DALLAS — There are no marathon road trips, save for one trip that will take them all the way to Finland for a pair of games. And there are no franchise-record homestands, unlike last year where the team set up at Bell MTS Place for nearly a month.
No, the new NHL schedule released Thursday offers plenty of balance and not a lot of extremes for the Winnipeg Jets.
The longest road trip in terms of quantity of games is just four, something they will do on four different occasions. The longest homestand of the year comes in the first month, as the Jets will be on friendly terrain for six consecutive games. That’s nothing compared to the 10-gamer from last year.
The season begins Oct. 4 in St. Louis and includes a stop in Dallas two nights later before the Jets have their home opener on Oct. 9 against Los Angeles. Winnipeg then hits the road for a game in Nashville in the first meeting since their epic seven-game Central Division final playoff series.
Winnipeg has 10 sets of back-to-back games this year, with seven of them occurring on the road. Another set happens in Finland on Nov. 1 and 2, where Winnipeg and the Florida Panthers will technically each be the home team for one game. The busiest months come in December and March, with 15 games each.
The Jets will have an extended period of inaction in January as they take their league-mandated five-day player break, which leads directly into the all-star break. That gives them a total of eight straight days without games.
Winnipeg will also go a full week between games immediately after the Finland trip ends.
Folks itching for a rematch of the Western Conference final will have to wait until Jan. 15, when the Vegas Golden Knights come to town. The Jets will then make a pair of trips to Sin City for games on Feb. 22 and March 21.
As always, Winnipeg plays 26 games against their Central Division rivals with games split evenly between home and away. That includes five with Minnesota and Colorado, and four against St. Louis, Nashville, Chicago and Dallas.
The Jets will play the eight Pacific teams three times each, and all 16 Eastern Conference teams twice. The defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals pay their only visit to Winnipeg on Nov. 14.
Mike McIntyre grew up wanting to be a professional wrestler. But when that dream fizzled, he put all his brawn into becoming a professional writer.