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Your 2013-14 NHL Schedule Crash Course

by Chris Lund / Ottawa Senators

Need to get up to speed on the latest NHL Schedule and it's nuances? I'm here to help. A lot changed in the span of what seems like a few seconds and it can be a lot to take in after years and years of the same thing. Let's break things down for you.

Come along...

Q: What are the new divisions called?

A:The four divisions are called the Pacific and Central in the West, with the Metropolitan and Atlantic divisions setting up shop in the East. The Sens play in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference which is essentially the Northeast Division plus Detroit, Florida and Tampa Bay.

Q: How does the schedule breakdown work? How often will Ottawa play teams from the West or another division?

A: This breaks down as follows...

Within the division the Sens will play 30 games. They will play five games against two teams within the division (a three home, two away game split) and four games against the other five teams with an even balance between home and away in those series. 10 games against two teams plus 20 games against five equals 30 games. The math checks out. Exhale.

The Sens will play 24 games against same-conference, non-division opponents. They will play three games against each of the teams in the Metropolitan Division, with a two home, one away game split for four of them, and a one home, two away game split for the other four. Three games each against eight teams is 24. Once again, the numbers check out.

The remaining 28 games will be played against Western Conference teams. That works out to two games -- one home, one away -- against each of the 14 teams in the West.

Q: What are some dates I NEED to know?!

A: Outside of birthdays, anniversaries, etc., corresponding to the various friends, family and loved ones in your life, there are a handful of important days you should put into your calendar now.

Here they are...

Training Camp Opens - Wednesday, Sept. 11

Exhibition Games Begin - Friday, Sept. 13

Regular Season Opens - Tuesday, Oct. 1

Hall of Fame Game - Friday, Nov. 8

Christmas Break - Tuesday, Dec. 24 – Thursday, Dec. 26

Hockey Day In Canada - Saturday, Jan. 18

Olympic Break -Sunday, Feb. 9 – Tuesday, Feb. 25

Hockey Day In America - Sunday, March 2

Last Day of Regular Season -Sunday, April 13

Stanley Cup Playoffs Begin -Wednesday, April 16

Q: Remind me again: When do the Sens play the Canucks in the Heritage Classic?

A: That one's easy! The Sens and Canucks play on Sunday March 2, 2014 at 4 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (1 p.m. Pacific). The game takes place at BC Place for those of you looking to be in attendance. For those of you who won't be able to make it, you can watch it on CBC, RDS or the NBC Sports Network

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