The team will play 48 games in 99 days, all against conference opponents. They will play division foes St. Louis and Columbus five times, and Chicago and Nashville four times. All other conference opponents will be played three times.
21 games will be nationally televised in the United States (seven on NBC Sports Network, four on NBC, and ten on NHL Network). Five games will be nationally televised in Canada (two on TSN, three on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada. Fox Sports Detroit will televise a minimum of 41 games.
Because the schedule is more compact, the Red Wings will play 20 games back-to-back. They will also have to take four combined trips to the west coast or Western Canada (Five if you count a trip to Phoenix and Colorado at the beginning of April). Crack open the caffeine for the games that start at 9:30 pm or later.
If this were a normal season, I would point out a particular make-or-break stretch in the schedule, but since this is a compact schedule, every game will have significance. There is a four game west coast trip in March, and another four-game road trip in April that appear to be the toughest on the schedule. The March trip looks like this
- March 22 at Anaheim
- March 24 at Anaheim
- March 25 at Phoenix
- March 28 at San Jose
Anaheim has had a history of starting slow, and then getting hot late in the season. Being that the Red Wings play consecutive games against the Ducks late in March should have any fan concerned. Phoenix has been another team that plays the Wings tough late in the year. And if there is one arena that is really tough to play in, it's the Shark Tank (HP Pavilion).
The April road trip looks like this:
- April 12 at Chicago
- April 14 at Nashville
- April 17 at Calgary
- April 20 at Vancouver
The latter trip would allow for the team to come back to Detroit to practice. However, the trip is so close to the end of the regular season, a playoff spot could be on the line.
PROJECTION: This season isn't going to be a marathon, but rather a long sprint to get in the playoffs. If the Red Wings are going to make the playoffs for a 22nd straight season, they won't have much room for error. Still, the last time there was a shortened season, they made it to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Make it 57 points in 48 games, good for fourth in the Western Conference.Tags: Detroit, Detroit Red Wings, Hockey, NHL