Only a few moments ago the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup with 2 goals in 17 seconds. At least that is the way it seems. However, the Blackhawks opened camp on Thursday and that means that realignment is now complete. Here is a look at the Blackhawks schedule.
- Six divisions down to four.
Realignment has decreased the divisions which mean more divisional games. The Blackhawks will have 28 divisional games as they are placed in the Central division. The Blackhawks will play the St. Louis Blues, Nashville Predators, Dallas Stars, Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild 5 times this season. They will have 3 home and 2 away games against the Blues and Avalanche. On the other side of things, the Blackhawks will have 2 home and 3 away games against the Predators, Stars and Wild. The Blackhawks will play the Winnipeg Jets four times splitting the games two apiece.
- Opening up at home
The Blackhawks will have their 2014 season open up at home as they play the Washington Capitals on Tuesday, October 1. The Blackhawks will have a lot of games in October at home as they play 8 of their 13 games at home. Six of the first eight games of the season are at home and there are only two Western Conference opponents in the first month in St. Louis and Minnesota.
- November Road
The annual Thanksgiving road trip will take place from November 17-November 30 and feature seven games including a four game Western Canada swing. Each game on this road trip will be an every other day except for the last two when the Blackhawks have a back to back. Also in November are seven divisional games of which six are on the road.
- Long homestands
The Blackhawks don’t have any long home stands this season. Their longest one is four games which will come from January 12-19 which is part of a six home games in seven stretch. There is one more four game home stretch from March 19-25 which features three divisional games and is part of another stretch of six home games in seven.
- Welcoming back old friends
The nice thing about realignment is that now every team will play each other at home every season. That means that the Blackhawks will play the Red Wings twice even though they are in the opposite conferences. The Blackhawks will play the Red Wings in Detroit on January 22 and at the United Center on March 16. The Blackhawks and Bruins will hook up in Chicago on January 19 and in Boston on March 27.
- Another long road trip in February
The Blackhawks will depart for their circus trip early as they start on January 28 in Calgary. With the Olympics the Blackhawks will not play a home game in February as all five games are on the road. Extending the trip out further, the Blackhawks will play 9 of 10 games on the road starting January 22 in Detroit with their only home game coming January 26 against Winnipeg.
- Starting with a bang
After the Olympic break, the welcome back to hockey will be the game on March 1 between the Blackhawks and Penguins. The game will be part of an outdoor series and be at Soldier Field. It was expected that the two of these teams would meet in the Stanley Cup Final last year but Boston delayed that meeting.
- March to the playoffs
March will be a busy month as the Blackhawks will play 15 games in the month of March as they speed things up after the month long break for the Olympics. This will be a big month for the Blackhawks as 9 of the 15 games are at home. Of the six divisional games in the month of March, five of them are at home.
- End of the long March
One thing to watch will be the end of March as the Blackhawks do finish with a three game road trip in four days. This is a tough stretch of games as it will feature games against the Bruins, Senators and Penguins.
- A crazy finish
April will feature six games in nine days. There are three home and three away games as the Blackhawks end with games that are in their time zone or the Eastern Time zone which will make travel easy. The last home game is against the Montreal Canadians on Wednesday, April 9 and the season finale is in Nashville on Saturday, April 12.