Hey, look! It's a light at the end of a tunnel for hockey fans! The 2008 Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings have just posted their pre-season schedule for 2008. It's just what we've been waiting for!
Time to defend the Cup again, boys...
On Wednesday, Sept. 24, at 7:30 p.m. EDT (6:30 p.m. CDT), it all starts again. The Wings will face off against the Montreal Canadiens at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.
The Habs clinched the Eastern Conference Title in the 2007-08 season and then lost 4-1 in the semifinal round against the Philadelphia Flyers.
During the off-season, Montreal acquired defenceman Shaun Belle and forward Ryan Flinn. With a healthy lineup, including Ben Maxwell and Mathieu Carle, the 24-time Stanley Cup club are looking to another 100-plus point season and possibly going to the finals.
It's off to BeanTown...
Another "Original Six" team, the Boston Bruins are next on the agenda with one game at the Halifax Metro Center in Boston and the next day, again, at the Joe.
The Bruins made it to the 2008 playoffs before being eliminated by the Canadiens in the first round, 4-3. The Bruins have made some changes for the upcoming season.
"In comparison to last year, this was a younger and a bigger group at our camp," said Boston GM Peter Chiarelli. "We added some size and skill to the mix. I was pretty impressed with the players' ability to execute. At this time in the summer, players aren’t always that sharp, but I saw a lot of good passing, skills, and shooting."
Thrashers, Leafs and Sabres, OH MY!!!
The rest of the schedule (shown below) are against teams that didn't make the playoffs and are probably looking for revenge or at least a comeback season.
Below is the complete schedule which is intended only for the most avid Wings fans.
2008-09 RED WINGS PRE-SEASON SCHEDULE
DATE DAY OPPONENT SITE TIME (EDT)
24 Wed. MONTREAL Joe Louis Arena 7:30
25 Thur. at Boston Halifax Metro Centre TBD
26 Fri. BOSTON Joe Louis Arena 7:30
28 Sun. ATLANTA Joe Louis Arena 5:00
30 Tue. at Montreal Bell Centre TBD
1 Wed. at Atlanta Philips Arena 7:00
3 Fri. TORONTO Joe Louis Arena 7:30
4 Sat. at Toronto Air Canada Centre 7:00
5 Sun. BUFFALO Joe Louis Arena 5:00
And it starts all over again...
Finally, the light at the end of the dark summer tunnel. The announcement of the preseason schedule is the real beginning of the season for any hockey buff. And this fan is looking forward to a repeat by the boys from Hockeytown.