Appointments upon appointments, insiders!
Yesterday preseason, today regular season! The 2022-23 schedule is here in all its glory. From the home opener against Vegas for the second straight season, to the playoff rematch against Edmonton, to two six-game road trips and the freeway faceoff to wrap up the regular season, an action-packed 82-game roster awaits us in October.
With that in mind, and a detailed breakdown that follows below, here’s a first look at the LA Kings’ 2022-23 regular season schedule –
The breakdown of this season’s schedule reflects last season’s format. The Kings play five Pacific Division opponents four times, twice at home and twice away, and three times against two opponents. This season’s standouts are the two California teams, with the Kings only visiting Anaheim (December 20) and San Jose (November 25) once. This is only the second time in franchise history that the Kings have faced Anaheim or San Jose just three or fewer times in a season. The only time before that was the 2019-20 campaign, when two Kings/Ducks matches were canceled in addition to one Kings/Sharks match.
The Kings meet twice at home and twice away at Calgary, Edmonton, Seattle, Vancouver and Vegas.
In the Central Division, the Kings host Arizona, Dallas, St. Louis and Winnipeg twice and visit each team once. The Kings will host Chicago, Colorado, Minnesota and Nashville once and visit each city twice. The Central Division culminates in a showdown against defending Stanley Cup champions Colorado Avalanche, who come to Los Angeles for the only time this season on April 8, the penultimate home game of the season.
The Kings will play all 16 Eastern Conference opponents once at home and once away. Defending Eastern Conference champions Tampa Bay Lightning visit Crypto.com Arena on October 25, their third home game of the 2022-23 season. Other highlights include a pre-Thanksgiving showdown against the New York Rangers on November 22, a New Year’s tilt against Philadelphia on December 31, and the first All-Star Break return game against Pittsburgh on February 11.
– Much like last season, there will be no ice in Los Angeles on Friday night. The Kings will not play a single home game on a Friday this season, with just six total Friday games, all of which are away. Wednesday will be the quietest day of the week overall for the Kings, with just two games played that day, one home and one away.
– The most common day of the week in the schedule, both in terms of home games and total number of games, is Saturday. The Kings will play 14 home games at Crypto.com Arena on Saturdays and 22 Saturday games overall. The Kings will play 10 away games on a Thursday, leading the way for the weekday calendar. After the 22 games on Saturday, the Kings will play 19 games each on Tuesday and Thursday.
– The distribution of the game plan is much more unbalanced overall this season. Last season, the Kings played nine or more games six out of seven days a week, this season it’s down to three days. Much of the imbalance is due to road data shifting from six out of seven days with at least five road grades to just three in 2022-23. The home schedule is similar to last season, driven by Thursdays and Saturdays, with a surge in home dates on Tuesday.
– The first half of the Kings game plan is extremely balanced in terms of distribution. The Kings play between five and seven home games from October through January and between six and eight away games during that time span, for a total of between 11 and 15 games each month from October through January.
– Beginning in February, the schedule balance will change, with February geared towards away games (6 out of 9 out and about) and March towards home games (10 out of 13 in Los Angeles). The team’s 10 home games in March are the most in a month this season and the most in a month of a packed 82-game schedule since January 2011. The Kings played 11 home games in April of the 2020-21 season due to the compressed schedule with 56 games condensed.
– Like last season, February is a unique month. Last season, there was a three-week hiatus for participation in the Winter Olympics, although NHL players ultimately did not compete. This season, the Kings are on a 10-day break around NHL All-Star Weekend 2023 in Florida. Unlike last season, April is again shortened as the Kings play just seven regular-season games, ending April 13. With that in mind, the league will return to a more normal calendar, with the first round of the postseason taking place in April instead of May.
Opportunities & End
– The Kings have two six-game road trips this season, with one running December 6-15 and the second running January 21-31. Last season, the Kings had a six-game road trip and posted a 4-0-2 record, the second-best mark on a six-game trip in franchise history.
– As part of the aforementioned 10-game home month of March, the Kings will have a seven-game home season spanning March 11 through March 26. The seven-game home tie is the seventh-longest in franchise history. The Kings had two seven-game homestands in the 2021-22 season and compiled records of 1-3-3 and 5-1-1, the latter achieving a franchise-best mark. The organization last had a homestand of more than seven games in the 2010-11 season (eight games).
– The Kings have 11 consecutive sets this season, a significant reduction from the 15 they had in the 2021-22 season. 10 of the 11 consist of matches in different cities, with eight of the 11 consisting of consecutive street matches. The Kings also have a set of back-to-back home games, a home game followed by an away game, and an away game followed by a home game. The 11 B2Bs total is by my count the fewest since the 2014-15 season.
– The schedule seems to have a surprisingly small number of matinees. The Kings currently only have two true matinee starts — 12/31. vs. Philadelphia and 25.3. vs. Winnipeg, both scheduled to start at 1 p.m. The Kings also host Toronto for a 4 p.m. game in late October and have two local starts at 5 p.m. against New York and Vancouver, with the former having puck drop at 2 p.m. Pacific Time. Perhaps some times could shift as TV schedules become clearer, and that information is coming later this summer.
– The Kings will be in St. Lous, the Halloween capital of the Midwest, on October 31st. The Kings will be in Seattle on April Fool’s Day, unless that’s just an early joke. The Kings play at home towards Thanksgiving on November 22nd and after Christmas on December 27th.
– This season’s NHL All-Star Weekend will be hosted by the Florida Panthers and will be held February 3-4 in Sunrise, FL. The Kings finish their schedule in Carolina three days before the break, making travel easier for everyone selected to attend. The 2023 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend includes the Honda NHL All-Star Game on Saturday February 4th and NHL All-Star Skills on Friday February 3rd.
And that, Insider, is your yearly overrun. From here we will focus on the draft. What does a draftsman think on Day 1 of the NHL draft when his team doesn’t pick in the first round? We’ll all find out together tomorrow!