A look ahead at the Capitals’ schedule: October

Games: 11
Back-to-Back games: 2 (27th, @ Hurricanes; 28th, @ Wild)
Home: 5
Away: 6
East: 8
West: 3
Southeast: 2
Promotions: 2 (9th, Schedule Magnet Giveaway; 23rd, Hockey Fights Cancer Jersey Auction)

Game I’m most excited for: October 9, vs New Jersey Devils
What’s not to like about the puck dropping at the Verizon Center for the first time of the 2010-2011 season?

Game I’d travel to see: October 8, at Atlanta Thrashers
Okay, I know no one WILLINGLY wants to travel to a place whose traffic is worse than DC’s, but 4 reasons make this game the “travel to see” for the month. In order: 1- It’s the true start to the Caps’ 2010 season. 2- It’s Atlanta, you’re guaranteed great seats for 20 bucks, a button, and half a roll of Mentos. 3- The burgers at The Vortex are mind-blowingly fantastic. Really. Just check out the Double Bypass Burger. 4- Although not much of a match for the Caps last season, I’m very interested to scouting out the newly re-vamped divisional foe.

(Non-Capitals) Player I’m most excited to see: Ilya Kovalchuk, vs New Jersey Devils
Although I am always impressed watching Rick Nash or Jarome Iginila take the ice, I’m most interested in seeing how Koval-cash performs now that all is said and done with his new contract.

Game with the most interesting back-story: October 9, vs New Jersey Devils
In addition to being the Capitals 2010 season home opener, and watching Alex Ovechkin take on fellow countryman Kovalchuk, the Capitals will face an early season test against a fierce competitor in the East. Washington will square off against against New Jersey’s new head coach, and NHL-first timer) John MacLean, as well as touted defensive free agent signees Anton Volchenkov and Henrik Tallinder.

Game I’d be okay missing: October 30, at Calgary Flames
A 10 o’clock start against a Western Conference team we see once all season on the Saturday before Halloween? Might be DVR-ing that one.

Game to pad the +/-: October 13, at NY Islanders
Defesively, New York finished their 2009-10 campaign ranked in the NHL’s bottom three of GA/G (3.15) and PK success rate (76.3%). Inking free agent blue-liners Mark Eaton and two-time former Capital Milan Jurcina might help turn the tide somewhat, having a soon-to-be 41 year old Dwayne Roloson (and his 3.00 GAA) between the pipes as your last line of defense will have the Capitals’ offense salivating. In last seasons’ match ups with the fishermen, the Caps saw 11 different players notch 18 total goals en route to a 3-0-1 record.

Promotions that should, but probably won’t be scheduled: October 28, at Minnesota Wild
Cal Clutterbuck Moustache Night.