The 2018/19 schedule is out and here is my annual schedule review and dates to circle. A total of 8 back-to-backs, all of them started on the road and three of them complete at home. A six game, a five game and a four game road trip are part of this schedule. Homestands of five and four games and a stretch of eight of twelve games at home. Those are just a few schedule highlights… let’s break it down by month.
October – 12 games – 5 away, 7 home – One road back-to-back, 2 divisional games. Nashville begins the campaign on the road in the Big Apple with games against the Rangers and the Barry Trotz coached New York Islanders. October 9th has the Predators raising two more banners as they open the home portion of their season against James Neal and the Calgary Flames. Then the Winnipeg Jets land for the first rematch of their second round playoff series from last season, then the Islanders hit town to complete the season series. The four game home stand, second longest of the season, completes with a Monday night divisional showdown against the MInnesota Wild. The Preds then head to Canada for a back-to-back against Calgary and Edmonton. Then it’s San Jose in for a single home game before heading back to the northeast for a single game in Newark against the Devils before finishing the month with home games against Edmonton and Vegas.
November – 14 games – 7 away, 7 home – One road back-to-back, one Central Division home and home over Thanksgiving, five divisional games. The Preds hit the road for a game in Tampa before returning home for a Saturday game with Boston before the annual early November road trip. Five games that will take the team to Denver, Dallas, Anaheim, San Jose and Arizona. Nashville returns home for the holidays as they finish November with six out of seven at home, in that stretch is an important divisional home and home against the St. Louis Blues, beginning at home the night before Thanksgiving and finishing in St. Louis on Black Friday. Three consecutive home games finish the month against Anaheim, Colorado and Arizona.
December – 14 games – 7 away, 7 home – One road back-to-back and the beginning of a road and home back-to-back, three divisional games. December begins completing the longest home stand of the season with games against Chicago and Buffalo before heading back to western Canada for games against Vancouver and Calgary. Three home games feature visits from Ottawa, Vancouver and New Jersey bridge another four game roadie that takes the team to the Christmas break as the team travels to Ottawa, Chicago, Philly and Boston. The team hosts the Dallas Stars and New York Rangers during the holiday week before a New Year’s Eve matinee against the defending Stanley Cup champs, the Washington Capitals.
January – 12 games – 8 away, 4 home – Two road back-to-backs and a home game on New Year’s Day, three divisional games. 2019 gets started with a visit from the Philadelphia Flyers on New Year’s night, completing a back-to-back. The Preds then head out for their longest road trip of the season, a six game, 11 day odyssey that features four consecutive games against O6 teams and two back-to-backs. The team heads to Detroit, Montreal, Toronto, Chicago and Columbus before finishing the trip. Three straight at home see the Capitals, Jets and Panthers visit Music City before the team finishes the month with a matinee in Colorado and the one in Vegas. All Star Weekend Break and Bye Week are combined for an eight day break at the end of the month
February – 14 games – 5 away, 9 home – Two road and home back-to-backs, seven divisional games. The most home heavy month of the Predators schedule, a very busy February follows their eight day vacation, opening the month on the road in Florida before coming home for the finale of this back-to-back against Dallas, one of three games against the Stars in the month and one of two in a three game home stand. Arizona is sandwiched between those two games against Dallas. A second home-and-home against the St. Louis Blues, both of them matinees, with the home portion looking to be an NBC game as it is an 11:30am start on a Sunday morning. The Preds welcome the Red Wings and Canadiens before heading to Vegas and Dallas. Nashville finishes the month with three at home, welcoming the Kings, Avalanche and Oilers before completing the season series with St. Louis at Scottrade Center.
March – 13 games – 8 away, 5 home – One road and home back-to-back, five divisional games. March starts off with three consecutive divisional games, Nashville’s first visit to Winnipeg starts the month off before a home and home with Minnesota and a Saturday night visit from Carolina. The Preds hit the road so the SEC can take over Bridgestone Arena with a west coast trip to Anaheim, LA and San Jose before coming home for two intriguing games against Pittsburgh and Toronto. One last roadie takes the team back to Winnipeg and Minnesota before finishing the trip in Pittsburgh as the front end of a back-to-back that concludes in Smashville against Columbus.
April – 3 games – 1 away, 2 home – One divisional game. A quick trip to Buffalo and a finish at home versus Vancouver and the hated Blackhawks before the playoffs get going.
– In my mind, it could be the six-game stretch that starts in late February. It starts at home with Colorado and Edmonton. The Oilers game is the front end of a back-to-back that finishes in St. Louis. The team then heads to Winnipeg and completes the stretch with a home and home with Minnesota. Four out of the six in the division, three of the four divisional games on the road. It could be a season decider.
Dates to circle
- 10/9/18 – Opening Night – The lid lifter on the home portion of the schedule will see the Predators raise two more banners to the rafters of Bridgestone Arena. The 2017 Western Conference Champion banner will finally get some company.
- 10/11/2018 – The Jets Return – The Preds don’t have to wait long to get a crack at Winnipeg after their second round loss.
- 10/13/2018 – Trotzy’s Return – After winning the Cup with the Caps, Barry Trotz now coaches the New York Islanders who hit town for their only visit 5 games into the season.
- 11/19/18 – 11/29/18 – Home for the Holidays – The two weeks surrounding Thanksgiving features five of six game played inside the friendly confines of Brisdgetone Arena, including a Thanksgiving Eve showdown with the St. Louis Blues.
- 12/3/18 – Housley and the Kid – Phil Housley comes home with his Buffalo Sabres, touting first round draft pick Rasmus Dahlin. Buffalo has made some solid moves in the offseason and should be a much better team.
- 1/1/19 – Mummers in Nashville? – Not quite, but the Flyers will be spending the New Year’s Holiday in Smashville with a New Year’s Night tilt against the Preds.
- 1/15/19 – Hail the Conquering Heroes – The defending Stanley Cup Champion comes to town for their only visit of the season. The Washington Capitals will look a little different behind the bench, but should still be a solid team.
- 2/2/19 & 2/7/19 – A Whole Lotta D – The Dallas Stars come to Smashville twice in six days is a rather weird schedule quirk. Dallas has made moves… but I am not sure tey were the right ones to get this team back on track.
- 3/19/19 – The 2019 Stanley Cup Champs – Seriously… just ask the Toronto media. After acquiring Jonathan Tavares, the Leafs appear to be deadly down the middle… but they still have some holes to fill… that being said, this could be a very fun, up-and-down game.
- 4/6/19 – What Team Shows? – Closing night in Smashville will have the Blackhawks in town… but which one shows up? The Stanley Cup contender or the last place team from 2017/18. If it is the latter, Smashville will only be too happy to celebrate their misery.
- 4/10/2019 – The playoffs begin.
It is a fairly solid schedule for Nashville… not as divisional hgeavy in the early parts of the season like in the past, but you will certainly have a good idea about this team by US Thanksgiving.
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