Given the density of teams along the Eastern sea board, and the sparseness in the West, it goes without saying that teams in the Western conference get screwed in terms of travelling. However, it doesn’t help that the NHL schedules ridiculous travelling arrangements.
Consider this current set of games that the Oilers are currently in:
October 29: home vs. Detroit
October 31: @ Boston
November 2: @ NYI
Ok so far so good, they must be making an Eastern road trip. Probably heading to Madison Square Garden next. WRONG!
November 5: home vs… not even kidding you… the Rangers, the team who’s city they just left! And they are only home for one game! They would have been better off forfeiting the home date and just playing in New York.
November 8: @ Colorado
November 10: @ Ottawa… great, back out East.
November 11: @ Buffalo
So considering they probably left for Boston on October 30th, the Oilers travelled over 9,000 miles in roughly 13 days to play 6 games. If you are doing the math at home, that is 1,500 miles per game played! To put that in perspective, it would be like the Leafs and Avalanche taking turns playing 6 home games with each other over the course of two weeks, flying back and forth between Denver and Toronto for every game. That is absolutely outrageous. Not that the NHL could have predicted it but for a team battling the flu that is an absolute death sentence.