The NHL released its 2013-2014 schedule Friday and I, like many Red Wings fans, went directly to the Web site to see what the Wings are working with in their first year in the East.
At first glance, it just looks strange, doesn’t it?
They open the season with Buffalo, and then they take on the Bruins twice and the Flyers and Rangers once all in the first month. Then, there are the teams you almost never even think about, like the Hurricanes and the Lightning, who will become regulars at the Joe.
But, in this case, I think weird is good.
First and foremost, I think change is exciting. It’s just plain more interesting to get to see players you don’t get to see that often, i.e. Alex Ovechkin, Steven Stamkos, or say, Evgeni Malkin.
Secondly, it renews rivalries with other original six teams other than the Blackhawks. Who doesn’t want to develop a new hatred for the Maple Leafs, or the Bruins?
The Wings play each opponent in the Atlantic division at least four times (Bruins, Sabres, Panthers, Canadiens, Senators, Lightning and Maple Leafs) Then, they will have three games with clubs in the other Eastern division, the Metropolitan. (New York Rangers, New York Islanders, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington, Carolina and Columbus)
Detroit will also have home-and-home series with each of the Western conference teams.
The Red Wings are thrilled with this move to the East. They get a better travel schedule, they won’t have to change time zones (that much) and they get to match up with some other teams. They have to be sick of that Shea Weber guy anyway.
I say, the fans should be thrilled too.
Different match-ups to check out? Bring it.
More games in prime time? Yes please.