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Blackhawks Mon Apr 01 2013

Blackhawks Drill the Red Wings - Rivalry No More?

Thumbnail image for GB blackhawks icon.png I was heading to the south side for Easter with my family yesterday morning, when it occurred to me that the Blackhawks were going to be playing the Red Wings in Detroit for an early tilt. Odds were that I wasn't going to get to watch much of the game, which ended up being the case, but I figured it would be close and I'd try to catch a score on my phone when I could.

The better part of the midday Easter festivities got the best of me, when I overheard my father-in-law mention in the other room that the Hawks were up 3-0 after the first period. Sure enough, I checked my phone and read that recent Rockford call-up Jeremy Morin, Brandon Saad and Dave Bolland had all three scored.

By the time we were on our way back home, I had heard the Hawks eventually won the game 7-1 and, thus, making the Red Wings their sacrificial lamb on this holiest of days. The Hawks were 6-1-2 against Detroit coming into yesterday's game, which made me smile with delight.

But then I thought about after this season - the Hawks and Red Wings will no longer be in the same division with Detroit moving over to the Eastern Conference while the Hawks stay put in the West. Yes, it makes sense, but I'm a man of greed, and I've enjoyed the Hawks' recent success against a team I've despised since Stevie Y was beating Eddie Belfour like a rented mule.

These two teams have been playing each other since November 24, 1926 (the Red Wings won the first match-up 1-0) with the Red Wings owning the all-time series, 398-316-84. But things have a way of evening out, especially when you're loaded with talented players like Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and a pretty stacked farm system out of Rockford. Plus, it doesn't hurt that Nicklas Lidstrom retired before the season started.

I say all of this while still recognizing that Detroit will more than likely make the playoffs (they're currently seventh in the West and only five points from fourth), and could very well, at some point, meet the Hawks in the post season. The thought of that still scares me, even after a shellacking like yesterday's matinee.

With Easter and March now behind us, we begin April (and baseball) with 14 games left on the regular-season schedule (time flies when Gary Bettman runs your league). One of those games will be at home against the Red Wings, next Friday, April 12. You can bet Mike Babcock's team will be jockeying for better position in the standings for seeding in that game. Then again, he probably had that same mindset going into yesterday's game, but we saw that outcome.

I'll miss the frequency with which the Hawks used to play the Red Wings, but I'll mostly miss that we just started to get the upper hand on team that, admittedly, was, and is, the class of the league.

The Hawks are stacked now, and are poised to take home their second Cup in four years. If there's anything to nitpick about, it's the lack of a strong second-line center, and maybe a better forward than Brandon Bollig. Beyond that, this team is about as good as any that Detroit has thrown out onto the ice, going back to the late-1980s. And it just so figures that, starting next season, the Hawks will only face their most-hated rival twice a year.

Again, I understand it makes sense, but it's as though the bully took his hockey puck and went home. I'll just bask in this schadenfreude for now and focus my hatred toward the Blues.

 
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Eternal Fields / April 1, 2013 3:44 PM

This is either the best April Fool's hockey blogging prank or proof that literally anybody can write about hockey in Chicago these days. Please advise.

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