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Opening Day Morning Skate: Red Wings vs. Wild

NHL: Minnesota Wild at Detroit Red Wings Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Time: 7:30 PM

Place: The new Colosseum aka Little Caesars Arena

TV: NBCSN

Radio: 97.1 The Ticket, AM 1270

Wild Blog: Hockey Wilderness

Everyone take a deep breath. Why? Well it’s either because the wait is over and you are excited that Red Wings hockey is back, or because you already have your mind made up as to how this season will go. Either way, let’s just be thankful the good ol’ hockey game has returned, and with it, the dawn of a new era in a new arena for your Detroit Red Wings.

Many have had this game circled on their calendars for months, maybe years. It’s the regular season opener at Little Caesars arena and the Red Wings welcome in the always exciting Minnesota Wild (Seriously, couldn’t find a better team to open the new arena with?) However, the Wild are coming off their most successful season in franchise history after earning 106 points last year. Ultimately, it ended with another early playoff loss that left Wild fans asking, again, what now? They spent their offseason trading away D Marco Scandella and F Jason Pominville along with losing F Erik Haula in the NHL expansion draft. They did bring in F Tyler Ennis, F Marcus Foligno and D Kyle Quincey (Haha) as replacements. While they are poised to contend for the Central Division once again, I do expect them to take a step back this year.

As for the Red Wings, you all know the narrative there. They still don’t have Athanasiou in the lineup, they signed Trevor Daley, Luke Witkowski (Yikes) and David Booth (Double Yikes) and are still in this “rebuilding on the fly” mode that has led to the demise of a dynasty. They hope to get an improved Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha this year, along with the Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar that ended last year and plan on seeing guys like Martin Frk, Tyler Bertuzzi and Evgeny Svechnikov in the lineup at some point this year.

Projected Lines

Red Wings

Tatar-Zetterberg-Nyquist

Mantha-Larkin-Frk

Helm-Nielsen-Abdelkader

Booth-Sheahan-Glendening

Dekeyser-Daley

Kronwall-Green

Ericsson-Jensen

Howard

Mrazek

Wild

Niederreiter-Staal-Coyle

Zucker-Koivu-Granlund

Foligno-Eriksson Ek-Stewart

Winnik-Cullen-Ennis

Suter-Dumba

Brodin-Spurgeon

Quincey-Reilly

Dubnyk

Svedberg

Note: Zach Parise is out for at least two games with a back injury so the Red Wings dodged a bullet there.

Whether we win or lose, whether Holland signs Athanasiou or doesn’t, whether Svechnikov comes up and score 50 goals this year or not, we have Red Wings hockey back. So sit back, relax for as long as you can, and appreciate the new arena, the new team, and the feel of knowing we have 81 more games to go in the season. Let’s. Go. Red Wings!

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Game Day Prediction Contest

Would you like to predict the outcome of the game and potentially become internet famous? Well you're in luck, because here's your opportunity. Here's how it works.

First off, if you don't have an SBN Username, make one! We'd love to have you, plus it's much easier to track your predictions season-long. Then make your guess on the winning team, final score, and who the Red Wings player of the game will be. Enter the required information into the form below using the formats indicated. If you don't use those formats, your answers will be disregarded. All submissions are timestamped and will be accepted only until the official game start time. Only one submission per person, please. The Red Wings POTG will be determined by the collective of WiiM writers.

Each correct winning team prediction is worth 1 point. Each correct player of the game prediction is worth 3 points. Each correct final score prediction is worth 5 points. If you get all three correct, you'll receive 15 points.

Good luck!