As the Detroit Red Wings farewell season at the Joe Louis Arena approaches fans become eager and emotional for the last home games to attend. Not only that, but really looking into the offseason moves that Detroit has brought us to look across we always have to ask each other, will the Red Wings have a shot at the playoffs for a 26th year? If so, how do they match up against their opponent and what are their chances? What I have created for us hockey fans to observe is a spread of every game, home and away, the date, time, day of the week, opponent, and how many times Detroit faces that opponent on home ice as well as at the away facility. Every detail matters. The time of each game matters, how long before the team has played before do they have to rest? Their opponent matters, did they play a team that is in good shape the night before? Ice advantage matters, is the team traveling from one arena to another consecutively? How much rest and practice does the team get provided before their next game; whether they travel or have consecutive home games? Balance is key. These questions will be answered by performance as we see the season through.
Looking at the regular season I initially thought this with a home game spread. As a student that regularly attends games at the Joe Louis Arena, I took advantage of the Student Rush program that the Red Wings allow students to purchase single game tickets on the morning of the game. Of course, this program is for home games that the box office releases in the event that a home game may not sell out. This in theory provides the continuous reputation of consecutive home game sell outs, and by allowing students to purchase these tickets at a discounted rate the price point is very popular. In fact I will touch on this in a different article. But, looking deeper into the Red Wings schedule let us see what our regular season looks like and how the schedule can affect the outcome of the final standings.
Looking at the upcoming season schedule and noticing that Detroit faces Tampa Bay a total of 5 times in their game series is exciting. The Red Wings previously had be eliminated from the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs by falling to the Lightning in 5 games of the first round, revenge is always in the air. Also to note, Detroit will have a 5 game home stand starting December 9th-16th and will then take off for an 11 game road trip that will prolong from December 19-January 12th of the new year. As exciting as we all are for hockey season to start, it is in fact important for us to look at our schedule ahead to figure out if there is a shot at the playoffs, and not only if we stand a chance but will it be worth it. As we know the better season record does not get the #1 draft pick, but with presumed knowledge of the Red Wings GM Kenny Holland has given way to a team that is not about draft picks but more about training prospects in hopes that they can be given a shot with the Red Wings to help re-build the dynasty we once knew. We will see if the #1 draft pick will be beneficial for former head coach Mike Babcock, who now is with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Austin Matthews.
Photo Credit: redwings.nhl.com
Schedule Credit: http://redwings.nhl.com/club/schedule.htm