Over the weekend, the Detroit Red Wings and every other NHL team announced their regular season schedules. Despite hockey missing for not even two weeks, it gave us a feeling of hope once more, like our sport has been gone for much longer than a measly ten days.
You can see the Red Wings full schedule here, but every year, I sit and take notes on it for games I want to see in person. To make your lives a little easier, I thought I would give you a short list of some you may want to invest in as well.
October 9 – Versus the Boston Bruins
Who else would the Red Wings kick off the season against? And at home, no less? Home openers are always great spectacles–and I was at the one in 2010 when Pavel Datsyuk fought Corey Perry (there’s a shaky, profanity-laced Youtube video of it) and earned his first Gordie Howe hat trick.
Of course the Red Wings will start the season against their playoff foes. Maybe Brendan Smith will try to fight Zdeno Chara again. Maybe someone will get Milan Lucic back. Who knows, but if you want to go, I would be quick to buy your tickets.
(They play the Bruins again at home on October 15th, if you need a backup plan.)
October 31 – Versus the Los Angeles Kings
It’s always fun to see your team face the defending Stanley Cup Champions and this year, you get it on Halloween. Will we get a trick of a heartbreaking loss or a treat of a win? Or you can skip this one and go trick or treating instead; just have the TV turned up loud enough so that you can hear if someone scores when you’re sitting on the front porch.
November 14 – Versus the Chicago Blackhawks
There’s no threat of hearing “Chelsea Dagger” at this home game against the past-Central Division rivals. Most Red Wings fans despise the Chicago Blackhawks, and while they always seem to have the Red Wings’ number in regular season games, I love these Original Six match-ups. Any chance to see Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews is a chance to take.
Or maybe that’s just me because of how much I poke fun at Kane.
November 30 – Versus the Vancouver Canucks
This one could be hit or miss. Depending on what happens in the off-season with the Canucks, you could see a very different team from the west side of Canada. It’s always interesting to watch the Sedin twins play in person.
Unfortunately, there won’t be a chance to see John Tortorella try to take on the entire Red Wings team as they make their way into the dressing room. Bummer.
December 31 – Versus the New Jersey Devils
New Year’s Eve games are always something special. There’s an electricity in the air that you don’t get during any other game of the season. It’s a party, really.
Make a day of it. Head to Detroit to eat dinner someplace you may not go to before a normal Red Wings game, show up at the Joe earlier than normal, buy some stuff (that’s always dangerous, so limit your spending money), and party down when the puck drops.
March 22 – Versus the St. Louis Blues
There’s something about the St. Louis Blues lately that makes games against them even more interesting. They’re always pegged to go far in the playoffs and make a push for the Cup, but always seem to fall a little short. Taking them on in the regular season is much more enjoyable to watch now that they aren’t in the same division or conference.
April 5 – Versus the Washington Capitals
It’s the only home game against Alex Ovechkin. I personally have a soft spot for the Washington Capitals, so I always try to go to a home game against them (since my connection in DC is temporarily gone so I can’t do my usual Verizon Center trip around Martin Luther King Jr. weekend).
This is the second-to-last home game of the season against a team that will either be fighting for a playoff spot (again) or sitting comfortably up top. And if you want to go to one of the last home games, this one may just be a better option than the Carolina Hurricanes.
The team is away for two thirds of January and all but two games of February, so if you usually try to go to games in the dead of winter, either be fast to pick up tickets to the limited games, hold off until March, or try for games in December.
Take a look at the Red Wings’ full schedule and let us know what games you’ll be attending!