Mark the rest of your calendars.
At 1 p.m. Friday, the AHL announced the playing schedule for all 31 teams. Yes, all 31 teams will indeed be playing the 2021-22 season. Not everyone will play the same amount of games (that’s not till next year) so everything is ranked by points percentage this season.
May as well keep with the tradition of the Q&A I always do with these silly things. Here we go:
League release here, Penguins release here.
1) Do you have a schedule matrix of opponents? Anyone in the Conference we are not playing?
The good news is that we play everyone in the Eastern Conference, including Laval, Belleville and Toronto who the Penguins haven’t played in a few years. The bad news is that the Penguins are back to only playing in Conference teams, so no Rockford, Grand Rapids or Milwaukee.
2) Longest road trip? Longest home stand?
Longest homestead is five straight in the middle of March. Four straight in January and February too. Longest road trip is no more than four in a row, once in November and then get this, once at the end of March all in one week.
3) How many three in threes?
These things are probably going away for good when everyone gets to 72 games next year, but the answer is six. They are scattered throughout the schedule.
4) Can I borrow your highlighter? I want to circle and highlight all the Sunday and worknight home games!
You are a funny blog reader. There are five Sunday home games this season, nine Wednesday night games and one weird post Christmas Monday game with Hershey.
5) Show me more charts!
Penguins didn’t do any in their release for me to cut and paste so my tweets will have to do.
Interesting to note that the Saturday home games, all of them, start at 6:05. From the Coal Street release:
“We made a conscious effort to move our Saturday home games to an hour earlier in order to accommodate our many families who come to the games with young children,” said Penguins CEO Jeff Barrett. “Down the line, we hope to have the opportunity to host some post-game events for these nights, too. Fans should stay tuned on that front.”
6) Any, “I have to close the door and act busy at work” dates on the calendar?
Nope. The Penguins play no afternoon weekday games.
7) The All Star Classic, are they doing that this year?
Laval was supposed to get it last year, but that all got cancelled and postponed to this year. The Rocket will host it February 6 and 7 in 2022.
8) Anything else I need to know?
Wear a mask and get vaccinated so we don’t have a repeat of last years debacle?
That’s pretty much it, though. Once you’ve seen one schedule release, you have seen them all. There is nothing special with these unless they start spicing things up and add more diverse opponent schedule. Cut four games with Hershey and Lehigh Valley off and hit a few Central Division teams and maybe a (gasp!) Pacific Division road trip. But it’s the same song and dance every season.
Enjoy the rest of your summer. I have a cigar to light now.