The Vancouver Canucks’ schedule for the 2021 season has been officially released.
It will look as follows:
— Brendan Batchelor (@BatchHockey) December 23, 2020
This is a breakdown of every road trip, homestand, and season series the Canucks will play against the six other Canadian teams, along with the biggest dates to keep an eye on:
Opening in Alberta
The Canucks will kick off their season on January 13th with two back-to-back games against the Edmonton Oilers. With no preseason games to help them, this will be an excellent opportunity for the Canucks’ coaching staff to get to see both Braden Holtby and Thatcher Demko in action early in the season.
The Canucks will get one day on the 15th to travel to Calgary and play two games in three days starting on the 16th against Jacob Markstrom and the Flames.
Pending government approval, the Canucks will travel back to Vancouver and open their first home stand of the season with two three-game series against the Montreal Canadiens and the Ottawa Senators, respectively.
The compact nature of this homestand once again sheds light on how important it’s going to be for teams to have both of their goaltenders playing well:
First trip to Eastern Canada
After their six games at home, the Canucks will play one game in Winnipeg on January 30th, before playing back-to-back games against Montreal on February first and second.
They will then head to Toronto for a three game series against the Leafs from February 4th to 8th, with one day of rest in between each game.
Four straight games against Calgary, then back to Vancouver
Just in case there wasn’t enough of a rivalry built from the first time these teams play in January, they will get another chance with four straight games in February.
The first three will take place in Vancouver from the 11th to 15th, but then it’s off to Calgary to finish the fourth game of the series on the 17th.
After that final game on the 17th, the Canucks will head right back home for two separate two-game series against the Jets and Oilers. As you may have guessed, there will be one day of rest in between all of these games.
Two games against the Jets, then a 5 game homestand
The Canucks get their first two-day break of the season and will travel to Winnipeg for a two-game series on February 28th and March 2nd against the Jets before heading home for a homestand that will see three teams the Canucks will likely be battling for position with in the North Division standings all season long:
Four road games against Ottawa and Montreal
Making their way Eastward, the Canucks will play two games against Ottawa Senators on the 15th and 17th before finishing with a back-to-back against the Habs on the 19th and 20th.
Home sweet home, then on the road again
After returning from Montreal, the Canucks will welcome the Jets twice and Flames once before heading out for their second six-game road trip of the season.
They will make stops in Edmonton, Winnipeg, Calgary, and then Edmonton once again before heading back home:
Maybe the most important homestand of the season
The Canucks are likely going to be right in the mix for a playoff spot until the very end, and it’s a homestand like this that can mean the difference in the end.
The Canucks will open with two games against Toronto on the 17th and 19th of April before welcoming Ottawa on the 22nd and 24th. The games against Toronto aren’t going to be a cakewalk by any means, but if they lose either of those games, winning against a team like Ottawa — who is opening their season with Erik Gudbranson on their first d-pairing — becomes even more vital.
Same four games, but flipped
Then they’ll play the Senators and Leafs again in two more two-game series, but on the road instead. This is getting toward the end of the season, meaning once again, these could be some of the most important games the Canucks play all season long:
Close out the season at home against Alberta teams
Only four of the seven teams in the North Division can make the playoffs, and it’s very possible that at least one of the Flames, Canucks, and Oilers could be trying to secure their spot at the last possible moment, which is why it’s going to be extremely fun to watch the Canucks close out their season against these two teams.
Furthermore, the Canucks may end up playing the Oilers or Flames in the first round, making these final games a great opportunity to set the tone for a nasty playoff series.
Here is a full breakdown of how many times the Canucks face each North Division team when all is said and done:
🇨🇦 vs. 🇨🇦
The first all-Canadian division in NHL history is set to deliver more than triple the number of all-Canadian matchups versus the usual 82-game schedule (196 in 2020-21 vs. 58 scheduled in 2019-20).#NHLStats: https://t.co/hkOXa1arei pic.twitter.com/UVa2hnNkuJ
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) December 23, 2020
Biggest Dates to Watch
You should keep an eye on all of these series, really, but to recap, here are the biggest dates to keep an eye on. These are the games you will not want to miss:
January 13th-16th: Obviously, you won’t want to miss the first two games of the Canucks’ season along with your first chance to see Holtby in game action in a Canucks uniform.
You’ll also get to see the Canucks play the Calgary Flames — who now feature Markstrom, Tanev, and Josh Leivo — for the first time. These two teams have serious potential to create a heated rivalry and this will be your first look at it.
February 4th-8th: There is always bad blood when the Canucks play the Leafs, especially on Twitter. It’s must-see TV anytime these two teams play, and the Canucks have fared pretty well against Toronto in recent years. Now fans get three games over four days to witness these two teams in all their glory.
May 4th-8th: As previously mentioned, these games have the potential to be among the most heated the Canucks play this season. The Flames and Oilers are both going to be battling hard all year long for position in the standings, and the Canucks could be right there with them.
May 11th: The first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin on May 11th, and if the Canucks make it, they will be facing Canadian teams for at least the first two rounds. Regardless of their opponent, if the Canucks make it, these will be high-flying and high-intensity games that will quickly become must see TV
What game(s) are you most excited for? Let us know in the comments section below!