The Detroit Red Wings' schedule for the 2011-12 season was released on Thursday afternoon. We now know that Detroit will open the season at home on Friday, Oct. 7. The Wings' opponent will be former assistant Paul MacLean and his Ottawa Senators.
Over the first month of the season the Red Wings will play four home games and five road games. The final game of the month is the first of two straight against the Minnesota Wild. On Nov. 1, the Wild will come to Joe Louis Arena for the first of six straight home games for Detroit.
The Wings will follow the homestand up with four road games in a row, including a trip to the West Coast. After the road trip, the Red Wings will return home for a game against the Flames and then play the Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins on the road on Nov. 25. Five days later, Steve Yzerman and the Lightning will come to Detroit.
The month of December includes a few notable games, the first of which is a meeting against the new Winnipeg team at Joe Louis Arena on Dec. 10. On Dec. 13, the Red Wings will play at the Pittsburgh Penguins. At the end of the month, the Red Wings will take on the Chicago Blackhawks for the first time all season, and a day later, on New Year's Eve, Detroit will host St. Louis.
The Red Wings' first game of the New Year will be at the Dallas Stars on Jan. 3. Four nights later they will head to Toronto to take on the Maple Leafs. A day after that they will be back in Chicago to play the Blackhawks, and finally the Blackhawks will come to Detroit later in the month on Jan. 14.
Before Detroit heads to Western Canada for three games for the second time of the season, the Red Wings will take on the Canadiens in Montreal. In all the Wings will play five straight games on the road, as the trip finishes with a game in Phoenix. The good news is there are a lot of home games after this stretch. Detroit has six straight games at home, and over a span of 14 games only three are not at Joe Louis Arena. To make things even better, the three road games are at Chicago, Columbus and Philadelphia, so the travel isn't too bad.
The Red Wings' massive stretch of home games takes them into March, which includes another trip to the West Coast, a game at home against the Capitals and a game against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. The Wings will finish the season with six of their final eight games at home, including the season finale on April 7 against the Chicago Blackhawks.