The other four games on the first night of the 2020-21 season include the Pittsburgh Penguins watching the Philadelphia Flyers; Montreal Canadians in Toronto Maple Leaves; Vancouver Connex in Edmonton Oilers; And the St. Louis Blues on the Colorado Avalanche.
The 868-game regular-season schedule – 56 games per team – ends on Saturday, May 8, with 30 of the league’s 31 teams taking the ice.
Below is a complete list of each team’s 2020-21 regular season opener and the complete 2020-21 regular season schedule is attached. Start times and broadcast details for all games will be announced when available.
As previously announced, in reaching an agreement on the design for the 2020-21 season, the NHL and NHLPA decided that the US-Canada border needed to be restructured to continue to close, and the league and players sought to minimize team travel as much as possible exclusively by converting to internal play. The current plan is to play in the home stadiums of the participating teams, while most stadiums, at least in the early part of the season, understand that they cannot hold fans. However, depending on the conditions prevailing in the local markets and throughout North America, a division may be willing to play in one or more “neutral base” locations. Each team in the East, Central and West divisions will play each team in its division eight times, while each team in the Northern Division will play each other nine or 10 times in its division.
The top four teams in each division will qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs, an intrinsic game in the first two rounds (# 1 against # 4; # 2 against # 3). The four teams advancing to the semifinals will be sown in bulk by their regular season points, with the No. 1 seed meeting the No. 4 seed in a series and the other No. 2 and No. 3 seed. Formal training camps will begin on January 3rd. There will be no pre-season games. Seven teams that do not return to the 2019-20 game will be allowed to open their training camps before December 31st.
Section wise tips
Following is a section of the NHL Statistics and Information Team compilation preceding one season as never before in league history. A complete #NHLStats Pack: Section Notes for 2020-21 Available at media.nhl.com.
* The Northern Division marks a return to the competitive roots of the NHL. The league only included Canadian teams in its first seven seasons (1917-18-1923-24) until Boston Bruins became the first US-based ownership in 1924-25.
* This is the first all-Canadian division in NHL history. When divisions were introduced to the NHL in 1926-27, the New York Americans for all 12 seasons (1926-27-1937-38) and the St. Louis Eagles (as a result of the original Ottawa) relocation in the Canadian division for all 12 seasons).
* The remaining two founding owners of the NHL, Montreal and Toronto, joined Canadians in the Northeast Division in 1998-99 in the all-time, 22nd campaign for the 41st season in a row. Ottawa has been in the same division as the two original six clubs in Canada since 199899; Senators have shared a division with Canadians for each of their 28 seasons (including 2020-21).
* Edmonton and Vancouver will continue to be division rivals for the 41st consecutive season entering the NHL from 1979-80 (Smith: 1979-80-1992-93; Pacific: 1993-94-1997-98; Northwest: 1998-99-2012-13) ; Pacific: 2013-14-2019-20). They were now with Calgary for 39 consecutive campaigns from 1981-82, then joined the Flames Smith division for the second season in Alberta.
* Fans at Winnipeg have many old matches to reconsider. The original Jets were division rivals for the final three seasons in Winnipeg (1993-94-1995-96) with Toronto, and longtime Smith division rivals of Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver (1982-83-1992-93).
* Update acquaintances with former Vancouver division rivals Montreal and Toronto. All three teams competed in the Eastern Division from 1970-71 to 1973-74 (each of Connaught’s first four NHL seasons) before the league was changed in 1974-75.
* Los Angeles and San Jose have clashed since the sharks entered the NHL in the 29th season of the same division (Smith: 1991-92-1992-93; Pacific: 1993-94-2019-20). With the addition of Anaheim in 199394, the three-team California Intrastate competition continues into the 27th straight campaign. The California trio have been in the same category for the 22nd consecutive season since 1998-99 in Arizona.
* Los Angeles and St. Louis share division ties because the Kings and Blues were part of the starting West Division for seven seasons beginning in 1967-68, expanding into the NHL 12 teams. The Minnesota North Stars also joined the division, then battling the Blues in the Smith and Norris divisions for 16 of the remaining 19 seasons before moving to Dallas (Smith: 1974-75-1977-78; Norris: 1981- 82-1992-93).
* Colorado reunite with three California teams in a division, their regional rivals for the first three seasons in Denver (Pacific: 1995-96-1997-98).
* Coyotes and Blues play in the same division for the first time since 1997-98 – Coyotes / Original Jets and Blues clashed in the Central Division for five seasons (1993-94-1997-98).
* The Western Division has three teams that have reached the Stanley Cup Finals in the last five seasons (SDL: 2019; VGK: 2018; SJS: 2016).
* The longest serving division rivals among the teams in the new Central Division are Tampa Bay and Florida, who will continue to play in the same team for the 27th season (Atlantic: 1993-94-1997-98; Southeast: 1998-99 -2012-13; Atlantic: 2013-) 14-2019-20). Chicago and Nashville are next with 22 straight campaigns, playing against each other in the Central Division for the entire history of the Predators.
* The original six rivals, Chicago and Detroit, will play in the same division for the 47th time, and after completing 31 consecutive seasons as division rivals in 2012-13 (American: 1926-27-1937-38; East: 1967-68 -1969-70; Norris; : 1981-82-1992-93; Central: 1993-94-2012-13).
* Chicago and Detroit, who entered the NHL in 1926-27, joined the league with six teams in the new midfield or began playing in the current city in the 1990s or later (DPL: 1992-93; DAL: 1993-94; FLA: 1993-94; CAR: 1997-98; NSH: 1998-99; CBJ: 2000-01).
* Dallas shares a history of territorial relations with Detroit, playing for five more campaigns in the Norris Division from 1993-94 to 1997 before moving to Texas for 12 seasons (1981-82-1992-93) as Minnesota North stars. 98 – Linking to five section titles in that interval.
* Lightning competed in the Norris division in their opening season (1992-93), featuring the Blackhawks, Red Wings and North Stars.
* Columbus returns to Central Division where he competed for its first 12 seasons (2000-01-2012-13). Blue jackets featured Blackhawks, Predators and Red Wings.
* Hurricane, Lightning and Panthers were together for 14 seasons (1998-99-201213) in the Southeast Division. Before moving to Raleigh, the Hartford Whales played the first two NHL seasons with Detroit (1979-80-1980-81) in the Norris Division.
* After meeting in the Stanley Cup Final (1980-81: NYI vs. PHI in the Patrick Division), Tampa Bay and Dallas become the first teams in 40 years to compete in the same division this season.
* Boston and Buffalo will be inherent rivals for the 50th consecutive season from 1970-71, which is the longest such active in the NHL.
* Rangers and Islanders have been in the same division for the 48th consecutive season since entering the NHL in 1972-73 (East: 1972-73-1973-74; Patrick: 1974-75-1992-93; Atlantic: 1993- 94-2012-13) ; Metropolitan: 2013-14-2019-20). The Flyers join them for the 46th straight campaign from 1974-75, while the Devils, Flyers, Islanders and Rangers join the same division for the 38th season in a row since 1982-83.
* The Bruins and Rangers will play in the same division for the 20th time in their deck history, but for the first time in almost 50 years. The original six contenders were New York’s first 12 seasons in the U.S. division (1926-27-1937-38) and the first seven campaigns of the League’s expansion era in the original Eastern division (1967-68-1973-74).
* For the first time in almost 50 years, New York’s intrinsic competition puts sabers, rangers and islanders all in the same category. The Buffalo played each of its first four NHL seasons in the original Eastern Division, four with the Rangers (1970-71-1973-74) and two with the Islanders (1972-73-1973-74).
* Intrastate rivals Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are in the same category for the 22nd straight and 41st time since joining the NHL in 1967-68 (West: 1967-68-1973-74; Patrick: 1981-82-1992-93; Atlantic: 1998-) 99-2012-13; Metropolitan: 2013-14-2019-20).
* Fans in Boston and Philadelphia are set to reconsider a historic match that featured multiple playoff battles between the “Big Bad Bruins” and the “Broad Street Bullies” in the 1970s, including a meeting at the 1974 Stanley Cup Final, most recently a winter classic. 2010 Playoff Series.
* Five of the last seven Presidents Trophy victories have been for the Bruins (2019-20, 2013-14), Capitals (2016-17, 2015-16) and Rangers (2014-15).