Looking at our playoff roster from last year, I counted 15 players in the line-up that had played there entire career on the Detroit Red Wings. That is awesome...but it also means they've spent their entire careers in the Western Conference. Even looking at the rest of our roster I only count 4 players with recent eastern conference experience. Ian White who's gone anyway, Eaves (not since 2009), Sammy (1/2 year in Florida) who's not likely to get roster time even if he sticks with the team, and Gustavsson...who, given this, might actually be helpful this year
For some reason I haven't seen anybody point out the brilliance of our two newest acquisitions from this perspective. Alfredson was a captain for more than a decade on a team that is our new division Rival. Weiss was an alternate captain on another new division rival. Both of these guys are leaders with voices in the locker room that know our new competition better than anyone on our current roster.
I'm sure Babcock and our coaching staff are going to watch tape and do their diligence and learn all they can about all these opponent that we only ever saw once or twice a year (not to mention not at all last year) . That said, you can't say enough about actual experience in playing against all these teams.