Adam Oates coaching career began in Tampa Bay back in 2009-10 when old friend Rick Tocchet asked him to come aboard as an assistant coach with the Lightning. Next Saturday (Jan. 19) in Tampa Bay, Oates will launch his NHL head-coaching career when he mans the bench for the Washington Capitals in the 2012-13 regular season opener.
Here's the 2012-13 Capitals schedule.
Oates and the Caps will head back home after that game against the Bolts; the Capitals will host their home opener against the Winnipeg Jets at Verizon Center on Tue. Jan. 22. That game against the Jets will open a two-game homestand for the Capitals; Montreal visits on Thu. Jan. 24.
Washington will have four homestands of three games in duration, its longest of the season. The Capitals’ longest road trip will be a four-gamer from March 19-March 24.
Washington will play five games against two of its fellow Southeast Division denizens (Winnipeg and Carolina) and four games against its other two divisional foes (Florida and Tampa Bay). The Caps will visit Winnipeg three times (on just two trips) and will host Carolina three times.
In a unique schedule twist, the Caps will visit Winnipeg in late March and will play twice against the Jets in as many nights (March 22-23).
The Capitals will play three games against each of the other 10 teams in the Eastern Conference. Washington will play two road games and one home game against Montreal, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and the New York Rangers. The Capitals will host two home games and play one road game against New Jersey, Toronto, Boston, Buffalo and the New York Islanders.
The Capitals’ 48-game slate plays out over a span of 99 days, only slightly more condensed than the usual schedule. Washington’s original 82-game slate was to be played over a span of 183 days, a rate of 3.14 games per week or a game every 2.23 days. The 48-game schedule works out to 3.39 games per week or a game every 2.06 days.
Here are a few other random observations concerning the Capitals’ 2012-13 schedule:
• The Capitals have eight sets of games on back-to-back nights.
• The toughest stretch of scheduling road stretches over 30 days from March 9 through April 7. Washington will play 17 games in those 30 days, a span that includes five sets of back-to-backs and 11 road games. For comparison’s sake, the Caps will play their first 17 games of the season in a more leisurely span of 36 days.
• Half of the Caps’ 2012-13 road schedule (12 games) will be played in a span of just 32 days from March 9 through April 9. Washington will play 12 of 18 games on the road during that stretch before finishing up with six of its final eight contests at home.
• Washington has four sets of back-to-back games against the same foe, but only two of those four are the traditional home-and-homes (vs. Florida and Carolina). One set is consecutive home games against the same opponent (New Jersey) and one is consecutive road contests (at Winnipeg).
• The Caps will host Pittsburgh on Feb. 3 in a 12:30 matinee match at Verizon Center in Washington’s traditional Super Bowl Sunday game.
• The Caps will play four afternoon games on home ice and a total of seven on the season.
• This is the first time ever that Tampa Bay has supplied the opposition for Washington’s season opener.
• This is the first time ever that the Atlanta/Winnipeg franchise has supplied the opposition for a Caps home opener. The old Winnipeg Jets kicked off the 1980-81 season with an Oct. 10, 1980 game against Washington at the Capital Centre in Landover, Md.