After months of waiting for the schedule, and the same old excuse of the NBA arenas needing to be done before the schedule is released, the AHL has made the 2013-14 schedule a real thing! But before we get to that lets touch on last season.
The Norfolk Admirals fell short of the playoffs last season by two points. Going into the final weekend they held their own future in their hands but couldn't pull off the come back from being in last place in the conference at one point. The season wasn't always pretty but I've got to admit it showed a lot of what this team can be in a season that isn't riddled with constant call ups and line changes.
The Admirals played 13 different teams last season, all but one of those teams were from the Eastern Conference. The only Western opponent was the Charlotte Checkers who won the second annual Geico Challenge cup going 5-3 in the series. The Admirals finished last in the division and went 16-14-1-1 against Binghamton, Hershey, Syracuse, and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton collectively. The only team we really had an edge on was the Penguins who we beat all four times at their home arena and once in Norfolk. Outside of the division the Admirals went 21-20-3-0.
Norfolk opens the 2013-14 season on Oct. 5 in Hartford to take on a team that can't decide its name. Over the last three season they have been the Wolf Pack, the Whale, and after attendance sucked with the Whale they have gone back to the Wolf Pack. The next day, they go to Bridgeport to take on the Sound Tigers. The first home game of the 25th season of hockey in Norfolk is the following weekend when they will battle the Binghamton Senators in an early divisional series. The annual Pink in the Rink night is on Jan. 18 against the Worcester Sharks.
Overall the Admirals have ten sets of back-to-back-to-back games with seven entirely on the road and three that have home games mixed in. Ad's Coach Trent Yawney wasn't exactly pleased with some of the 3-in-3 weekends last season. A slight silver lining is that the majority of the Sunday games this season are almost 24 hours after the Saturday night games.
Almost all of the home games will be played on Friday and Saturday with only five weekday games in Norfolk (4 vs Charlotte and 1 vs Hershey). The Ads will also play five road games during the week, three of which are in Charlotte. Whats the point of even playing a Western Conference team if you schedule them on nights with the lowest attendance?
The only neat thing on the schedule is an away game against the Portland Pirates who the Admirals haven't played against since the 2010-11 season. Portland was 3-1 against us that season. The game will be played in Lewiston, ME at some tiny arena that is older than Norfolk Scope. With Portland on our schedule this year St. John's was removed.
There are two new teams in the AHL this season -- the Utica Comets and the Iowa Wild -- but both are in the Western Conference so we won't see them.
After playing two games in NHL arenas last season the Admirals don't get any this season,
Norfolk Admirals Schedule: http://theahl.com/stats/schedule.php?view=season&division_id=&team_id=314&season_id=43&home_away=
Full League Schedule: http://cdn.rapidmanager.com/ahl/files/13_14_sked_teambyteam.pdf