DETROIT (WOOD) — It took some time to become accustomed to the new $863-million facility that will be the home of the Detroit Red Wings.
After being at Joe Louis Arena for decades, the Red Wings will play their first regular season game at Little Caesars Arena Thursday night.
“We just got to play hard,” forward Dylan Larkin said. “It’s a long season. We’re going to win games, but we want to win for our fans tonight. We want to ride this energy we have in this building.”
Detroit held its first practice at the arena Sept. 19 and held a home preseason game on Sept. 23 in preparation for the season.
“You get more and more used to it,” Red Wings Captain Henrik Zetterberg said. “I think the first couple of mornings you were halfway to the Joe before you turned around. But now it’s our home and it’s beautiful.”
In addition to opening a brand new arena for regular season play, the Red Wings also have a season and a game to prepare for.
Head coach Jeff Blashill is hopeful the team can recover from last season’s disappointing results.
“Five new teams in the eastern conference were in the playoffs last year, five,” he said. “Five of the eight were brand new teams that weren’t in the playoffs the year before. That’s the reality of the league. I keep saying that but people don’t seem to listen. It’s tight, tight, tight.”