With its model franchise coming off the two worst seasons in team history, the National Lacrosse League appears to have given the Toronto Rock a break.
Unlike last year when the Rock struggled to a 6-10 finish and a first-round playoff loss to the eventual champion Rochester Knighthawks, the team finds itself on taxing road trips far less often.
Gone is a brutal home-and-home series against the Calgary Roughnecks, as well as a match in Edmonton.
Instead, the Rock travels to Alberta just once, to Calgary on the final day of the regular season.
In fact, the Rock's single matches against Calgary and Edmonton are the only times it will clash with members of the much stronger West Division all season.
Six of Toronto's 16 games are against sophomore franchises New York and Chicago, as well as first-year Boston, although that may not neccesarily be as advantageous as it sounds since Toronto dropped three of four to New York and Chicago last season.
A playoff chase could be bolstered by the fact that the Rock plays five of its last six games at the Air Canada Centre.
Coming off an 0-3 start last year and 0-4 the season before, the Rock will try to launch its tenth campaign on a better note, starting Jan. 11 at the ACC, against the Minnesota Swarm.