Found October 01, 2013 on Fox Sports Detroit:
DETROIT -- The Red Wings are about to embark on a whole new adventure -- the wild, wild East. A year after the lockout-shortened season had the Wings playing only Western Conference teams, they're now in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. The new schedule means that the Wings will still see their former rivals from the West, but they won't be spending quite as much time on flights to and from the West Ccoast. "We're going to do less traveling," defenseman Jonathan Ericsson said. "I think everyone in here is really excited about it, playing some new teams, too. "I think that's really good for all the fans. Good for us, too, because it's not that fun to play the same team over and over and over again. I think everyone's looking forward to it." The division and conference have changed but the goal remains the same -- winning the Stanley Cup. The Wings showed last year that they could still compete despite the loss of longtime captain and future Hall of Fame defenseman Nick Lidstrom. They beat the higher-seeded Anaheim Ducks in the first round and extended the eventual champion Chicago Blackhawks to seven games. The downside is, the Wings had a 3-1 series lead and couldn't put the Blackhawks away. "I think we played really well," Ericsson said. "We could have won over Chicago 4-2 or almost 4-1, but that's not how it worked. "It's gonna be a matter of luck and bounces here and there. I think everyone's excited to start off where we left off last season." Coach Mike Babcock wants his players to focus on the immediate task at hand. "We got a big game on Wednesday (vs. Buffalo at Joe Louis Arena)," he said. "Most important game is the one you're playing. We talk about it every single year. "We're gonna have 82 of those days this year. Let's get after it and see where we're at." There's some belief that the Wings will have a hard time adjusting to the Eastern Conference because those teams play a more physical style. Or do they? "Its tough to compare," said Daniel Alfredsson, who spent his entire career with the Ottawa Senators before coming to Detroit. "A lot of people think the East is more physical, and I thought the West was more physical. So I dont know whats true. Its pretty even then, I guess. "This team will do well in the East. Its way better travel schedule, puck possession, a different style and a lot of teams havent seen them as much. "Hopefully, especially early on when people havent scouted us as much, we can take advantage of that." Babcock pointed out that the Wings have to learn 14 teams while the Eastern Conference teams need to learn only a couple, the Wings and the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Wings played Eastern Conference teams 18 times two seasons ago and went 10-7-1 in those games. "I think we're gonna be fine," Babcock said. "That assessment on video, that's all fun. But the reality is, when you start playing them head to head is when you learn about them." Alfredsson and fellow new addition Stephen Weiss -- who played for the Florida Panthers before joining the Wings -- can help give their new teammates scouting reports. Those two are also expected to be big factors in the Wings' success with their play. Weiss is set to center a line with Alfredsson and Johan Franzen. "I think it should be a real good unit for us," Babcock said, "and I think it should generate offense as well as be outstanding defensively." Ericsson said Alfredsson and Weiss have been just what they expected. "We knew they were great players," Ericsson said. "Alfredsson's going to be huge for us on the power play. He's been showing that in the preseason games, how well he plays in those situations. "Weiss also brings great depth to us. He's a leader on the ice when he's out there. He's always working hard, and he's got some really good skills, too. "They're great additions. That's exactly what we need." Because of the salary cap, the Wings are no longer perennial Cup favorites, but they are expected to reach the playoffs for the 23rd straight season. "We want to compete for the division, we want to make the playoffs," Wings general manager Ken Holland said. "It's a parity league, and I don't know that there's many teams dramatically better than any other teams. There's so many teams that are so close. "You know, with 10 games to go in the season, it's going to be a race for the division, a race to make the playoffs, a race for home ice. We want to be in the thick of those races."
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Gustav Nyquist and Petr Mrazek to Grand Rapids

DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings have to deal with the salary cap so they had to make a few decisions Monday. They sent forward Gustav Nyquist and goaltender Petr Mrazek to the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League. Sending Nyquist down is a move to help the team get under the 64.3 million cap, meaning he won't be stuck in Grand Rapids the whole season. Nyquist...

Emmerton's crazy week ends on Red Wings' fourth line

DETROIT -- What a week its been for Cory Emmerton. He was put on waivers by the Red Wings on Sunday. On Monday, he cleared waivers and was assigned to Grand Rapids, then a few hours later he was back on the Detroit roster. On Wednesday night at Joe Louis Arena, he was centering the Wings' fourth line as they opened their season with a 2-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. Emmeton...

Cory Emmerton determined to make meaningful contribution on Red Wings

What a whirlwind this week has been for Cory Emmerton already. The forward was put on waivers by the Red Wings Sunday. No team claimed him and so he thought he was headed to the minor leagues. But he wound up staying with the Red Wings when forward Patrick Eaves was placed on the long-term injured-list. Tuesday morning Emmerton found himself centering Mikael Samuelsson and Drew...

Red Wings prospect Anthony Mantha named QMJHL’s ‘First Star’ for September

Red Wings prospect Anthony Mantha's had a helluva month (as RedWingsCentral noted), and he's been rewarded for coming back from the Red Wings' prospect tournament with oodles of confidence: Detroit Red Wings prospect Anthony Mantha (No. 20, 2013) of Val d' Or was named QMJHL player for Sept. Had 8-6-14 in 7 games. — Mike Morreale (@mikemorrealeNHL) October...

Video: Mikael Samuelsson Scores Detroit Red Wings’ First Goal of New Season

The Detroit Red Wings’ first goal of the 2013-14 regular season came from a somewhat unlikely source — at least if we’re going off the numbers from last year. Mikael Samuelsson, who registered just one assist and no goals in only four games played in 2012-13, redirected home a Cory Emmerton shot to get the Red Wings on the board. Emmerton picking up a point might be an even...

Detroit Red Wings Season Preview, Part I: A Look at the Roster

The 2013-14 Detroit Red Wings season is so close I can see the bathroom troughs at Joe Louis Arena in my head. A new season, a new league … and, because it’s the Red Wings, a new Swede. This Red Wings team is looking good to go, with less travel, more experienced young guys and a hungry team that was eliminated too early in last year’s playoffs. The Wings are coming off an...

Just like the Winter Classic, Red Wings ‘Alumni Showdown’ tickets unlikely to be publicly sold

This should come as no surprise, per the CBC news and RedWingsFeed: Some hockey fans vying for a seat at the Alumni Showdown Game between retired Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs as part of this year’s Winter Classic may be out of luck. Over the New Year’s Eve weekend, there will be two alumni games during Winter Fest in the lead up to the classic, featuring today’s...

Red Wings Look To Start Season Strong On Home Ice

After a somewhat lackluster preseason, the Detroit Red Wings will open up the 2013-2014 season on home ice against new divisional opponent Buffalo Sabers. [singlepic id=64 w=424 h=180 float=center]   Game: Buffalo Sabres vs. Detroit Red Wings Venue: Joe Louis Arena; Detroit, MI Time: 8:00 PM EST Television: National- NBC Sports Network   The Red Wings...

Red Wings open with win vs. Sabres

The Detroit Red Wings had a successful debut as an Eastern Conference team, scoring early and holding on late. Pavel Datsyuk and Mikael Samuelsson scored 36 seconds apart midway through the first period and Detroit beat the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 Wednesday night in the season-opener for both teams. "When you start off at home, you always want the first goal and we got two,"...

Red Wings Tuesday practice post II: on Datsyuk, Emmerton and Alfredsson

I had a feeling that all the Tweets from the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association luncheon which Ken Holland, Kris Draper and Ryan Martin attended would max out the first practice post, and they did, so here's Part II. MLive's Ansar Khan posted today's practice lines... Continue reading "Red Wings Tuesday practice post II: on Datsyuk, Emmerton and Alfredsson"

Sabres-Red Wings Preview

With veteran Daniel Alfredsson in the mix, the Detroit Red Wings are eager to begin play in the Eastern Conference. The 40-year-old winger hopes to make what could be his only season in Detroit a memorable one starting Wednesday night when the Red Wings try to continue their home success against the rebuilding Buffalo Sabres. Playing its last year in the Western Conference, Detroit...

Red Wings-Sabres quick take: good enough

As is perhaps typical at this time of year, the Detroit Red Wings found themselves on the short end of a "crackdown," their power play was ineffective, and a gigantic brain fart from Jimmy Howard made the team's 2-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres far, far too "interesting"... But Mikael Samuelsson's somewhat fluky-but-earned goal 12:05 into the 1st gave...

Red Wings Debut in Eastern Conference Sets Tone

DETROIT– The Detroit Red Wings could not have made a better debut in a new conference and division winning 2-1 over division foe the Buffalo Sabres. Mikael Samuelsson and Pavel Datsyuk led the way with a goal each, and Jimmy Howard had 19 saves to collect his first win as well as the Wings first […]

Season Puck Drop Gameday Movie Poster

Life in the East starts tonight against our longtime rivals (well if you're NBC at least). But I don't care about that.  All I care about is that Detroit Red Wings hockey is back. And what does that mean for NOHS?  It means that we're going to give you what you want, a game day movie poster to celebrate. After the break. Josh usually does the icnredible...

Afternoon Line

... But there are warning signs. The core is an old one, with players like Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, and Johan Franzen all in their 30s. Adding Alfredsson doesn't make them any younger, obviously, so the potential for major drop-offs and/or injuries is significant. -Sean McIndoe in his season preview at Grantland, where you can read more on all the NHL teams...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.