The NHL gave their fans an early Christmas gift on December 23rd, 2020 when they unveiled the schedule for the 2020-21 season. Shortly afterwards, Columbus Blue Jackets twitter was buzzing with excitement over their January 14th, 2021 start against the Nashville Predators.
NHL Hockey is back, baby! So, let’s break this schedule down.
Some more official calendars for your & ! pic.twitter.com/DxfbH7iBYl— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) December 23, 2020
The Jackets start the 2020-21 season off with four games on the road against the Predators (2x) and the Detroit Redwings. Their first back-to-back takes place during this trip on January 18th and 19th against the Wings.
Speaking of back-to-backs, the Jackets play eight of them this season. In a typical 82 game season, they usually play between 16-19 back-to-backs. Plus,only one of the back-to-backs is a home and away series. On January 28th, the Jackets take on the Florida Blue Jackets Panthers before hopping on a plane to play the Chicago Blackhawks the next night. So, this shouldn’t be anything the Jackets struggle with during the shortened season.
March holds the longest homestand for the Jackets with four games being played over nine days; March 9th-22nd. They will play both the Panthers (2x) and Dallas Stars (2x) every other day.
Trade deadline for the league is April 12th when the Jackets take on the Blackhawks in Chicago. This game could be interesting depending on what takes place that day. The Jackets don’t often blow things up on trade deadline day. However, I could see Stan Bowman kicking through a wall like the kool-aid man causing mass chaos on trade deadline this year. So, depending on what happens that day, the Blackhawks could play with a lot of passion and renewed energy or they could be very depleted and confused from the havoc Bowman unleashed.
The Jackets longest road trip of the season takes place in April (15th-25th) when the Jackets play six games in the span of 11 days. During that stretch, the Jackets will play two games each against the Stars, the Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning. The only back-to-back is against the Panthers on the 19th and 20th. As we have recently learned, the only time the Jackets will be shown on NBCSN this season is on the last day of the road trip when the Jackets play their first round playoff nemesis, the Lightning.
After the longest road trip of the season,the Jackets head home to play the Red Wings on April 27th. Then, they have the longest break of the season. Three whole days of rest, relaxation, and travel. Yes, I said travel. When the three day break is over the Jackets play in Carolina on May 1st.
The Jackets finish things out at home May 3rd-8th against the Predators and Red Wings. The last game of the season is May 8th against the Red Wings on the tail end of a back-to-back. You can bet your buttons that last game will be a little wild. The two teams have very little love for one another and playoff hopes will likely come down to that series. Unless the Jackets surprise us and clinch a spot in April.