Important Dates 2011-12 Schedule Released

The 2011-12 NHL schedule has been released and we’ve taken some time to highlight some imporant dates below.

The longest Road stretch for the team is a 7 game slide between Oct. 27th and Nov. 8 with another 6 game trip scheduled Jan 23 to Feb 5.

The longest home stand is a gift from the NHL with 8 straight games at the MTS Centre in the final two months of the season stretching from Feb 17 to Mar 5. There is also a stretch between Nov 29 and Dec 31 when the team plays 13 out of 15 games at home. If this team is to make the playoffs they will have to be playing peak hockey at that point in the season.

The six teams that will not make a trip to Winnipeg this season are: Canucks, Red Wings, Flames, Blue Jackets, Predators and Chicago Blackhaws.

First Home Game – Sun. Oct. 9 @ 4PM vs Montreal Canadiens

While it wouldn’t really matter who Winnipeg plays on opening night a match up with the most historic and succesful Canadian team is a nice treat. Don’t forget to wear white this after all opening night!

First Away Game – Thu. Oct. 13 @ 7:30PM at Chicago Blackhawks

The first game on the road comes against the Blackhawks, it’ll be interesting to see how many people make the trip for this one expecially if they couldn’t get tickets to opening night in Winnipeg. Let’s have Jonathon Toews night n Chicago then head on down to Phoenix for the Yotes because we won’t get to see Toews in our building this year.

Phoenix Coyotes – Sat. Oct 15 @ 6PM in Phoenix/ Thu. Dec 1 @ 7:30PM in Winnipeg

Winnipeg will play Phoenix twice and it should be interesting to note that it’ll be a lot easier for some to afford the flight and tickets in Phoenix then it would be to buy a ticket from a scalper in Winnipeg to see this game so expect a lot of vintage Jets jerseys broken out in Glendale on that night, but depending on the team name who would those jerseys really be representing?

Vancouver Canucks –  Thu. Mar 8 @ 9PM in Vancouver

The first game against the team we’ve been developing prospects for the last 15 years will see some familar faces for the Stanley Cup runner ups but it won’t be in Winnipeg. We only drew a road match up against the Nucks this season.

Boston Bruins – Sat. Nov 26 @ 6PM in Boston/Tue. Dec 6 @ 7:30PM in Winnipeg (two later dates aswell)

One of the joys of being in the Eastern Conference for the first season will be four match ups with the Defending Cup champions and Vezna winner Tim Thomas. Their first trip to Winnipeg will be at the start of December.

Anaheim Ducks – Sat. Dec 17 @ 6PM in Winnipeg

While it remains to still be seen if Teemu will come back for another season if he does it’ll be with the Ducks and no active player in the NHL is more beloved then the former rookie of the year. Luckily for us the NHL granted us a home game in our only match up with the Ducks and look it’ll be an early Christmas present too. Could this not be the perfect occasion to bring back Tuxedo Night in a different form?

Detroit Red Wings – Sat. Dec 10 @ 6PM in Detroit

The last team that ever played the Winnipeg Jets and eliminated them in six games in the 1996 Stanley Cup playoffs. They are also one of the three teams that could end up swapping conferences with us next season so we may not get many opportunities to see the team that officially eliminated the Winnipeg Jets from the NHL and banished them to Phoenix. Unfortunately the only match up with them comes as a road game so we won’t get the luxury of welcoming them back to Winnipeg this year.

Edmonton Oilers – Mon. Feb 27 @ 7:30PM in Winnipeg

While it’s not the same dominating team that Winnipeg lost many a game to and every playoff series they ever played against them, after the team is put into its proper division for next season and with both Edmonton and Winnipeg going through a youth movement this could be the start of a rivalry that will continue for many years. This is the only tilt between the two teams this year and it’s in our barn.

Pttsburgh Penguins – Mon. Oct 17 @ 7:30PM in Winnipeg (first home match up)

Winnipeg’s first look in person of Sydney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin and the powerhouse Penguins who will be looking to stay injury free this season won’t have to wait very long as they draw the Pens on the fourth game of the season and the second home game.

Tampa Bay Lightning – Mon. Nov 14 @ 7:30PM in Winnipeg (first home match up)

Another joy of being in the Eastern Conference and in particular the South East will be getting to face Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis and company six times. A winning record in their division will be crucial to their playoff aspirations. On another note they also play in Winnipeg on Feb. 23 which happens to be my birthday so if anyone wants to sell me tickets so I can go to that game on my birthday I wouldn’t say no.

New Years Eve – Sat. Dec 31 @ 6PM vs Toronto Maple Leafs

One of the long standing traditions in Winnipeg was the hosting of a New Years Eve Game and perhaps fittingly after Brian Burke’s comments we’ll get to host the Leafs in the first NHL New Years Eve game in 15 years.

Last Regular Season game – Sat. Apr 7 @ 6PM vs Tampa Bay Lightning in Winnipeg

We return home for the last game of the season after a four game stretch away and get the Tampa Bay Lightning. The last five games of the season which could be crucial games to get into the playoffs comes against the Hurricanes, Lightning, Panthers, Islanders and Lightning again.

Toronto Maple Leafs – Wed. Oct 19 @ 6:30PM in Toronto

The first tilt with the Maple Leafs comes in Toronto our fifth game of the year. You can bet this will be only fuel to the fire after Burke’s comments about Winnipeg (Regardless if he had a point or not)

The complete schedule is available for you here.

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Jeff Stevenson is a co-founder of and co-host of the popular Jets Hockey Podcast. He grew up in Winnipeg, MB and became very passionate about sports, hockey and the Jets. Now Jeff is proud and honored to help bring news and information about the Winnipeg Jets to fans around the world.