The other four games the first night of the 2020-21 season include the Pittsburgh Penguins visiting the Philadelphia Flyers; Montreal Canadiens at the Toronto Maple Leafs; Vancouver Canucks at Edmonton Oilers; and St. Louis Blues at the Colorado Avalanche.
The plan for the regular season in the 868 game – 56 games per. Teams – ends on Saturday, May 8, when 30 of the league’s 31 teams go to the ice.
A complete list of each team’s opening match for the regular season 2020-21 is below, and the complete schedule for the regular season for 2020-21 is attached. Start times and broadcast information for all games will be announced when they are available.
As previously announced, the NHL and NHLPA agreed to agree on the format for the 2020-21 season, that the ongoing closure of the US-Canada border required reorientation, and the league and players also tried to minimize team travel as much as possible by switching to exclusive intradivisional game. It is the current plan to play games at participating teams’ home arenas, while understanding that most arenas are not, at least in the initial part of the season, capable of hosting fans. However, depending on the conditions prevailing both in local markets and throughout North America, the league will be prepared to play games on one or more “neutral sites” per game. Division if necessary. Each team in the East, Central and West Division plays every other team in its division eight times, while each team in the North Division plays every other team in its division nine or ten times.
The top four teams in each division qualify for the playoffs in the Stanley Cup with intradivisional play in the first two rounds (No. 1 vs. No. 4; No. 2 vs. No. 3). The four teams advancing to the semi-finals will be seeded out of their points in total, with the No. 1 seed playing No. 4 seeds in one series and seed No. 2 and No. 3 meeting in the other. Formal training camps begin on January 3rd. There will be no pre-season games. The seven teams that did not participate in Return to Play 2019-20 will be allowed to open their training camps already on 31 December.
Notes by division
The following are notes from the division prepared by the NHL Stats & Information Team prior to a season unlike any in league history. A complete #NHLStats Pack: Division Notes for 2020-21 is available at media.nhl.com.
* The North Division marks a return to the NHL’s rival roots. The league included only Canadian teams for the first seven seasons (1917-18-1923-24), until the Boston Bruins became the first U.S.-based franchise in 1924-25.
* This is the first all-Canadian division in NHL history. When divisions were introduced to the NHL in 1926-27, the Canadian division included the New York Americans in all 12 seasons and St. Louis. Louis Eagles in 1934-35 (a result of the original Ottawa Senators move).
* Montreal and Toronto, the NHL’s two remaining founding franchises, play in the same division for the 41st season all-time and 22nd consecutive campaign dating back to 1998-99 when the Maple Leafs joined the Canadiens in the Northeast Division. Ottawa has also been in the same division as Canada’s two Original Six clubs since 199899; The Senators have shared a division with the Canadiens for each of their 28 seasons (including 2020-21).
* Edmonton and Vancouver will continue as division rivals for a 41st consecutive season, dating to 1979-80, when the Oilers entered the NHL (Smythe: 1979-80-1992-93; Pacific: 1993-94-1997-98; Northwest: 1998- 99-2012-13; Pacific: 2013-14-2019-20). They have now teamed up with Calgary in 39 consecutive campaigns dating back to 1981-82 when the Flames – in their second season in Alberta – joined the Smythe Division.
* Fans in Winnipeg are set to revisit several old rivalries. The original Jets were division competitors with Toronto for their last three seasons in Winnipeg (1993-94-1995-96) and were longtime Smythe Division enemies for Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver (1982-83-1992-93).
* Vancouver will renew acquaintance with former division rivals Montreal and Toronto. All three teams competed in the East Division from 1970-71 to 1973-74 (each of the Canucks’ first four NHL seasons) before the league restructured in 1974-75.
* Los Angeles and San Jose will clash in the same division for a 29th season in a row since the Sharks entered the NHL (Smythe: 1991-92-1992-93; Pacific: 1993-94-2019-20). With the addition of Anaheim in 199394, the three-tier California intrasterial rivalry continues for a 27th consecutive campaign. Arizona remains in the same division as the California trio for the 22nd season in a row since 1998-99.
* Los Angeles and St. Louis shares division ties as the Kings and Blues were part of the inaugural West Division for seven seasons, beginning in 1967-68 when the NHL expanded to 12 teams. They were also joined in this division by the Minnesota North Stars, who then battled with the Blues in Smythe and the Norris Division for 16 of their 19 remaining seasons before moving to Dallas (Smythe: 1974-75-1977-78; Norris: 1981- 82-1992-93).
* Colorado resumes a division with the three California teams, their division enemies the first three seasons in Denver (Pacific: 1995-96-1997-98).
* Coyotes and Blues will play in the same division for the first time since 1997-98 – Coyotes / original Jets and Blues collided in the Central Division for five seasons (1993-94-1997-98).
* West Division includes three teams that have reached the Stanley Cup final in the last five seasons (STL: 2019; VGK: 2018; SJS: 2016).
* The longest active race as division competitors among teams in the new Central Division belongs to Tampa Bay and Florida, playing in the same grouping for a 27th season in a row (Atlantic: 1993-94-1997-98; Southeast: 1998-99 -2012 -13; Atlantic Ocean: 2013-14-2019-20). Chicago and Nashville are next in line for 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 play in the same division for the 47th time and for the first time, finishing a race of 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 together in 1926-27, are joined in the new Central Division by six teams that either joined the league or began playing in their current city in the 1990s or later (TBL: 1992 -93; DAL: 1993-94; FLA: 1993-94; BIL: 1997-98; NSH: 1998-99; CBJ: 2000-01).
* Dallas shares a history of division connections with Detroit and plays against them in the Norris Division as the Minnesota North Stars for 12 seasons (1981-82-1992-93) before moving to Texas for another five campaigns from 1993-94 to 1997-98 – combines for all five division titles in this span.
* The Lightning challenged their inaugural season (1992-93) in the Norris Division, which featured the Blackhawks, Red Wings and North Stars.
* Columbus returns to the Central Division, where it competed for each of its first 12 seasons (2000-01-2012-13). The Blue Jackets had the Blackhawks, Predators and Red Wings as intra-traditional opponents during this span.
The hurricanes, lightning and panthers were together in the southeast division for 14 seasons (1998-99-201213). Before moving to Raleigh, the Hartford Whalers played their first two NHL seasons in the Norris Division with Detroit (1979-80-1980-81).
* Tampa Bay and Dallas will be the first teams in 40 years to compete in the same division this season after meeting in the Stanley Cup final (1980-81: NYI vs. PHI in the Patrick Division).
* Boston and Buffalo will be intra-division opponents in a 50th consecutive season dating back to 1970-71, the longest such active streak in the NHL.
* Rangers and Islanders are in the same division for a 48th season in a row since the latter entered 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 a 46th consecutive campaign dating back to 1974-75, while Devils, Flyers, Islanders and Rangers line up in the same division for a 38th consecutive season since 1982-83.
* The Bruins and Rangers will play in the same division for the 20th time in their stories, but for the first time in almost 50 years. The original six rivals were in the U.S. Division together for each of New York’s first 12 seasons (1926-27-1937-38) and in the original East Division for the first seven campaigns during the league’s expansion period (1967-68-1973-74) .
* New York’s intriguing rivalry puts the Sabers, Rangers and Islanders all in the same division for the first time in nearly 50 years. Buffalo played each of his first four NHL seasons in the original East Division, with the Rangers for all four (1970-71-1973-74) and with the Islanders for two (1972-73-1973-74).
* Opposing rivals Philadelphia and Pittsburgh will be in the same division for a 22nd season in a row and 41st overall 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 ready to resume a historic rivalry that included several playoff games in the 1970s between the “Big Bad Bruins” and the “Broad Street Bullies,” including a meeting in the 1974 Stanley Cup final, and for recently a Winter Classic showdown and a historic 2010 playoff series.
* The Bruins (2019-20, 2013-14), Capitals (2016-17, 2015-16) and Rangers (2014-15) have combined for five of the last seven presidents’ trophy victories.