The Detroit Red Wings have kicked off their 2011-2012 campaign as well as anybody could have expected. Two shutouts, over the Colorado Avalanche and the Vancouver Canucks, plus two more wins, over the Ottawa Senators and the Minnesota Wild. A 4-0 start and a thrilling overtime win over the aforementioned Wild have done wonders for the team, and it's their first start with four straight wins since the '97-'98 season.
But inactivity is something that has been getting the best of good teams this year, and they're five days out from another game, and only have two games to play this week.
Their next game isn't until Oct. 21, when the Blue Jackets will come to town. Columbus has lost all five of their games so far this season, and have just now lost center Jeff Carter for an undetermined amount of games due to a hairline fracture. Their last outing was a loss to the Dallas Stars, and on Tuesday, they'll play them again before a brief break and then their trip to Detroit. If there's anything that will assuage a long layoff, it's got to be a game against an 0-5 and, potentially, 0-6 team.
That game will be on at 7:30 eastern time, as mentioned, on the 21st.
Back-to-back games are in their future, as Detroit will then hit the road to take on the Washington Capitals on the 22nd. The Capitals are also out to a 4-0 start to their season, and though they have two games before they take on the Red Wings (against the Panthers and Flyers), they figure to take a lot of momentum into the game against the Red Wings.
It actually might be the perfect situation to take on a 4-0 (and potentially 6-0) team - a soft, winless team to softball in there to get a win against and build confidence, and then the real test. Detroit wouldn't be playing its next game until the following week, on Tuesday the 25th. 7:00 p.m. eastern is your time for the road game against the Capitals, on the 22nd.