The Chicago Blackhawks: The Central Division Travel Plans

By Keith Schultz

Oct 13, 2011; Chicago, IL, USA; Winnipeg Jets right wing Chris Thorburn (22) checks Chicago Blackhawks center Marcus Kruger (16) during the third period at the United Center. The Hawks beat the Jets 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Does the traveling during the regular season matter? Here are the total miles that the newly named Central Division teams will travel during the 2013-2014 season. The Blackhawks are not the big losers in miles traveled but they are the big winners when it comes to the dreaded back to back games.

Traveling Miles for 2013-2014 Season

Chicago Blackhawks-38,680

St. Louis Blues- 39,328

Nashville Predators-39,810

Minnesota Wild-44,273

Winnipeg Jets-46.477

Dallas Stars-46.660

Colorado Avalanche-49,007

Back to Backs in 2013-2014 Season

Winnipeg Jets-10

Colorado Avalanche-10

Minnesota Wild-13

St. Louis Blues-13

Dallas Stars-13

Nashville Predators-15

Chicago Blackhawks-18

The real question when looking at these numbers is which end of the spectrum while traveling is better? Is it better to travel fewer miles or is it better to play less back to back games.  The NHL has done a pretty good job in the Central Division with limiting the back-to-backs for the most traveled teams like Winnipeg and Colorado.  The Hawks get the most back-to-backs but travel the least amount of miles within the division.

Traveling is a grind for professional teams especially towards the end of the season, but back-to-back games especially towards the end of the season can be almost as bad if not worse than jumping on a plane a leaving for the next city.

One interesting note is that the Detroit Red Wings with their move to the Eastern Conference end up traveling fewer miles than the Hawks at just over 35,000 miles and only 15 back-to-backs.  Pretty sure they are going to enjoy their move to the Atlantic Division (on the Great Lakes) and only facing the Blackhawks twice in 2013-2014. For a complete breakdown of the NHL checkout On The Forecheck’s NHL very complete breakdown.

What do you think? Is it better to travel less or play less back-to-backs?

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