Belated Opening Night Wrap-up

Now that I finally have time to sit down and put together my thoughts on last night’s home opener, I really don’t even want to talk about it anymore.

For starters, you can find the few photos that actually turned out in the Multimedia Gallery.

I’m sure it’s been said elsewhere – I haven’t been able to read any recaps of the game and being at the Joe means I missed any in-game commentary (or even replays, since the Wings still haven’t bothered to start showing those on that fancy high-def scoreboard) – but the Red Wings played absolutely awful last night.

The team had two good stretches, one after each of their goals. Speaking of those, I have to say I’m surprised at least one wasn’t called back just because I expect that when Tomas Holmstrom goes to the crease now.

Outside of those two stretches there were off-the-mark passes, miscommunication and tentative play in the corners. The latter really had me annoyed, as I don’t know how many times a Wing gave up the opportunity to go fight for the puck in the offensive zone corners or went in there stick-first rather than laying on the body.

It was disappointing to see on opening night and reminds me a lot of last year’s matchup with the Maple Leafs. The loss isn’t the end of the world (nor is it a championship equivalent, Leafs fans) but it is a disappointment.

Home Opener GDT Open

I’m opening up the gameday thread right now without a lot of news. I’ve been all kinds of busy lately so I don’t have any special insight into the game or anything.

A reminder that the banner-raising ceremony is at 7:00 with the game following. Versus has the TV coverage for the US, CBC has it in Canada, both are in HD where available.

I’ll be at the game but will try to post my thoughts during breaks and hope to have some really cool photos to add to the site tomorrow.

Scheduling Complaints

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.