The Detroit Red Wings entered the season with lingering doubts after making key roster moves following disappointing early playoff exits. The Red Wings' toughness was challenged in consecutive series losses to the San Jose Sharks.
Coach Mike Babcock set the tone from the start of training camp, challenging each player to improve. He made his expectations clear. Despite the parity in today's NHL, the Red Wings expect to challenge for Lord Stanley's Cup every year.
The salary-cap era allows all 30 teams to field a competitive squad. In one of the tightest division races in years, the Central Division is home to three teams (the Red Wings, St. Louis Blues and Nashville Predators) with more than 70 points.
Despite a challenging schedule, the Red Wings have managed to win 21 consecutive games at home. That's quite a treat for the citizens of Hockeytown. It says a lot about the composition of the team and their dedication to the fans.
With 14 home games remaining, the Red Wings will look to keep the momentum rolling. If they enter the playoffs with this kind of home-ice dominance, they run a great chance of reaching the finals.
Here's a game-by-game breakdown of the Red Wings' remaining home schedule, with each game rated on a descending five-point scale, with five being the most difficult and one the least.