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Is the Calgary Flames’ 2023-24 schedule any good?

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Photo credit:© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
9 months ago
Last week, the National Hockey League released the 2023-24 regular season schedule. In 2022-23, the Calgary Flames’ schedule was… a little weird. Players complained following the season about multiple trips to the east coast.
Did the 2023-24 schedule fix the things the players didn’t like about the 2022-23 version?

Back-t0-backs

The Flames will play games on consecutive nights eight times, all involving travel. Heck, all but one back-to-back set involve two road games.
  • Oct. 19 at Buffalo, Oct. 20 at Columbus
  • Nov. 10 at Toronto, Nov. 11 at Ottawa
  • Nov. 24 at Dallas, Nov. 25 at Colorado
  • Dec. 11 at Colorado, Dec. 12 at Vegas
  • Jan. 6 at Philadelphia, Jan. 7 at Chicago
  • Mar. 9 at Florida, Mar. 10 at Carolina
  • Mar. 23 at Vancouver, Mar. 24 vs. Buffalo
  • Apr. 11 at Los Angeles, Apr. 12 at Anaheim
In 2022-23, the Flames played 10 sets of back-to-backs, so this is an improvement.

Sections of the schedule that will suck

There are a bunch of sections of the schedule that feature, to be blunt, a lot of games in rapid succession. We broadly define these as stretches without consecutive off-days.
  • Oct. 19-26 features five games over eight days. (@BUF, @CBJ, @DET, NYR, STL)
  • Nov. 14-27 features eight games over 14 days. (@MTL, VAN, NYI, @SEA, @NSH, @DAL, @COL)
  • Dec. 5-18 features eight games over 14 days. (MIN, CAR, NJD, @COL, @VGK, @MIN, TBL, FLA)
  • Dec. 31-Jan. 13 features eight games over 14 days. (PHI, @MIN, @NSH, @PHI, @CHI, OTT, @ARZ, @VGK)
  • Mar. 7-18 features seven games over 12 days. (@TBL, @FLA, @CAR, COL, VGK, MTL, WSH)
  • Mar. 23-30 features five games over eight days. (@VAN, BUF, @CHI, @STL, LAK)
  • Apr. 9-18 features six games in 10 days. (@SJS, @LAK, @ANA, ARZ, @VAN, SJS)

Road trip breakdowns

The longest road trip is five games, from Oct. 14-22, featuring stops in Pittsburgh, Washington, Buffalo, Columbus and Detroit. There are also three separate four-game trips: Nov. 20-25, Jan. 2-7 and Feb. 6-12.
You may have thought that adding Seattle would provide a nice add-on to a western road trip, or even a quick two-game sojourn with Vancouver tacked on. That’s not the case this season. Both trips to Vancouver are one-offs. One trip to Seattle is a one-off, the other is tacked onto an otherwise unrelated road trip to Nashville, Dallas and Colorado.
So what about the trips to the east coast? Well, some good and some bad. Pittsburgh and Washington are clustered together as part of a four-game trip. Philadelphia is on its own as part of a four-game trip. Boston, New Jersey, the Rangers and Islanders are clustered together nicely in early February. Tampa, Florida and Carolina are all on the same trip, too. Generally speaking, the travel looks less silly than it did in 2022-23.
Aside: if you’re considering doing a road trip with your buddies, here are some ideas:
  • Nov. 4 (Seattle): a Saturday game in Seattle, with two days without games before and after. Seattle’s a cool city with a great arena.
  • Dec. 21 (Anaheim) & 23 (Los Angeles): Right before Christmas, head on down to southern California for games against Anaheim and Los Angeles. The first game is preceded by two days without games.
  • Jan. 13 (Vegas): It’s a Saturday game in Vegas, followed by two days without games.
  • Feb. 8 (New Jersey), 10 (Islanders) & 12 (Rangers): Head down to the New York area for a week and see three games in three different arenas.
(The Florida trip isn’t ideal for this type of thing this season, given it’s during a three-in-four stretch.)

Weird home start times

There are a lot of home games that don’t start at 7 p.m. MT (weekdays) or 8 p.m. MT (weekends):
  • Oct. 11 (Wed): 8 p.m. MT start against Winnipeg
  • Oct. 24 (Tue): 7:45 p.m. MT start against NY Rangers
  • Nov. 1 (Wed): 6:30 p.m. MT start against Dallas
  • Nov. 18 (Sat): 5 p.m. MT start against NY Islanders
  • Nov. 27 (Mon): 7:30 p.m. MT start against Vegas
  • Dec. 9 (Sat): 2 p.m. MT start against New Jersey
  • Dec. 18 (Mon): 7:30 p.m. MT start against Florida
  • Dec. 27 (Wed): 7:30 p.m. MT start against Seattle
  • Feb. 17 (Sat): 2 p.m. MT start against Detroit
  • Feb. 19 (Mon): 2 p.m. MT start against Winnipeg
  • Mar. 4 (Mon): 7:30 p.m. MT start against Seattle
  • Mar. 16 (Sat): 5 p.m. MT start against Montreal
  • Mar. 18 (Mon): 6:30 p.m. MT start against Washington
  • Apr. 14 (Sun): 6 p.m. MT start against Arizona

Weird road start times

Finally, there are a few start times for road games that will throw Flames fans out of their typical rhythm. Beware these six games:
  • Oct. 22 (Sun): 3 p.m. MT start in Detroit
  • Jan. 6 (Sat): 11 a.m. MT start in Philadelphia
  • Jan. 7 (Sun): 1 p.m. MT start in Chicago
  • Feb. 10 (Sat): 11 a.m. MT start on Long Island
  • Mar. 9 (Sat): 2 p.m. MT start in Florida
  • Mar. 10 (Sun): 3 p.m. MT start in Carolina
What do you think about the Flames’ schedule? Are you excited about four Battles of Alberta? Let us know in the comments!

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