Sunday, July 20, 2008

Thrashers Announce 2008-09 NHL Regular-Season Schedule

The Atlanta Thrashers, in conjunction with the National Hockey League, has announced the entire 82-game schedule for the 2008-09 NHL regular season (see attachment for complete schedule). Individual game tickets for the regular season will go on sale Saturday, Sept. 20 at 10 a.m.

The Thrashers, who open the season on Friday, Oct. 10 at home against the defending Southeast Division-champion Washington Capitals (7:30 p.m.), will host 23 different opponents at Philips Arena over the 41-game regular-season home schedule, including nine teams from the Western Conference.

This season’s Thrashers schedule is highlighted by 22 weekend games at Philips Arena, including 10 Friday games, six Saturday games and six Sunday games. Along with seven Thursday contests, 29 home games this season will be held between Thursday and Sunday.

Under the NHL’s new schedule format, Atlanta increases the amount of games it plays against Western Conference opponents by lessening the amount of games against teams in the Southeast Division (from eight to six). The resulting eight games are reallocated against the Western Conference.

Due to the format change, Thrasher’s fans will enjoy seeing additional Western Conference teams in action at Philips Arena this season, including the Stanley Cup-champion Detroit Red Wings (March 20, 7:30 p.m.). Overall, the Thrashers will play each non-conference team once with an additional game against three select teams (Colorado, Detroit and Nashville) for a total of 18 games against Western Conference opponents (nine home, nine road), up from 10 total games in the old format.

The Thrashers will now play Southeast Division rivals (Carolina, Florida, Tampa Bay and Washington) six times, including three at home and three on the road (24 games in total). Atlanta will face Atlantic Division teams (New Jersey, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh) and Northeast Division teams (Boston, Buffalo, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto) four times each (40 games in total).

Every team in the NHL will appear at Philips Arena this season with the exception of Anaheim, Dallas, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Phoenix and San Jose.

Start times for Thrashers home games held Monday through Thursday and on Saturday will continue to be at 7 p.m., with the exception of Jan. 14 vs. Ottawa (7:30 p.m.). All Friday games begin at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday home games will start at either 3 p.m. (Nov. 30 vs. St. Louis, Feb. 8 vs. Philadelphia, March 8 vs. Calgary) or 5 p.m. (Nov. 2 vs. Florida, Dec. 28 vs. Boston, Jan. 4 vs. Tampa Bay).

As previously released, the six-game preseason schedule is highlighted by three games at Philips Arena, including contests against the Detroit Red Wings on Oct. 1 at 7 p.m., the Nashville Predators on Oct. 3 at 7:30 p.m. and the St. Louis Blues on Oct. 4 at 7 p.m.

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