Detroit Red Wings' Schedule 2013: 8 Games Fans Can't Miss This Season
In a 48-game season, every game counts that much more, but some games should mean more than others.
But does this home opener make the cut of games that fans shouldn't miss?
Read on to see the eight must-see games for Detroit this season.
January 19, @ St. Louis
In the NHL, it is always important to get off to a good start to the season.
This is especially true with only 48 games to establish a position in the playoffs at the end of the year.
The Red Wings opens things up on the road against the defending Central Division champions, the St. Louis Blues. 2011-2012 marked only the third time in the last 13 seasons that the Red Wings did not win the Central Division title.
The Blues don't have any real superstars on their team, but under head coach Ken Hitchcock, they dominated last season with defensive-minded hockey, giving up just 165 goals.
This game will be a true test for the Red Wings, and it is crucial that Detroit not fall behind the standings early.
January 25, Minnesota
The Red Wings play their second home game of the season at home against the Minnesota Wild.
Fans following the Red Wings' offseason moves in 2012 will remember that both of Detroit's top offseason targets, Ryan Suter and Zach Parise, ditched Detroit at the last second to sign mega deals in Minnesota (via NHL.com).
The Wild are likely the biggest winners from this offseason and Red Wings fans will likely not be hesitant in booing Suter and Parise every time they touch the puck in this game.
Due to the potential boos, this game will be well worth watching, as it will also be a big-time measuring stick for the Red Wings as a whole.
February 2, Edmonton
A home game against the Edmonton Oilers is a game fans must watch?
The Detroit Red Wings open up a stretch that sees them play 10-of-14 games on home ice, starting with a matchup against the Edmonton Oilers.
The Red Wings won 23 straight games at Joe Louis Arena last year, breaking the record for most consecutive home wins.
If they did the same this year, they would have a home record of 23-1.
As Edmonton is still one of the youthful, less experienced teams in the NHL, the Red Wings should take this game as a must-win to set the trend for the remaining home games on their schedule.
February 19, @ Nashville
When the Red Wings got eliminated by the Nashville Predators last season, there should have been some ill will on Detroit's side towards the Predators.
The Red Wings' five-game series loss to the Predators was less than impressive, and they have been waiting an awfully long time to play these Predators again.
Detroit split six games with Nashville in the regular season last year, and as these two teams play four times this season, Detroit needs to come up with wins against their division rivals if they want to return to the top of the Central Division standings.
A win on the road in Nashville would certainly help Detroit as they attempt to regain control of this rivalry.
March 3, Chicago
The Detroit Red Wings play the Chicago Blackhawks in the NBC Sports' Sunday game of the week.
With just four meetings this year, the Red Wings know that points against their long-time rival Blackhawks are not going to come easy.
But with a home game in front of a national audience, the Red Wings need to make a statement against Chicago. A win here (at what will be almost the mid-point of the season) will go a long way towards boosting the team's spirits.
It goes without saying that the Blackhawks will be right there at the end of the season for the top spot in the Central Division standings.
This is a must-watch game as the implications later in the season could be substantial.
March 16, @ Vancouver
When the Detroit Red Wings take on the Vancouver Canucks on Hockey Night in Canada on March 16, it will be the Red Wings' third game in four nights on a western Canada road trip.
Three games in four nights is hard enough, but when the games are on the road and start three hours later than home games, it makes it even more difficult.
The Vancouver Canucks are a top team in the league, winning the President's Trophy the last two seasons for the league's best record. They were very good at home last season with a mark of 27-10-4.
This is a must-watch game as it will feature two high-powered offenses, decent defense and great goaltending.
March 22 and March 24, @ Anaheim
Whenever the Detroit Red Wings and the Anaheim Ducks get together, great hockey ensues.
Last year, Detroit dominated the series with Anaheim winning three out of four games.
This season, however, Detroit plays two out of the three games against Anaheim on the road, and these games are back-to-back with a day off in between.
The Red Wings must win at least one of these two games, as the Red Wings play four games (not three) on their western California road trip.
Tune in for at least one of these two games against the Ducks, as things could get testy if the score gets lopsided in either matchup.
April 24, Los Angeles
Whenever an NHL team wants to see how they stack up for the postseason (assuming they qualify), it would stand to reason that playing the previous year's Stanley Cup champions would be a fair measuring stick.
As the third-to-last game of the season, this home game against the Los Angeles Kings will stand to serve as a measure of how ready the Red Wings are for the postseason.
With just 48 games, each game counts a lot more than normal, and the Red Wings will likely be in a dog fight down the stretch to make the playoffs and attain home-ice advantage for at least in the first round.
This game will be a fun one to watch.
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