Red Wings announce 2008-09 schedule
Season highlighted by games against all 15 Eastern Conference teams
DETROIT – For the first time in three seasons, the defending Stanley Cup champion Red Wings will play at least one game against every team in the league in 2008-09.
In the NHL schedule released on Thursday, the Red Wings will play each of their three Central Division rivals (Chicago, Columbus, Nashville, St. Louis) three times at home and three times on the road. The Wings will play another 40 games inside the Western Conference with two home and two road games against the remaining 10 Western teams.
The remaining 18 games involve at least one game each against all 15 Eastern Conference teams. The Wings will face Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Atlanta each twice – both home and away.
The Wings will face the Penguins -- the team they beat to win their 11th Stanley Cup in franchise history – on Tuesday, November 11 at Joe Louis Arena, and on Sunday, February 8 at Pittsburgh’s Mellon Arena.
The Wings will open the season against Original Six rival Toronto on Thursday, October 9 when a championship banner ceremony is planned.
Besides the Maple Leafs and Penguins, the nine home games against Eastern rivals include meetings with the New York Rangers (Oct. 18), Atlanta (Oct. 24), New Jersey (Nov. 8), Montreal (Nov. 26), Buffalo (Jan. 10), Philadelphia (March 17), and the New York Islanders (March 27).
The 2008-09 schedule will feature five Friday games, eight Saturday games, and three Sunday games at Joe Louis Arena. Last season, the Red Wings hosted eight Friday games, four Saturday games, and four Sunday games.
An obvious omission to the 2008-09 schedule is the traditional New Year’s Eve game that has been a regular staple in the Red Wings’ schedule since 1950. Instead, the Wings and Blackhawks will play a home-and-home series on Dec. 30 and Jan. 1. The New Year’s Day game will be the league’s second annual Winter Classic, an outdoor contest, which will be played at the 41,000-season Wrigley Field.
The Wings only have four home games in January with nine games on the road, including a season-long, six-game trip that begins in Dallas on Jan. 12 and finishes at Columbus on Jan. 27.
Last November, the NHL’s Board of Governors approved the new scheduling matrix, which ensures that each team plays every club at least one, either home or away.
The new format represents a change from a matrix approved by the Board for the 2005-06 season that called for four games (40 total) against each non-division conference opponent, eight games (32 total) against each in-division opponent and 10 inter-conference games.
Fans can still lock in to last year’s ticket prices by becoming a season-ticket holder prior to August 4. For season ticket information, call the Red Wings Ticket Sales and Service Department at 313-396-7575.
|Thu||Oct 9||Toronto||7 p.m.|
|Sat||Oct 11||at||Ottawa||7 p.m.|
|Mon||Oct 13||at||Carolina||7 p.m.|
|Thu||Oct 16||Vancouver||7:30 p.m.|
|Sat||Oct 18||N.Y. Rangers||7 p.m.|
|Wed||Oct 22||at||St. Louis||8:30 p.m.|
|Fri||Oct 24||Atlanta||7:30 p.m.|
|Sat||Oct 25||at||Chicago||8:30 p.m.|
|Mon||Oct 27||at||Los Angeles||10:30 p.m.|
|Wed||Oct 29||at||Anaheim||10 p.m.|
|Thu||Oct 30||at||San Jose||10:30 p.m.|
|Sun||Nov 2||at||Vancouver||10 p.m.|
|Sat||Nov 8||New Jersey||7 p.m.|
|Tue||Nov 11||Pittsburgh||7 p.m.|
|Thu||Nov 13||at||Tampa Bay||7:30 p.m.|
|Fri||Nov 14||at||Florida||7:30 p.m.|
|Mon||Nov 17||Edmonton||7:30 p.m.|
|Thu||Nov 20||at||Edmonton||9 p.m.|
|Sat||Nov 22||at||Calgary||10 p.m.|
|Mon||Nov 24||at||Vancouver||10 p.m.|
|Wed||Nov 26||Montreal||7:30 p.m.|
|Fri||Nov 28||Columbus||7:30 p.m.|
|Sat||Nov 29||at||Boston||7 p.m.|
|Mon||Dec 1||Anaheim||7:30 p.m.|
|Thu||Dec 4||Vancouver||7:30 p.m.|
|Sat||Dec 6||Chicago||7 p.m.|
|Wed||Dec 10||Calgary||7:30 p.m.|
|Fri||Dec 12||at||Dallas||8:30 p.m.|
|Sat||Dec 13||at||Phoenix||9 p.m.|
|Mon||Dec 15||Colorado||7 p.m.|
|Thu||Dec 18||San Jose||7:30 p.m.|
|Sat||Dec 20||Los Angeles||7 p.m.|
|Tue||Dec 23||St. Louis||7:30 p.m.|
|Fri||Dec 26||at||Nashville||8 p.m.|
|Sat||Dec 27||at||Colorado||9 p.m.|
|Tue||Dec 30||Chicago||7:30 p.m.|
|Thu||Jan 1||at||Chicago *||1 p.m.|
|Sat||Jan 3||at||Minnesota||8 p.m.|
|Tue||Jan 6||Columbus||7:30 p.m.|
|Thu||Jan 8||Dallas||7:30 p.m.|
|Sat||Jan 10||Buffalo||7 p.m.|
|Mon||Jan 12||at||Dallas||8 p.m.|
|Wed||Jan 14||at||Anaheim||10 p.m.|
|Thu||Jan 15||at||Los Angeles||10:30 p.m.|
|Sat||Jan 17||at||San Jose||10:30 p.m.|
|Tue||Jan 20||at||Phoenix||9 p.m.|
|Tue||Jan 27||at||Columbus||7 p.m.|
|Thu||Jan 29||Dallas||7:30 p.m.|
|Sat||Jan 31||at||Washington||12:30 p.m.|
|Mon||Feb 2||St. Louis||7 p.m.|
|Wed||Feb 4||Phoenix||7:30 p.m.|
|Sat||Feb 7||Edmonton||3 p.m.|
|Sun||Feb 8||at||Pittsburgh||3 p.m.|
|Tue||Feb 10||at||Nashville||8 p.m.|
|Thu||Feb 12||Minnesota||7:30 p.m.|
|Fri||Feb 13||at||Columbus||7 p.m.|
|Sun||Feb 15||Colorado||5 p.m.|
|Wed||Feb 18||Nashville||7:30 p.m.|
|Fri||Feb 20||Anaheim||7:30 p.m.|
|Sat||Feb 21||at||Minnesota||8 p.m.|
|Wed||Feb 25||San Jose||7:30 p.m.|
|Fri||Feb 27||Los Angeles||7:30 p.m.|
|Sat||Feb 28||at||Nashville||8 p.m.|
|Tue||Mar 3||at||St. Louis||8:30 p.m.|
|Wed||Mar 4||at||Colorado||9 p.m.|
|Sat||Mar 7||Columbus||7 p.m.|
|Tue||Mar 10||Phoenix||7:30 p.m.|
|Thu||Mar 12||Calgary||7 p.m.|
|Sat||Mar 14||at||St. Louis||2 p.m.|
|Sun||Mar 15||at||Columbus||5 p.m.|
|Tue||Mar 17||Philadelphia||7:30 p.m.|
|Fri||Mar 20||at||Atlanta||7:30 p.m.|
|Mon||Mar 23||at||Calgary||9 p.m.|
|Tue||Mar 24||at||Edmonton||9:30 p.m.|
|Fri||Mar 27||N.Y. Islanders||7:30 p.m.|
|Sun||Mar 29||Nashville||5 p.m.|
|Thu||Apr 2||St. Louis||7:30 p.m.|
|Sun||Apr 5||Minnesota||5 p.m.|
|Mon||Apr 6||at||Buffalo||7 p.m.|
|Thu||Apr 9||Nashville||7:30 p.m.|
|Sat||Apr 11||Chicago||3 p.m.|
|Sun||Apr 12||at||Chicago||5 p.m.|