The Red Wings released their 2008-09 schedule today and – not surprisingly – I’m not happy with it.
I’ve said before that I don’t like the Wings having to give up both their traditional New Years Eve game and the ability to host their own outdoor game to take part in Chicago’s Winter Classic so I’ll ignore that and rant about a few other things.
Remember how the new schedule was going to allow Detroit to play a home-and-home with three Eastern Conference teams? Turns out that wasn’t quite true. They play the Penguins, Sabres and Thrashers both at home and on the road but none of those game are back to back.
There are only three home-and-homes all season. One against the Edmonton Oilers and two against the Chicago Blackhawks (one includes the Winter Classic and the other ends the season). In all three of those series’ the Detroit game is the first game.
The Red Wings play on back-to-back nights fourteen times this season. Every single time includes travel between games, unless you don’t count the trip between Anaheim and Los Angeles that makes up two of those sets. Either way, at no point in the season do the Wings play two nights in a row waiting for their opponent to come to them.
Detroit has a five-game road trip in late-October/early-November and a six-game trip (split by the All-Star Game) in January. Their longest homestand? Four games (twice in December and again in late-March/early-April).
I’m not saying other teams don’t have it worse (the Blackhawks play on back-to-back nights with travel 15 times this season) but this just can’t be the best schedule possible.