The Blue Jackets' complete 2016-17 regular season schedule came out in late June, and we know 82 games are a lot to sift through - so we did some of the legwork for you.
We've highlighted a few notable games, homestands, and road trips over the course of the upcoming season, which starts on Oct. 13 when the Boston Bruins will travel to Columbus for a 7 p.m. puck drop at lovely Nationwide Arena.
First Roadie: After opening up the season with three games at Nationwide Arena, the Blue Jackets will hit the road for their second longest road trip of the year, racking up about 4,753 frequent flyer miles. Columbus will first fly south to take on the Dallas Stars at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 22, and then head west to California for a game against the LA Kings followed by a back-to-back against the Western Conference Champion San Jose Sharks and the Anaheim Ducks. The Blue Jackets will face the Kings at 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 25, the Sharks at 10:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 27, and the Ducks at 10 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 28. Prepare your late night snacks (and coffee) accordingly.
Rivalry Renewed: On Thursday, Dec. 22, the Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins will make their first visit to Nationwide Arena. The second game in a four-game homestand, this 7 p.m. contest will be the first in a four-game season series between the Blue Jackets and the defending champs. Columbus will visit CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh twice on the season – Friday, Feb. 3, and Tuesday, Apr. 4, both at 7 p.m. – and the Penguins will make one more trip to play Columbus on Friday, Feb. 17, again at 7 p.m.
Longest Trip: Following a three-game homestand Jan. 17-21, the Blue Jackets will take their longest road trip of the season starting on Sunday, Jan. 22 with a 5 p.m. game against Ottawa. Columbus will then travel to Brooklyn to take on the New York Islanders on Tuesday, Jan. 24, at 7 p.m., then to Nashville for a 7 p.m. puck drop on Thursday, Jan. 26, and then back to New York City for a 7 p.m. tilt against the Rangers on Tuesday, Jan. 31. The Blue Jackets will wrap up the trip with a Friday night battle with the Penguins on Feb. 3, starting at 7 p.m. After approximately 10.5 hours in the air over the course of 13 days, the Jackets will be more than ready to head home.
Record Homestand: Only a week after that 13-day road trip is over, the Blue Jackets will host a franchise record long seven-game homestand from Feb. 9-25. It begins against Vancouver on Feb. 9, continues against Detroit on Saturday, Feb. 11, the New York Rangers on Monday, Feb. 13, Toronto on Wednesday, Feb. 15, Pittsburgh on Friday, Feb. 17, Nashville on Sunday, Feb. 19, and the New York Islanders on Saturday, Feb. 25. Four of these seven games will start at 7 p.m., the only exceptions being the Red Wings game (which will start at 5 p.m.) the Predators game (which will start at 6 p.m.), and the Islanders game (which will start at 5 p.m.). Be ready to pack Nationwide Arena for two weeks’ worth of Blue Jackets hockey.
Bye Week: You may have noticed a substantial gap between the final two games of the Blue Jackets’ seven-game homestand – this is because a newly instituted NHL bye week falls between Monday, Feb. 20 and Friday, Feb. 24 for the Blue Jackets. Each team gets its own bye week at varying points throughout the season.
The final Blue Jackets regular season game of the year at Nationwide Arena will be played against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday, Apr. 6 at 7 p.m., and the last game of their regular season will be played in Toronto against the Maple Leafs on Sunday, Apr. 9 at 6 p.m.