The Los Angeles Kings and Buffalo Sabres are the big winners today with the NHL's release of the 2012-2013 Regular Season schedule, when you examine the travel burden faced by all 30 teams.
Thanks to the fact that this season will not have opening games over in Europe, the Kings will travel more than 10,000 fewer miles than last season, when they led the league. The Sabres, who had to cope with a league-most 21 sets of games played on back-to-back nights in 2011-2012, now have the 2nd-fewest in the NHL, with only 11 on tap for the upcoming campaign.
This marks the 5th year I've taken the NHL's regular season schedule and added in information that tells you how far each team travels along the way during the 82-game grind, how many times they have to play on back-to-back nights, and some strength-of-schedule information as well.
Follow along for all the scoop!
So here's how this works: for each team, I walked through their schedule from Game 1 to Game 82, adding up the miles traveled from one game to the next (as the crow flies, using arena addresses). If a team has road games immediately before and after the All Star break, I add in a trip home between those games, and I've considered the Winter Classic in Ann Arbor as well.
One tweak I've made this year when you check out the full Google Spreadsheet is rather than show separate columns for Shots/Game and Shots Allowed/Game for the opponent in each game, I've gone with Team Fenwick percentage in 5-on-5 when the game is tied (from Behind The Net).
The table below, however, breaks down the travel situation by team, and throws in a comparison to last season (you can click the headers to re-sort the table based on that value). The columns show the total travel miles, the number of sets of back-to-back games, and the number of one-game road trips a team has to make:
B to B
1 Gm Trips
B to B
1 Gm Trips
|Columbus Blue Jackets||41,171||16||15||42,831||16||17|
|Detroit Red Wings||39,032||13||16||42,865||14||20|
|Los Angeles Kings||45,152||12||9||55,591||15||13|
|New Jersey Devils||30,940||16||22||28,597||15||24|
|New York Islanders||30,072||16||23||32,410||13||20|
|New York Rangers||33,093||14||20||36,385||14||11|
|San Jose Sharks||46,393||9||9||43,994||14||5|
|St. Louis Blues||41,169||15||7||38,781||17||20|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||45,641||13||7||43,717||10||12|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||32,617||14||15||32,239||17||21|
NOTE: Minor update made after initial publication - I added a trip home for Christmas for the few teams that had road games immediately before & after.
Feel free to copy this table, or check out the full Google Spreadsheet and download a copy as well. Enjoy!