Also, the new-fangled schedule has the Red Wings playing every team in the Eastern Conference once and three teams in a home-and-home -- Pittsburgh, Atlanta and Buffalo.
That begs the question ... is all the fuss really worth it? That opening game against Toronto will be the only meeting between the two teams in the regular season. And there'll just be one Montreal game and one Rangers game.
Personally, I didn't mind the old schedule (begin throwing fruit now) ... but if the league was going to change to more conference-vs-conference games, then why not make it home-and-homes against every team in the east? This is a watered-down solution. The NHL really needs to go all the way and make sure there are home-and-homes with every team.
It seems as though this new schedule will have a home-and-home with one team from each of three divisions in the opposite conference. That means that there will be a home-and-home with Toronto once every five years, with Montreal once every five years, etc. I'm not sure that's what NHL fans were looking for in the way of change.