It announced that its players will, in fact, partake in the Olympics next winter in Sochi, Russia. This news was expected but continuously delayed.
The times for Team USA games at the 22nd Winter Olympiad are, well, they’re fucking terrible: their group stage games are all at 7:30 a.m. and the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals all take place between 3 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. est. And yeah, I know– Russia. Got it. Thanks. But surely they could have planned this better. Sochi is only eight hours ahead. Why not hold the games at 7 p.m. Communist and 11 a.m. Land of the Free Home of the Brave? That seems reasonable. The Eastern timezone audience is the most advertiser coveted in all the land. Instead, they put one of the most popular events on just above Dawn’s ass crack. Good idea.
Following this announcement, through a decree issued by high and mighty league czars, the 2013-2014 schedule was disseminated to the villagers. The Flyers will open their season on Wednesday, October 2 vs. Toronto. The rest of the schedule can be viewed after the jump. It was unveiled behind this ridiculous splash page on the Flyers’ website:
Finally, and perhaps most notably, the Flyers’ new division – which will include the Hurricanes, Blue Jackets, Devils, Islanders, Rangers, Penguins and Capitals – will be called… the METROPOLITAN DIVISION. How cool. And for some reason, the new Atlantic Division includes Buffalo, Detroit, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto.
This graphic from Deadspin, made before the names were announced, lays it out quite nicely:
Eastern Conference (8-Team Divisions)
Within Conference (Division): 30 games
* 5 games vs. two teams (3 Home/2 Away vs. one team, 2 Home/3 Away vs. one team) AND 4 games vs. five teams (2 Home/2 Away). Teams rotated on a yearly basis.
* 5 X 2 =10 games
* 4 X 5 = 20 games
Within Conference (Non-Division): 24 games
* 3 games vs. each team (2 Home/1 Away vs. four teams, 1 Home/2 Away vs. four teams). Teams rotated on a yearly basis.
* 3 X 8 = 24 games
Non-Conference: 28 games
* 2 games vs. each team (1 Home/1 Away)
* 2 X 14 = 28 games
The Stanley Cup Playoffs have a new division-based format. Playoff qualification will be primarily Division-based, with the top three finishers in each Division qualifying for the first 12 spots in the Stanley Cup Playoffs (and the first three “seeds” in each Division). The two additional playoff spots in each Conference, designated as “Wild Cards,” will be awarded to the next two highest-placed finishers in each Conference, ranked on the basis of regular-season points and regardless of Division. The League will play under this new alignment and playoff system for a minimum of three seasons, through the 2015-16 NHL season.
Schedule after the jump.