February to finish it off.
A busy March. The Hurricanes play 16 games in 31 days in March, but maybe more significantly, the team has a back-to-back set in each of the five weekends in March.
What say you Canes fans?
1) In taking a first look at the 2018-19 Carolina Hurricanes schedule, what catches your eye?
2) Which stretches of schedule do you think will be most critical?