By opening at home against the defending Stanley Cup champions, the Detroit Red Wings are in position to be making a bold statement. Historically, though, it’s not proving to be a winning strategy for them.
This will be the sixth time that the Red Wings are facing the reigning Stanley Cup champions in their NHL home opener. The Red Wings are 0-5 in those games.
This streak of failure began in 1927. Opening the new Olympia Stadium, the Detroit Cougars, as the team was known then, played host to the Cup champion Ottawa Senators. Ottawa won 2-1. Johnny Sheppard scored the first Detroit goal at the Olympia.
Red Wings Lose Three Straight
The following season, with future Red Wings goalie John Ross Roach posting the shutout, the Cup champion New York Rangers won 2-0 at Detroit. In 1929, Detroit made it three straight openers against the Cup holders, falling 5-2 to the Boston Bruins.
Four years retired from #Blackhawks, @DetroitRedWings GM Sid Abel talked Ted Lindsay into a 1964-65 Motor City comeback. Moved to tears by Detroit fans' overwhelming love, Ted had 14G, 14A in 69 games. Here, he's scoring on #NHLBruins' Jack Norris pic.twitter.com/lxgxVrisBH
— Dave Stubbs 🇨🇦 (@Dave_Stubbs) March 4, 2019
It wouldn’t happen again until 1964. With Ted Lindsay in the lineup ending a four-season retirement, the Red Wings still fell 5-3 to the Cup champion Toronto Maple Leafs. It was a rematch of the 1964 Cup final series.
Most recently in 1980, the Cup champion New York Islanders – with a director of scouting by the name of Jimmy Devellano – beat the Wings 6-4 in the first home opener played at Joe Louis Arena.
Around The League
Colorado: The Avalanche are favored to win the Stanley Cup. But did the Avs do enough during the offseason to warrant such lofty status?
Washington: Capitals rookie forward Hendrix Lapierre ended up scoring his first NHL goal in his inaugural NHL game.
Boston: The Bruins are putting the finishing touches to a contract extension with defenseman Charlie McAvoy.
Vancouver: Alex Chiasson found better luck with the Canucks than Bobby Ryan did with Red Wings. Vancouver signed the veteran forward to a contract from a pro tryout.
Detroit: Captain Dylan Larkin says it’s time for the current crop of Wings to write a new history for their era.