- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 21, 2018

It was hard to tell whether Tom Wilson was impressed with a tweet from the Washington Capitals‘ official account Thursday afternoon.

Someone took the time to translate the Capitals‘ 2018-19 regular season schedule — all 82 games of it — into emojis.

“Whoever is on the account right now has way too much time on their hands,” Wilson tweeted.

In all likelihood, he was teasing, but hockey fans across North America shared the excitement of the Capitals‘ Twitter when the schedule was released. Here are five rapid takeaways from the Capitals‘ slate of games.

1. Stanley Cup banner to be hung Oct. 3

This was first revealed Wednesday afternoon, when the NHL announced every team’s home opener. The Capitals will host the Boston Bruins in their season opener, and the first Stanley Cup banner in franchise history will be raised in the rafters of Capital One Arena before the puck drops.

Some fans are unhappy, though, that the Capitals have to turn around the very next day and travel to Pittsburgh for the Penguins’ home opener.

2. Trotz returns to Washington in January

Barry Trotz might not get to see that banner in person for a few months. Although the Capitals face Trotz’ new team, the New York Islanders, on Nov. 26 in New York, the Islanders first visit Capital One Arena on Friday, Jan. 18.

Trotz’ only other trip back to the District of Columbia will take place in Game 82: The Islanders visit the Capitals on April 6 for Washington’s regular season finale.

3. Rematches with Vegas

The Vegas Golden Knights won’t be an expansion franchise anymore, but they’ll be defending Western Conference Champions. The first Stanley Cup Final rematch will take place Wednesday, Oct. 10 in Washington, and the Capitals will play at Vegas on Dec. 4.

4. Difficult back-to-backs

Of the Capitals‘ 13 back-to-backs next season, seven will be against a pair of opponents that made the playoffs in 2018. That includes the team’s first three back-to-backs in the first six weeks of the year: Boston and Pittsburgh to kick off, Vegas and New Jersey the following week and trips to Minnesota and Winnipeg in November.

5. Streaks after the All-Star Break

When the NHL returns from its All-Star Break in San Jose at the end of January, the Capitals can camp out at home with their longest homestand of the season. The Flames, Bruins, Canucks, Avalanche, Panthers and Kings will each take a turn visiting Capital One Arena. In fact, when you count the week-long break, the Capitals will go 20 days between road games.

But after six games at home, the Capitals will play six straight away for the team’s annual “Disney on Ice” road trip. While Mickey Mouse and Elsa take over Capital One, the Capitals will be a bit all over the place — first at Columbus, then the California swing San Jose, Anaheim and Los Angeles, and finishing with games at Toronto and Buffalo.

Full schedule (all times Eastern and p.m. unless otherwise stated):

Wednesday Oct. 3, 7:30 vs. Boston

Thursday Oct. 4, 7:00 at Pittsburgh

Wednesday Oct. 10, 8:00 vs. Vegas

Thursday Oct. 11, 7:00 at New Jersey

Saturday Oct. 13, 7:00 vs. Toronto

Wednesday Oct. 17, 7:00 vs. N.Y. Rangers

Friday Oct. 19, 7:00 vs. Florida

Monday Oct. 22, 7:00 at Vancouver

Thursday Oct. 25, 7:00 at Edmonton

Saturday Oct. 27, 2:00 at Calgary

Thursday Nov. 1, 7:30 at Montreal

Saturday Nov. 3, 7:00 vs. Dallas

Monday Nov. 5, 7:00 vs. Edmonton

Wednesday Nov. 7, 7:30 vs. Pittsburgh

Friday Nov. 9, 7:00 vs. Columbus

Sunday Nov. 11, 5:00 vs. Arizona

Tuesday Nov. 13, 7:00 at Minnesota

Wednesday Nov. 14, 7:00 at Winnipeg

Friday Nov. 16, 7:00 at Colorado

Monday Nov. 19, 7:30 at Montreal

Wednesday Nov. 21, 7:00 vs. Chicago

Friday Nov. 23, 4:00 vs. Detroit

Saturday Nov. 24, 2:00 at N.Y. Rangers

Monday Nov. 26, 7:00 at N.Y. Islanders

Friday Nov. 30, 7:00 vs. New Jersey

Sunday Dec. 2, 3:00 vs. Anaheim

Tuesday Dec. 4, 7:00 at Las Vegas

Thursday Dec. 6, 7:00 at Arizona

Saturday Dec. 8, 7:00 at Columbus

Tuesday Dec. 11, 7:00 vs. Detroit

Friday Dec. 14, 7:30 at Carolina

Saturday Dec. 15, 7:00 vs. Buffalo

Wednesday Dec. 19, 8:00 vs. Pittsburgh

Friday Dec. 21, 7:00 vs. Buffalo

Saturday Dec. 22, 7:00 at Ottawa

Thursday Dec. 27, 7:00 vs. Carolina

Saturday Dec. 29, 7:00 at Ottawa

Monday Dec. 31, 12:30 vs. Nashville

Thursday Jan. 3, 7:00 at St. Louis

Friday Jan. 4, 7:00 at Dallas

Sunday Jan. 6, 5:00 at Detroit

Tuesday Jan. 8, 7:00 vs. Philadelphia

Thursday Jan. 10, 7:00 at Boston

Saturday Jan. 12, 7:00 vs. Columbus

Monday Jan. 14, 7:00 vs. St. Louis

Tuesday Jan. 15, 7:00 at Nashville

Friday Jan. 18, 7:30 vs. N.Y. Islanders

Sunday Jan. 20, 11:30 a.m. at Chicago

Tuesday Jan. 22, 7:00 vs. San Jose

Wednesday Jan. 23, 7:30 at Toronto

(All-Star Break)

Friday Feb. 1, 7:00 vs. Calgary

Sunday Feb. 3, 12:30 vs. Boston

Tuesday Feb. 5, 7:00 vs. Vancouver

Thursday Feb. 7, 7:00 vs. Colorado

Saturday Feb. 9, 7:00 vs. Florida

Monday Feb. 11, 7:00 vs. Los Angeles

Tuesday Feb. 12, 7:00 at Columbus

Thursday Feb. 14, 7:30 at San Jose

Sunday Feb. 17, 6:00 at Anaheim

Monday Feb. 18, 7:30 at Los Angeles

Thursday Feb. 21, 7:00 at Toronto

Saturday Feb. 23, 1:00 at Buffalo

Sunday Feb. 24, 12:30 vs. N.Y. Rangers

Tuesday Feb. 26, 7:00 vs. Ottawa

Friday March 1, 7:00 at N.Y. Islanders

Sunday March 3, 12:30 at N.Y. Rangers

Wednesday March 6, 7:30 at Philadelphia

Friday March 8, 7:00 vs. New Jersey

Sunday March 10, 7:00 vs. Winnipeg

Tuesday March 12, 7:00 at Pittsburgh

Thursday March 14, 7:00 at Philadelphia

Saturday March 16, 7:00 at Tampa Bay

Tuesday March 19, 7:00 at New Jersey

Wednesday March 20, 7:30 vs. Tampa Bay

Friday March 22, 7:00 vs. Minnesota

Sunday March 24, 12:30 vs. Philadelphia

Tuesday March 26, 7:00 vs. Carolina

Thursday March 28, 7:00 at Carolina

Saturday March 30, 7:00 at Tampa Bay

Monday April 1, 7:00 at Florida

Thursday April 4, 7:00 vs. Montreal

Saturday April 6, 7:00 vs. N.Y. Islanders

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