With realignment happening and the Detroit Red Wings in a brand new conference – not to mention a division that includes three other Original Six teams – the possibilities for awesome games is pretty darn endless.
The official NHL schedule was released last week. Fans devoured it greedily, anticipating a hockey season that still seems a long way off – even if the last season didn’t even end a month ago.
Now, if you’re a fan like me (and I know I am!) and live relatively close to the Metro Detroit area, you went through the schedule and wrote down a list of potential games you want to attend. If you’re not like me and want a guide to what games you should think about trying to attend, look no further than this article! Below is a brief guideline of some of the games you may want to attend
October 2 vs. Buffalo Sabres
It’s the season and home opener for the Red Wings. These are always exhilarating, whether you’re watching them from your couch or from the stands. Fans are always extra loud when it comes to the season opener because it’s been so long since hockey has been in their lives.
October 23 vs. Ottawa Senators
It’s the mule that’s been beaten to death (and no, not Johan Franzen): Daniel Alfredsson faces his alma mater, his first and only home for his entire career. It will be interesting to see how he fares and how Ottawa looks without him.
November 9 vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
November 15 vs. Washington Capitals
December 14 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
We all dislike the Penguins to an insane degree, but they are an interesting team to watch play. I went to the game a few years ago where we were down 4-0 after the first and took them to a shootout. I went to say I had seen Sidney Crosby play, but he was out with a concussion. Evgeni Malkin was also injured. Marc-Andre Fleury wasn’t starting, and I couldn’t even say I saw Matt Cooke because he was suspended. It was terrible, except for during the comeback. Man, was the Joe loud. Fans were cheering for faceoff wins, that’s how pumped everyone was.
January 1 vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
Okay, this one will be hard to get tickets to. And it may be better to watch it from the comfort and warmth of your own home. You know, with your own bathroom that 100,000 other people aren’t using.
This Winter Classic is going to be good.
January 22 vs. Chicago Blackhawks
It’s the first time the Red Wings will host the reigning Stanley Cup champs and it will be interesting to see how they have fared so far in the season. Plus, a match-up with the Blackhawks is always fun. It tends to get ugly, at least between fans.
January 24 vs. Montreal Canadiens
Canadiens fans with travel an exorbitant amount of miles to attend a road game for their team. Original Six rivalries in Joe Louis Arena are always a blast. The electricity in the air, the dislike for the other team, the opposing chants trying to drown each other out. Let’s not let their fans get carried away with that soccer chant.
February 3 vs. Vancouver Canucks
Will Roberto Luongo still be in Vancouver? Will he just be a bench warmer? Will this team ever actually go anywhere? So many questions remain.
March 6 vs. Colorado Avalanche
The rivalry is long dead between these two teams, what with none of the same players remaining on the rosters anymore, but that animosity between fans will always be there. It’s always nice to see a familiar foe on the ice at the Joe.
Also keep a lookout for which game in the season the Red Wings organization may try to use as the night to retire Nicklas Lidstrom‘s number. That’ll be a hot game, too.