As Vancouver Canucks fans anxiously await for the 9th overall selection in 2021 to be traded (jokes...I hope), here’s something to provide a distraction.
The 2021-22 schedule was released on Thursday. This is slated to be the first 82-game season since the 2018-19 season.
Here’s a full look at the schedule.
Here are five things of note about the Canucks first 82-game schedule in two seasons.
1. Road Trip Wonders & A rivalry begins
In an eerily similar fashion to the 2020-21 season, it looks like the Canucks season could hang in the balance early on.
A brutal start to the ‘20-21 season almost immediately sank the Canucks. This season, they start off with a grueling six-game road trip that sees them fly across the country. They also start the year with three games in four nights.
- Wed, Oct 13th @ Edmonton
- Friday, Oct 15th @ Philadelphia
- Sat, Oct 16th @ Detroit
- Tue, Oct. 19th @ Buffalo
- Thu, Oct 21st @ Chicago
- Sat. Oct 23rd @ Seattle
These aren’t the most formidable opponents, but going from Edmonton to Philly to Detroit to start the season can’t be easy.
And of course, the Canucks kick off their geographic rivalry with the Seattle Kraken on Saturday, October 23rd, which will be the first-ever NHL game at Climate Pledge Arena. Seattle also begins their season with a five-game road trip, but they get a three-day break before their matchup against Vancouver on October 23rd.
2. Home Cooking
After a season-long six-game road trip to start the season, the Canucks will return to Rogers Arena for a season-long seven-game homestand.
Their home opener against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday, October 26th will be the first game with fans at Rogers Arena in 595 days. The last game with fans at The Rog was a 5-4 shootout win against the New York Islanders on March 10th, 2020.
3. Canucks welcome the Kraken
Vancouver and Seattle will play each other four times in the regular season, and the Kraken will make their first visit to Rogers Arena on Monday, December 27th.
The teams play their third game against each other a few days later in Seattle on New Years Day, and their final contest takes place towards the end of the season on Tuesday, April 26th in Vancouver.
4. All-Star & Olympic break
The NHL is gung-ho on squeezing in both an All-Star game and Olympic break at the moment. That could change of course (do they ax the All-Star game if the Olympics are on?). Regardless, the Canucks are slated to have 22 days in between games after playing in Nashville on Tuesday, February 1st. They return to action on Thursday, February 24th against the Calgary Flames in Vancouver.
5. Key playoff drive dates
Meaningful games in...April?
We’ll see how realistic the Canucks playoff hopes are after they tweak their roster around free agency and the draft, but their stretch-drive schedule isn’t too daunting.
The toughest stretch likely comes in late March and early April, where they have a back-to-back on the road against Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild, along with home-and-home series against the Vegas Golden Knights and St. Louis Blues.
66. Wed, Mar. 23rd @ Colorado
67. Thu, Mar. 24th @ Minnesota
68. Sat, Mar. 26th @ Dallas
69. Mon, Mar. 28th @ St. Louis
70. Wed, Mar. 30th vs. St Louis
71. Sun, Apr. 3rd vs. Vegas
72. Wed, Apr 6th @ Vegas
After this, the Canucks last ten games look manageable. They play four games on the road versus six at home. The only three playoff teams from ‘20-21 they play are Minnesota, Edmonton and Vegas. Their other seven games are against Arizona x2, San Jose, Dallas, Calgary, Seattle and Los Angeles.