Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Canes opening schedule is wacky

The Carolina Hurricanes aren't complaining about a brutal opening schedule that has them playing two games in Finland and then heading to the West Coast, but to be honest, this is outrageous.

Making sports schedules is difficult, but anyone in the NHL office could see that a team slated to be in Finland shouldn't be sent to the other side of North America shortly after its return.

The Canes had an exhibition game in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Oct. 4. Then they played regular-season games in Helsinki on Oct. 7 and 8 and won both.

Back in the States, they lost at Washington 3-2 on Oct. 14. Then Sunday, they started a four-game West Coast swing with a predictable 5-1 loss at Vancouver. Think about that - right after you play in Finland, you are on the road for five straight games.

Does that make sense? Uh, no. Now come games Tuesday in San Jose, Wednesday in Los Angeles and Saturday in Phoenix. By the time the home opener comes Wednesday, Carolina will have played seven games.

The good news is the Canes have nine home games in March, when they are pushing to make the playoffs. They may need those home games, given the tough start they've been handed.

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