The 2013 schedule was released last night, and the first thing you notice is just how dense it is. There are on average three to four games per week, with a game every other night for most of the duration. Each NHL team will play a 48 game schedule, playing only against teams in their own conference.
Columbus will play 18 games against Central Division rivals Detroit, Nashville, St.Louis and Chicago. The Jackets will play the Wings and Predators five times apiece, with four games against both the Blues and Blackhawks. The remaining 30 games on the schedule will be split down the middle against the Northwest and Pacific Divisions-15 games per division, playing each team three times.
The Jackets will cram in eight games to close out January, before playing 12 games in February and April. March will be a true marathon, with a whopping sixteen games scheduled.
The season opener is this coming Saturday against the Preds in Nashville, with the home opener two days later against the Wings.
Of note on the schedule are two massive road trips. The first begins on Friday, 15 February against the Kings-the first of six straight away from home. Over that span, the Jackets will face the aforementioned Kings, followed by visits to Phoenix, Anaheim, Detroit, St.Louis and Chicago. The second extended roadie takes place at the end of the regular season, with games 42 through 47 taking place outside of Nationwide Arena. Beginning on the 13th of April against Minnesota, the team will then travel to Colorado, before heading back out west to face the Ducks, Kings, Sharks and Stars. The Jackets return home for their season finale against the Predators on 27 April.
The team will have an opportunity for extended home games as well- starting at the end of January and running until 11 February the Jackets will be at home for six straight. They face St.Louis, Detroit, Los Angeles, Calgary, Edmonton and San Jose over that span. Perhaps the most exciting aspect of the schedule is from 26 February to 22 March, the Jackets play 10 of 12 at home. Over that period, there are stretches of four and five in a row at home.
There are only six games scheduled to start at 10pm Eastern or later. Additionally, there are three matinees, all in March. The game against the Avalanche on 3 March is at 3pm, and the weekend of 9-10 March will see the Jackets play home-and-home matinees against the Wings. In Columbus at 2pm on the 9th, with the teams heading to Detroit on the 10th at 5pm.
Here is the full schedule:
|21 JAN||RED WINGS||HOME|
|2 FEB||RED WINGS||HOME|
|21 FEB||RED WINGS||AWAY|
|9 MAR||RED WINGS||HOME|
|10 MAR||RED WINGS||AWAY|