The Caps will open the 2009-10 regular season Oct. 1 at Boston, according to the schedule that was announced a few minutes ago. A second-straight Southeast Division championship banner will go up in the Verizon Center rafters Oct. 3 against Toronto.
There are 13 back-to-backs and no Jan. 1 home game for the first time since 1989 (excluding the two Jan. 1s where there was no hockey to be played). There are three stretches of four straight road games, though one is broken up by the Olympic break. The toughest stretch is probably seven of eight on the road from Dec. 5-19, which includes a trek West to Colorado, Vancouver and Edmonton.
One of the four-game trips starts in Chicago on March 14 and goes to Florida, then to Carolina and finally to Tampa Bay with a day off between each game. There is a season-long, five-game homestand directly before that trip.
The home-and-home partners in the Western Conference are Detroit, San Jose and Columbus. For other tidbits about the schedule, and maybe a couple of updates on the forthcoming scrimmage when I’m not working on one of two stories for tomorrow’s paper, check out @cmasisak22 on twitter.