A look at the first four games…

On the heels of the NHL Regular Season Schedule being published, I thought that the first four contests for the Red Wings was worth talking about. What do you guys think?

Fri Oct 2, 2009
Detroit Red Wings

At…(Stockholm)

St. Louis Blues
Yeah ok, call St. Louis the home team all that you want…we wouldn’t want their lone Swede, Patrick Berglund to feel neglected, but we all know who the crowd will be going for in this one. I can’t wait to get over there. Apparently the flight from Amsterdam will have free booze. That should make the time go by a little quicker. How perfect is it that the Wings are playing in a building in Sweden that bares the same name as The Big Rig? I’ll bet Conklin gets the start in one of these games for the Blues.

Sat Oct 3, 2009

St. Louis Blues
At…(Stockholm)
Detroit Red Wings
Did I mention that I’m going to both of these games in Stockholm? Don’t know if they’re going to top the Winter Classic at Wrigley last year, but should be a great experience for someone like me who has never even been to Mexico. I’m wondering what Uncle Mike has in store for the line-up. Now that Hossa’s gone, I’m putting my money on a re-union of Monty Babcock’s Flying Circus (Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Holmstrom). Z’s going to have a big year production-wise now that he’s back with Pav: mark my words.

Thu Oct 8, 2009

Chicago Black Hawks
At…

Detroit Red Wings
Does anyone know when we’re raising the ‘2008-2009 Central Division & Western Conference Champion’ banners into the rafters? This might be a good night to do so. Ericsson, Kronwall, Stuart, you have one job to do: win or lose, catch Mr. Hossa with his head down…make him pay. I think the WCF last season (as brief as it was) effectively put the fuel back into the fire of this rivalry. The idiots in Chicago have been hating the Wings for years but Detroit fans never really put much thought into it after years upon years of domination. Bring your hate, Detroit fans and don’t take it easy on anyone sporting Chicago gear.

Note: So on Saturday, the Wings will be playing St. Louis in Stockholm and on Thursday, they are playing Chicago in Detroit (apparently Gary wasn’t worried about our Swedes spending much time in their native land). That means if they leave on Sunday, they really will have only 3 days (Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday) to rest up and get that jet-lag out of their system. Yeah yeah, I know Chicago is on the same schedule, but they’re playing the Florida-friggin’ Panthers in Helsinki, Finland. Apparently Florida is one of the marquee teams we want to show to rest of the world. Why not just have them play Leino’s old team?

Sat Oct 10, 2009

Washingon Capitals
At…
Detroit Red Wings
Two days after the Chicago game, Ovi-wan-kenobi and his faux hawked Norris wannabe come strolling into town. Detroit can give their ‘boo’ muscles a rest for this one, since Sergei decided to go back to Russia. Last year, the Wings lost their only match to the Caps 4-2 off of a pair of Ovechkin goals. But…we did get to see Dr. eVille Leino score a highlight reel goal about 45 seconds into his NHL on-ice debut.

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All-in-all, it’s looking like a pretty exciting start to the season. Bettman isn’t going to make it easy on us right from the start. (You’re surprised?) Our first four games are in 8 eight days spread across two continents against three play-off teams, one of which made it to the Conference Finals. A slow start to the season can sometimes be the kiss of death so let’s hope the heartbreak from last season is this year’s motivation.

Please don’t make us wait until the post-season to show us some consistency. Last year was very frustrating at times. Babcock did a masterful job of not cracking the whip too hard when his team failed to play up to its potential, but more on that later.

Only two and a half months away. We’ll look ahead to some other intriguing games soon.

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