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Quick thoughts and breakdowns of the schedule

By Mike Harrington

The NHL is going to an unbalanced schedule for this season, with no games against the other conference. After plenty of dribs and drabs leaking out, we finally got the goods late Saturday night. Here's how it breaks down for the Sabres:

Northeast Division (4 or 5 vs. each team--18 total)
Boston--5 (3 home, 2 road)
Montreal--5 (2-3)
Ottawa-4 (2-2)
Toronto-4 (2-2)
(Comment: It would have been good to avoid the fifth game with Boston, which remains the division favorite. Sabres didn't get that break) 

Atlantic Division (3 vs. each team--15 total)
NY Rangers (2 home, 1 road)
NY Islanders (2-1)
New Jersey (2-1)
Philadelphia (2-1)
Pittsburgh (1-2)

Southeast Division (3 vs. each team -- 15 total)
Winnipeg (2 home, 1 away)
Carolina (1-2)
Washington (1-2)
Tampa Bay (1-2)
Florida (1-2)
(Comment: These work mostly in the Sabres' favor. They play a heavy home schedule against the tougher Atlantic Division, going only to Pittsburgh twice. And a real break by having to go to Winnipeg just once, the only team in the Southeast Division they don't travel to play twice. Plus lots of Sabres fans who live there or here love Florida trips and there are two of them, just like in a normal season.)

More notes on the schedule

By days: Saturday (9), Sunday (11), Monday (2), Tuesday (11), Wednesday (1), Thursday (9), Friday (5).
(Comment: The impact of requesting fewer Friday home games is clear. The team played just one Sunday game last season and now has 11).

By months: January (7), February (14), March (15), April (12).

How tight is it? Nine back-to-backs and a stunning eight sets of three games in four days.
(Comment -- Memo to Lindy Ruff: You're going to be watching plenty of video and not doing much practice on the ice after this week.)

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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |