Wednesday, July 27, 2005

2005-06 Schedule released

As expected, the NHL released the schedule for the 2005-06 season this afternoon. Some important dates for the Senators:
- 10/5 at Toronto <----- of course, the season opener, against their rivals no less
- 10/8 vs. Buffalo <----- home opener, against Hasek's old club
- 10/10 vs. Toronto <----- Leafs first appearance at the Corel Centre
- 10/30 vs. Philadelphia <----- Flyers first appearance at the Corel Centre (we shall see if the bad blood still lingers)
- 11/3 vs. Tampa Bay <----- the Stanley Cup champs come to town
- 11/5 vs. NY Islanders <----- Alexei Yashin comes back. Always fun
- 11/29 vs. Montreal <----- Habs first appearance at the Corel Centre
- 01/10 vs. Phoenix <----- a (perhaps) Wayne Gretzky led club comes to Ottawa
- 02/02 at Pittsburgh <----- first regular-season match-up with Sidney Crosby and Mario
- 02/06 vs. Pittsburgh <----- their first regular-season visit to Ottawa
- 03/21 vs. Pittsburgh <----- they come back. Should be a hot ticket

Sens will close the season April 18th in New York at MSG against the Rangers. If I'm not mistaken, their last game in 2003-04 was on April 3rd, so an additional two weeks has been added to the season because of the Olympic break.

With the new schedule set-up and a greater emphasis placed on inter-divisional play (which for the Sens means facing the Leafs and Habs eight times), we will unfortunately see less of the Western Conference clubs. In fact, the Sens don't play a Western Conference team until December when the Kings come to town on the 2nd. Under the new-set up, every year, a team only plays teams from one division of the other conference. For the Sens, it's the Pacific, which means the grueling West Coast road trips are still on tap (something I'm sure most Eastern teams are glad to be seeing less of).

In addition to the regular season line-up, the pre-season sked was put out, and the Sens seem to have gotten lucky. They will face Crosby and the (expected) new look Pens three times in the pre-season, with one of them being at the Corel Centre, which should be one of the first looks we get at Sid The Kid. The other two games will be at the two teams' respective AHL clubs' venues in Binghampton and Wilkes Barre.

Single game tickets for the season will go on sale across the league September 8th, but of course one purchase season tickets right now if they wish. Pre-season tix go on sale August 18th.

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