Detroit Red Wings: The Long Road That Is the NHL Regular Season

Dane PoppengerContributor INovember 10, 2008

10) Jan. 12, 2009 @ Dallas Stars

This is the last time the Wings head out West for their final road trip of the season.  This six game road trip will be the toughest of the year.  Opponents include, Dallas, Anaheim, LA, and San Jose.  This is also the final time the Wings face Dallas in Dallas, as this is the rematch of the 2008 Western Conference Finals. 

Additions to Dallas include Sean Avery, a true pest to any foe.  Red Wings fans surely remember his days as a Red Wing.  This should be a great matchup to the start of what could be the toughest mini stretch of the season for the Wings.


9) Jan. 31, 2009 @ Washington Capitals

How about the combination of Ovechkin, Semin and Federov all at once?  If there is any top line skill in the league that can compare to that of Detroit I believe this is the team.  As far as depth goes, the Red Wings have the upper edge, but beware, none should look past the Capitals of Washington. 

Their taste of the playoffs last year have them hungrier than ever and to get a huge win at home against the defending champs would boost these Capitals as well as the Capital of the United States.


8) March 23. 2009 @ Calgary Flames

This could be a first round playoff preview.  Calgary always plays tough against the Red Wings and Jerome Iginla will be out for Red Wings flesh.  Mike Cammalleri is off to a great start with his new team and will look to continue his success against Detroit.  Whether it is the first, second, or third round of the Western Conference playoffs, these two teams may see each other once again for a seven game series only a month from now.


7)April 12, 2009 vs. Chicago Blackhawks

This is the final regular season home game for the Red Wings.  It is also the first of a home and home showdown to end the season between the two.  Chicago may be fighting to get in to the playoffs and sneak in to face the Wings for a playoff series.  On the other hand, the Wings may need these two final victories to either clinch the West of clinch home ice throughout the playoffs. 

Either way this should give the Red Wings and Blackhawks a chance to see where they are at the end of the season and where they should be come playoff time.


6)March 17. 2009 vs. Philadelphia Flyers

Good ole St. Patrick will be on hand for this late season tilt between another pair of preseason favorites.  The tandem of Mike Richards and Simon Gagne have been putting pucks in the back of the net, left and right.  The Flyers were very close to meeting the Wings in the finals last year, but fell short.  This game should have a true playoff like feel to it, as both teams should be getting ready for the final stretch of the regular season.


5)Nov. 11, 2008 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

The defending Eastern Conference champs return to the Joe after a bitter summer without Lord Stanley.  Sid the Kid and Malkin are off to a fast start with Evgeni leading the NHL in points and assists.  Not only is this the return of Pittsburgh to the Joe but it is the first tilt between Marian Hossa and his former team.  This could be a great matchup for anyone looking for some good old fashion grit and skill.  Tomorrow we shall find out!


4)Dec, 18, 2008 vs. San Jose Sharks

Former assistant coach Todd McClellan returns to face his champion Detroit Red Wings home where the always tough San Jose Sharks look to solidify themselves as the early favorite to win the West.  Patrick Marleau is on a tear as of late and with young stars such as Ryan Clowe and Devin Setoguchi stepping up their game, who knows what will happen when the puck drops.


3)Nov. 26, 2008 vs. Montreal Canadians

This is the preseason pick for the Stanley Cup finals!  Many analysts including myself had the Red Wings facing either the Canadians or Flyers in the finals.  Alex Tanguay is off to a good start with 7G and 7A and usually steps up his game against his former rival when he was with the Avalanche.  This should be a great matchup in late November as well as a possible matchup com June.


2)Feb 8. 2009 @ Pittsburgh Penguins

The Red Wings return to Mellon Arena where they clinched the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals.  Memories were made here and to get another win in the Steel city is going to be tough.  The boos will be louder than ever, and the intensity of the players will be at a season high.  It is going to be tough for Detroit but none the less, another great matchup between two elite clubs.


1)Jan. 1, 2009 @ Chicago Blackhawks

Winter Classic at Wrigley Field

This is the biggest stage in hockey as of most recent.  Last year’s game was a huge success with Pittsburgh holding off the Buffalo in a shootout.   This year it’s the Red Wings and Blackhawks that get to show the non football watching viewers what a great sport hockey is.  This truly sets the stage for years to come in the NHL and more importantly gives the NHL prime real estate in the broadcasting market. 

Competing with the NCAA will be tough, but what is New Years Day without multiple TV’s and Picture in Picture.  Hockey fans, rejoice, let out three cheers for a new year and a great stretch to finish out the regular season.   This winter classic will surely be a dandy!