Looking at the 2015-16 schedule

Hope everyone has been enjoying their summer so far. I know this heatwave we’ve been under the last couple months has had me looking forward to getting back to the rink and watching some hockey.

With a little downtime and not much to do, I thought we would take a quick look at the Thunderbirds schedule for the upcoming season and see what jumps out.

First, a look at the schedule for both the preseason and regular season:

Everett Holiday Inn Preseason Classic
9/4 vs Tri-City 1130am
9/5 vs Victoria 3pm
9/6 vs Spokane 3pm

(If this sounds familiar, these are the same teams and times, in order, that the TBirds played last year in the Everett Tournament.)

Tri-City Red Lion Hotels Preseason Tournament
9/11 vs Kootenay 3pm
9/12 vs Tri-City 7:05pm

9/18 vs Victoria 7:35pm ShoWare Center

Regular season:

2015-16 Seattle Thunderbirds regular season schedule

2015-16 Seattle Thunderbirds regular season schedule
(click to enlarge)

Some interesting notes about this year’s schedule:

25% of all home games, 9 out of 36, are on a Tuesday night. That’s pretty incredible considering it wasn’t that long ago that playing on Tuesday night was unheard of. (Also, 9? That’s going to be a pretty interesting magnet collage.) This season’s Tuesday opponents in order: Brandon, Swift Current, Prince George, Spokane, Saskatoon, Kelowna, Vancouver, Tri-City, Spokane.

There are 2 Wednesday home games this season, the first time that has happened since 2009-10, the last season before 2-for-Tuesdays were introduced. Most Wednesday home games over the years have been the night before American Thanksgiving which is not the case with either Wednesday game this season.

The first home game vs a US Division team this season is 10/21, tied for the latest date in the last 20 years with the 2005-06 season. That season, Seattle played 3 home games before hosting Everett on 10/21/05. This season, the TBirds will have 4 home games before playing Tri-City on 10/21/15.

A couple odd start times for some away games. On Halloween, the TBirds will be in Cranbrook and that game starts at 1pm Seattle time. Also, a game in Kelowna on 2/8 (Family Day in BC) will start at 2pm Seattle time.

For just the second time ever, Seattle will play the two Princes in consecutive home games: 10/3 vs PA and 10/10 vs PG. (Are the Spin Doctors still together? That would be a good promo.) The other season that occurred was 2009-10: 10/13 vs PA and 10/17 vs PG.

The 8-game road trip this season will be the longest since the 1999-2000 season when the TBirds also had an 8-game road trip. They also had a 6-game road trip earlier that season. Luckily, Seattle doesn’t play more than 2 road games in a row this season outside of that 8-game trip.

Looks like Hockey Challenge will be taking place on 2/27 this season. (If you look at the schedule in the picture above, it says the game on 2/27 vs EVE starts at 705pm. However, I believe that is a typo and the game will be starting at 605pm and the celebrity game will be taking place afterwards.)

Seattle played in Portland on a Sunday last season for the first time since 2006-07. They do it again this season making it the first time since 1995-96 and 1996-97 that the TBirds have played the Winterhawks in Portland on a Sunday in consecutive seasons.

US division opponents by day:
EVE away Sat, Sat, Sat, Sat, Fri
EVE home Sat, Sat, Sat, Sat, Fri

PDX away Sun, Thu, Fri, Fri, Sat, Sun
PDX home Sat, Fri, Sat, Sat, Sat, Sat

SPO away Fri, Wed, Sun, Fri
SPO home Fri, Tue, Fri, Tue

TC away Sun, Sat, Fri, Sun, Fri
TC home Wed, Sat, Fri, Sat, Tue

For the fourth year in a row, Seattle and Spokane will play 3 times in a 7-day period.
2012-13 season: 1/4 vs SPO, 1/8 vs SPO, 1/9 @ SPO
2013-14 season: 12/1 @ SPO, 12/6 @ SPO, 12/7 vs SPO
2014-15 season: 10/10 @ SPO, 10/14 vs SPO, 10/15 @ SPO
2015-16 season: 12/4 @ SPO, 12/9 @ SPO, 12/11 vs SPO
(In fact, in the month of December, Seattle and Spokane will play each other 5 times in 25 days.)

Some other stats and how they compare to the last 2 seasons:

Longest homestand
2015-16 4 games 12/11-18 (SPO, EVE, PG, TC) and 2/9-19 (KEL, PDX, VIC, SPO)
2014-15 6 games 2/15-28 (VIC, LETH, EVE, CAL, PG, PDX)
2013-14 4 games 2/22-3/2 (KAM, PA, PDX, EVE) and 3/8-14 (EVE, VAN, SPO, PDX)

Most consecutive road games
2015-16 8 games 10/31-11/14 (KOO, CGY, RD, EDM, LET, MH, VIC, VIC)
2014-15 6 games 11/7-16 (PA, SAS, MJ, BWK, REG, SC)
2013-14 6 games 9/28-10/11 (PDX, TC, MH, LETH, KOO, KEL)

Longest road trip by miles
2015-16 10/31-11/14 2368 miles (KOO, CGY, RD, EDM, LET, MH, VIC, VIC)
2014-15 11/7-16 2957 miles (PA, SAS, MJ, BWK, REG, SC)
2013-14 1/3-8 2300 miles (RD, EDM, CAL, PG)

3 games in 3 nights
2015-16 3 times (AAHx1 AHAx2)
2014-15 5 times (AAAx1 AHHx1 HHAx1 AHAx1 AAHx1)
2013-14 7 times (AAAx2 AHHx2 HHAx1 HAHx1 HAAx1)
Looks like the increase in mid-week games helped cut down the number of 3 in 3 nights. This should help lessen fatigue as the season goes on with more days off between games.

Breakdown by day
Sunday (9) 7A 2H
Monday (1) 1A
Tuesday (11) 2A 9H
Wednesday (6) 4A 2H
Thursday (1) 1A
Friday (20) 12A 8H
Saturday (24) 9A 15H

Sunday (7) 5A 2H
Monday (2) 2A
Tuesday (9) 1A 8H
Wednesday (5) 5A
Thursday (1) 1H (First home Thursday game since Dec 30, 1999)
Friday (24) 15A 9H
Saturday (24) 8A 16H

Sunday (8) 4A 4H
Monday (1) 1A
Tuesday (13) 5A 8H
Wednesday (4) 4A
Friday (22) 12A 10H
Saturday (24) 10A 14H