Well, that wasn't exactly the start we were hoping for. After some roster changes and coaching changes in the offseason, starting 0-2-0 on this season's campaign is certainly far from what we as fans wanted to see. However, with tonight being the home opener, I (Mike, formerly as Teandcakeordeath) feel that a bit of perspective on the season may be warranted.
Yes, 2 away losses to start the season really feels like a sucker punch in the gut. But it's not the end of the season just yet. We've had bad starts before, and have still come out with moderate degrees of success.
The last time we lost the first two games of a campaign was 2009-2010. To begin the season, the Wings had a home-and-home with the perennial playoff paper tiger St. Louis Blues. Under the leadership of Nick Lidstrom, that team dropped both games to the Blues by a combined score of 6-9. The Wings would go on to finish 2nd in the Central Division that season with 102 points.
Need an example worse than that? How about the start of the 1991-1992 season? That team went winless thru the first four games, tying at Chicago in the season opener and then dropping three straight at Toronto, vs Montreal, and at Minnesota (at that time still the North Stars). Steve Yzerman guided that team to a 1st place finish in the Norris Division with 98 points.
Almost as bad was the year before, the 1990-1991 squad. They went winless in their first 3 contests with a tie game at New Jersey, a loss at the Washington Capitals, and a complete shellacking at the hands of the Philadelphia Flyers in a 7-2 loss. That season, the Wings began "The Streak" and finished 3rd in the Norris Division. They took on the Blues in a first round playoff series that went the full 7 games.
The last time we truly lost the first two games while starting the season on the road was 1989-1990. That team actually took losses in the first three games of the season, all on the road. Finishing 5th in the Norris Division, that team did not make the playoffs... but they did lead into the start of "The Streak" the following season.
As an honorable mention, the Red Wings also went winless to start the 1988-1989 season. Losing at LA, tying at Vancouver, losing at Calgary, and tying at home vs the Blues would set the tone on a season that saw Detroit win only 34 games but still take 1st place in the Norris Division. (All records via www.hockey-reference.com)
Does it feel good to drop the first two games of a fresh, new season? Of course not. But it's also not yet time to panic, sell the farm, make bad trades, or fire everything and everyone into the Sun. It's the Home Opener - it's time to cheer your head off and help our team right the ship.