I thought we got only one game, home OR away, against teams from the other conference?
The schedule allows for you to get a "home and road" with three teams from the opposite conference. Last year our three East teams were NYR (home and road), CAR (two games played in Finland), and TBL (home and road).
24 = Six games against each of your divison teams
40 = Four games against each of the rest of your conference teams
18 = games against opposing conference - 1x each team, a second game against select three teams
There is some method to the madness for which teams you get (though the NHL doesn't fess up to it). Example, we got NYR twice last year due to the Gaborik/Boogaard connection.
For Canuckia teams, the extra three games are almost always against the Canadian teams. So, VAN, EDM, CGY all get to play twice against TOR, MTL, OTT every year. I am guessing that since you guys are being added to the mix, they are adding us into that mix to balance things out at eight teams instead of seven.
Or maybe it's just dumb luck since we were 'supposed' to play ATL twice next year and it just worked out?