Takeaways From the Caps’ 2021-2022 Regular Season Schedule

Posted July 22, 2021

T.J. Oshie might not be a Kraken but he and the Caps will play them next season. (Caps Outsider)

The Washington Capitals have released the schedule for the 2021-2022 regular season. The season will start for the Caps on Wednesday, October 13 when they host the New York Rangers. 

The Caps will begin the season with a three-game homestand, their longest streak of home games until December 2 when they will play four straight home games, the longest streak of the season. That stretch will begin against the Chicago Blackhawks and end against the Penguins on Friday, December 10. 

For Washington, the season will start fast with the second game of the opening homestretch coming against the defending Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday, October 16 and the third game against the former President’s Trophy winners, the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday, October 19. 

As for highly anticipated games, the Caps will play rival Pittsburgh Penguins for the first time at home on Sunday, November 14. Washington won’t see the Pens again until Friday, December 10. The Caps will return to playing a normal four-game season series against the Pens with the first two at home and second two away. The first game for the Caps at PPG Paints Arena will be Tuesday, February 1. 

The Caps will also get a chance to avenge their first-round playoff loss to the Bruins on Monday, January 10 when they host Boston at Capital One Arena. 

In terms of familiar foes, the Caps will play 2018 Stanley Cup Final rival Vegas on Monday, January 24 at home. On the other hand, the Caps will play their first game in franchise history against new foe the Kraken on Sunday, November 21 in Seattle. Depending on the goaltender situation there, the Caps may be squaring off with former teammate Vitek Vanecek. 

The longest road stand for the Caps is four away games starting Tuesday, November 16 against the Anaheim Ducks and concludes with the game against the Kraken. Additionally, Washington will have three other road stands throughout the season of three straight away games each.  

The Caps’ busiest months are in November and April where they play a total of 15 games in each of those months. On the other hand, the Caps will see the least action in February where they only play 5 games due to the NHL All Star Game (Feb 4-6) as well as a two-week break. 

The most interesting factor of next season’s schedule is perhaps the return to a normal regular season format. The Caps will return to the Metropolitan Division (Massmutual East Division last season) and will once again play 82 games, not confined anymore to the members in their division. This means the Caps will get a taste of teams that weren’t on the schedule last season. 

For the Caps, the biggest thing will be adapting to the return to playing various teams across the league as well as the major increase in travel, something that wasn’t a big factor last season.