Instead, I thought I’d make a few observations about the idiosyncrasies of the schedule and how they affect the Red Wings always-arduous path to the post-season.
First of all, Kyle from Babcock’s Death Stare brings up a real good point (among many good points): why the hell aren’t the Red Wings/Blues games (being played in Sweden) launching the season the way the European games have in the past? I was under the impression that this was the objective of that little annual stunt. Like all other seasons, the two games are on back-to-back nights, which adds a bit of strain to an already-tumultuous situation.
One of the effects of flying to Stockholm and back is that the Red Wings are going to log 2835 more miles traveling in 09-10 than they did in 08-09. Their 42,000+ miles rank 14th among the 30 teams, which is totally reasonable.
I’m very pleased the New Years Eve game is back – after a one-year hiatus to make way for the Winter Classic. This season, the Red Wings play the Avs before Dick Clark’s spectacular, which would be totally awesome if it was 1996 that was being rung in. The Sakic-less Avalanche don’t pack the same punch as the good ‘ol days, but kudos to the League for trying to add a touch of nostalgia to what is traditionally a very nostalgic evening anyway.
The Wings play 13 sets of back-to-back games, which is actually three fewer than they played last season. While some teams (Columbus) are playing 8 fewer back-to-back sets, other teams (Colorado) are playing 8 more. Teams play between 11 and 19 back-to-back sets this season. The parity is probably partly as a result of the Olympic break taking a chunk of February out of play (although last season, the range was 8 to 20).
There are a couple of home-and-homes on the docket, and the opening series against St. Louis technically counts, though neither is at “home,” so to speak. The final two games before Christmas are a home-and-home with Chicago, followed immediately by the first two games after the holiday with Columbus. In April, the Wings round out their season series with the Jackets the same way.
There are no games between February 13 and March 1 because of the Olympics, but that’s not to say that the Wings won’t be in action: no less than 7 players are locks for their respective national teams, and expect Team Sweden to do well again.
WINGS WINGS TUESDAY! A very exciting, time-tested tradition in the my household, Wings Wings Tuesday combines two very natural loves: hockey and chicken wings. Buffalo Wild Wings (sponsorship opportunity available here, BW-3!) has discounted wings on Tuesday evenings. In 2009-10, there are ten Wings Wings Tuesday dates – 3 of the first 13 games, and 7 after New Years. Those games are as follows:
10/27 at Vancouver
11/3 vs Boston
1/12 at NY Islanders
1/19 at Washington
1/26 vs Phoenix
2/2 at San Jose
3/9 vs Calgary
3/30 vs Edmtonton