Tag Archives: Detroit Red Wings

Game Three: The Ugliest Game

Well, as the Blackhawks have not won a third game in any playoff series this year, perhaps this loss in the series against the Bruins shouldn’t come as such a crushing blow.

Whatever. We can all be a little defeated about this defeat in Boston.

The game was rough, to say the least. The Blackhawks were, apparently, never destined to have that third game win in this Stanley Cup playoff. Though our spirits were lifted knowing that Stalberg would be rejoining the team, spirits were crushed with the last minute scratch of Marian Hossa, the crown jewel of the Chicago Blackhawks offense and the leading scorer this season. This isn’t to say the Blackhawks didn’t stand a chance without Hossa, but it didn’t help.

Baby, come back! You can blame it all on me!

Baby, come back! You can blame it all on me!


The Blackhawks can recover from this, obviously. When the chips were down against the Detroit Red Wings, the Blackhawks rallied to win three games in a row and move onto play and defeat the former Stanley Cup champions, the Los Angeles Kings. However, the Boston Bruins are not the Red Wings. Though the games against Detroit were long, intense, and full of adrenaline and excitement, the Boston Bruins are far more disciplined and focused. Before facing the Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup finals, they shut down the Penguins, who were the second highest scoring team in the NHL (coming in second to the Blackhawks). They also know how to play great defense. The Bruins had the Blackhawks shooting from the perimeter which made goalie Tuukka Rask’s job incredibly easy. Rask’s shut out last night resulted in his deflecting twenty eight shots; whereas Corey Crawford had thirty-three saves, two goals still went in and allowed Boston to win the game.

Super casual

Super casual


Rask cannot be taken lightly by the Blackhawks. Though Boston’s defense is strong, it is Rask that is looking more and more impenetrable. Rask makes Jonathan Quick look sloppy. In four games against the Penguins, the then second highest scoring team in the NHL, Rask allowed two goals. In the five game series against the Rangers, Rask allowed five goals. In every series, Rask is gaining strength and precision and getting better and better as he learns how each team operates and adapts to their style in order to keep them from winning. His shut outs should be no surprise; his talent and attention to detail keep him on top of his game when it is most crucial. His hockey talent is so astounding, he should be recruited by Professor X.

"Come on, guys, we gotta get Rask and play the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants!"

“Come on, guys, we gotta get Rask and play the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants!”


The Bruins themselves aren’t the only obstacle in the way of the Blackhawks. The Blackhawks are a major obstacle for the Blackhawks. Hossa being out of Game Three was a crushing blow to the team as was the clearly injured Toews who was seen icing his hand when he wasn’t on the ice, but the Blackhawks’ inability to take advantage of power plays and win face-offs is not helping them win any games. Game Three against the Bruins saw the Blackhawks win a mere 29% of their face-offs. Allowing the Bruins to gain control of the puck in 71% of the face-offs is unacceptable.

Toews, the only face off that you are allowed to lose is your Blu-Ray copy of "Face/Off."

Toews, the only face off that you are allowed to lose is your Blu-Ray copy of “Face/Off.”


The power play statistics are just as abysmal, if not just flat out worse. In this current series the Blackhawks are 0-9 in power plays. In the playoffs as a whole they are 7-60. Clearly power plays are the Blackhawks’ Achilles’ heel. At the press conference after the game, Joel Quenneville said, “Our power play tonight was definitely not good.” Good call, coach.

Look for Quenneville's upcoming book, "I Like Yelling And Other Completely Obvious Observations"

Look for Quenneville’s upcoming book, “I Like Yelling (And Other Completely Obvious Observations)”


Though the shut out game was a real slap in the pride for the Blackhawks and for Chicago, one thing kept us all clapping and cheering for the Blackhawks at the end: a melee in front of Rask’s goal net. Chara used the last ten seconds to pick a fight with Bickell, and that’s when Andrew Shaw and Brad Marchand decided it was time to finally get to the fight they had been wanting to have the entire night. Where we all know that fights lead to penalties which lead to power plays, in that last ten seconds, if you were very quiet, you could hear Chicago cheering and yelling, “Beat the hell out of him, Shaw!” Of course, you could not have possibly been quiet enough to hear it because, admit it, you were screaming it too.


Ten seconds left? LET'S RUMBLE!

Ten seconds left? LET’S RUMBLE!

That game was awful. The Blackhawks got shut out. It was the ugliest of the ugly games. Hell, let’s look at Shaw beating up Marchand again.

Shawzer Forever

Shawzer Forever


The last ten seconds were just completely nuts.




So, the Blackhawks are down but they are not out. Never bet against a Chicago team when the odds are against them because that is when Chicago shines (okay, except the Cubs, but that’s a different story). The Blackhawks tend to not only come back from a mighty fall, they rise from it like a phoenix and burn through any obstacle that stands in their way. When it looked like they were going to lose against Detroit, they punched through everything and moved on. If they can focus on finding the weak link in Rask’s armor and build up their face off and power play wins, then the Stanley Cup is Chicago’s.

Let people know you mean BUSINESS!

Let people know you mean BUSINESS!


With the last few games coming up, and hockey ending until this fall, it’s time to show your love for the Blackhawks. If you’re going to show your love for someone, it’s gotta be that Andrew Shaw who has not only stepped up to be a crucial closer in the playoffs but is also the scrappiest little guy on the ice. Get this Andrew Shaw shirt at one of our stores or online at Commit to the Indian, Chicago!


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Hawkey Talk

Like a HOSS!

Like a HOSS!

Well, sports fanatics, when we left for the holiday weekend we were all walking on egg shells, biting our nails, and praying to the hockey gods to help bring the Blackhawks a victory. We headed into the weekend hopeful and willing to stand by the mighty, mighty Blackhawks. We went into Game Five hoping that Shaw, Bickell, and Toews could keep their tempers under control long enough to win the game. We went into the game hoping our defense was as strong as our offense.

We all went into Game Five like this.

We all went into Game Five like this.

Our hopes and dreams came true, Chicago, because we’re forcing game seven against Detroit!

Game five saw Toews putting on his captain’s hat, keeping it cool, and scoring two goals. Bickell channeled his hockey rage into a goal. However the greatest star of the Blackhawks in Game Five was hot-headed, punch-throwing, blood-thirsty Andrew Shaw. The player that could not keep his temper under control in game three stepped up his game and kept himself on the ice instead of in the penalty box. This playoff series has shown that players like Shaw and Bickell are more than fist-swinging stereotypical hockey players; these are hockey professionals focused on the Stanley Cup and are dedicated so fiercely to that objective that they will reevaluate their playing tactics so they can best help their team.

Strongest pimp hand in the NHL

Strongest pimp hand in the NHL

Shaw and Bickell’s tremendous improvements, Patrick Sharp’s comeback from a depressing regular season, and the hopes and dreams invested in a team that blazed through the regular season with the twinkle of the Stanley Cup in their eyes have all been inspiring. However, the most impressive Cinderella story of the playoffs has definitely been Corey Crawford. With thirty five saves in game six alone, Crawford’s performance as a goalie has been a crucial element to the Blackhawks’ success; any Blackhawks fan who does not give Crawford the praise he deserves should be forced to give up all hockey apparel, delete their Blackhawks app, and choose a different team to root for.

So we have got a helluva nail-biter on our hands for tomorrow. Two teams deeply rooted in a long-standing rivalry are thirsty for drinking champagne out of Lord Stanley’s cup. Show your support for the mighty Blackhawks with our “Keep Calm and Win the Cup” tee shirt this week.

Game seven: you’ll pay for your seat, but you’ll only need the edge!


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Chicago Sports: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Waiting To Exhale

Waiting To Exhale

Well, hockey………hockey…….

Thursday’s game four wasn’t so much painful as it was devastating and heart-breaking. “Painful” implies that what happened is easily walked off; what happened in game four was more like your mom telling you that Santa isn’t real followed by an atomic wedgie from dad. Game four was painful if you elevate the definition of “painful” to “everything that happened in ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre.'”

But I digress.

Johnny, Be Good!

Johnny, Be Good!

The game was strong and tense through the first scoreless period. However, the tight tapestry of the Blackhawks playing began to unravel halfway through the second period. With three penalties on Captain Serious (read: three power plays for Detroit), Toews spent six minutes of the second period in the penalty box, a place where it is actually impossible to score goals. Whereas the Blackhawks were strong in keeping out of fights when Detroit tried to take advantage of the quick tempers and flying fists of Bickell and Shaw, they did not clean up on power plays and their tired defense allowed for the empty net goal that resulted in the shutout game.

No reason. Just look at Sharpie smiling and try to mimic it. It'll feel better.

No reason. Just look at Sharpie smiling and try to mimic it. You’ll feel better.

The blogosphere, radio shows, ESPN, local news programs, people around the water cooler, and everyone else you know will be spending every minute from now until puck drop on Saturday dissecting what went wrong in game four and how we can repair what we have in order to claim victory at the Madhouse this weekend. Whereas the Blackhawks do have a shot (they spent the majority of this shortened season undefeated, remember), the shot comes with acquiring discipline. They were more focused and disciplined in game four than they were in game three, but what everyone seems to have forgotten (well, until last night) is that the Red Wings have absolutely stepped up their game, and it did not come out of nowhere. Yes, the Blackhawks swept the Red Wings in regular season, but the Red Wings defeated the Anaheim Ducks in the first round of the playoffs; the Anaheim Ducks were the only team the Blackhawks could not beat in regular season. Detroit is a serious threat. Winning the next three games isn’t impossible; the Blackhawks are a great team. However, in order to do it, they need to focus on Detroit being a legitimate threat and play them with discipline, heart, and impeccable skill. This is not impossible, but no matter what happens the city of Chicago will be on the edge.

"Someday," thought Mike Ditka, "I'm gonna run this field."

“Someday,” thought Mike Ditka, “I’m gonna run this team to the greatest Super Bowl ever and have a mustache God and all the angels envy.”

Let’s move on to happier Chicago sports news. The headline “Chicago Bears Retire Mike Ditka’s Number” may be a few decades late, but we’re glad that it’s finally here. Iron Mike Ditka’s number now retires to the hallowed land of retired Chicago Bears numbers with Dick Butkus, George Halas, Gale Sayers, Brian Piccolo, and Walter “Sweetness” Payton. Read more about Ditka’s retired number here, and be sure to pick up our Superfan Ditka tee to make sure you have the proper attire to celebrate on December 9th when the retirement ceremony takes place at Soldier Field.

We cannot guarantee that our Ditka shirts will make you look this good.

We cannot guarantee that our Ditka shirts will make you look this good.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Ditka’s number will be the last one that the Bears will retire, which is upsetting to the Urlacher fans who were not only sad to see #54 retire this week but would also like to see his number hang with the rest of the legends. A thirteen year career at Soldier Field that was spent being a reliable, talented, and unique asset to the Chicago Bears certainly deserves major recognition. However, since it took decades to honor the man who is the face of the Chicago Bears to many, only time will tell what honors can and will be bestowed to the greatest linebacker since Butkus.

This Urlacher fan is a pretty adorable honor. None of us will miss Urlacher like she will.

This Urlacher fan is a pretty adorable honor. None of us will miss Urlacher like she will.

Finally, Memorial Day weekend is here! As we all watch the clock so our three day weekend can begin, many of you will be braving the chilly spring weather to see the White Sox take on the Florida Marlins or the Chicago Cubs play the Cincinnati Reds. Though it may be cold for baseball, the weather reports are saying that perfect eighty degree weather will be here for the Crosstown Classic. If you don’t have the perfect shirt to show your baseball fever, don’t fret! We’ve got plenty of White Sox and Cubs gear to choose from. Visit our website or check out one of our shops as you enjoy a weekend of shopping, brunching, and relaxing this holiday weekend.


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Wednesday’s Wild World of Sports

With baseball season in full swing, playoff hockey causing us to chew off our fingernails, a big announcement from Brian Urlacher, and the Bulls still grabbing headlines, this has, indeed, been a heck of a week for Chicago sports!

Dave Bolland does his best Joker impression to intimidate the Red Wings.

Dave Bolland does his best Joker impression to intimidate the Red Wings.

With the Blackhawks down in the playoffs against the much-hated Detroit Red Wings, the team is still optimistic about game four. Perhaps the Blackhawks were too confident against the team they swept in the regular season (a team they beat by a touchdown on Easter Sunday) and dismissed the fact that in order to play the Blackhawks, the Red Wings beat the second seed, the Anaheim Ducks (a team the Blackhawks could not beat in regular season). Game three saw an intense, ugly game that kept every fan, Chicago and Detroit, on the edge of their seats. The denial of what could have been the Blackhawks’ second goal certainly lowered the Blackhawks spirits as much as it raised the Red Wings’. However, in game four, it is clear that they cannot allow lowered spirits to turn into violent outbursts. Hockey may be a notoriously violent sport, but you can’t score goals from the penalty box. Though Brian Bickell and Andrew Shaw clearly will not let the Blackhawks go down without a knock down, drag out, good old fashioned hockey fight, in order to play effectively the Hawks need to keep their anger in check and focus that energy on getting to the net, keeping the puck in control, and playing angry while playing smart.

Save it for when we're ahead, Shawzer.

Save it for when we’re ahead, Shawzer.

The Chicago Bulls may be out of the playoffs, but the team with the most heart in the NBA may be losing the biggest heart of the team, Nate Robinson.

But we can't split up this dynamic duo! We can't!

But we can’t split up this dynamic duo! We can’t!

The news of Robinson’s likely departure has Chicago in an uproar. The little powerhouse that was a valuable asset to the Bulls in the playoffs has won the hearts of Bulls fans (and his on court relationship with the giant Joakim Noah might be one of the most endearing things in all of the NBA). The threat of Robinson’s leaving the Bulls has gotten Bulls fans in such an uproar that there is an online petition to convince the Bulls to keep Nate Robinson on the roster. Is this the best way to keep the running heart of the Bulls on the roster? Only time and a growing collection of signatures will tell.

So long, Brian

So long, Brian

Breaking news this morning is the retirement of Brian Urlacher, the Bears’ amazing linebacker. After toying with the idea of signing with the Vikings, Urlacher decided to retire from football altogether. Whereas we will miss seeing him destroying the competition every Sunday afternoon, we can selfishly admit seeing him go is better than seeing him in a purple helmet with viking horns on it. Retiring from football as a Chicago Bear was important to Urlacher, and we at Clark Street Sports wish the revered #54 the best of luck in retirement after thirteen years tearing up Soldier Field in navy and orange.

Baseball is serious business!

Baseball is serious business!

Memorial Day weekend means three day weekend and a lot of Chicago baseball. Whether your allegiance is to the North Side or the South Side, this weekend is a great time to take advantage of some fantastic Chicago baseball against the Marlins and the Reds before the Crosstown Classic kicks off on Memorial Day!

If you’re not dedicated enough to sport a full back Sox vs. Cubs tattoo this weekend, don’t worry! Clark Street Sports has all the gear you need for this year’s annual baseball blow out and for all your other Chicago sports needs! Until next time, sports fans, let us know what you think of what’s happening in the wild world of sports and keep rooting for the Windy City!


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Preview of the 2012 NHL Western Conference Playoffs

(6) Chicago Blackhawks vs. (3) Phoenix Coyotes (Regular Season Series Record: Phoenix won 2-1-1):

This was a series that features two completely different styles; one that’s up and down and one that plays a slowed down style. In the division winning Coyotes (winning it for the first time since they moved from Winnipeg to Phoenix), they play a slower pace style helps complement their great goaltender and defensive play. The Coyotes finished in the middle of the NHL with 2.56 G/G ratio (Goals per game) while having one of the best GA/G (Goals Against per Games) in the NHL (2.37) which was 5th in the league. As good as the Coyotes defense is (which I’ll get to in a few minutes), they still have a few really good forwards on their team. Left Winger Ray Whitney finished 12th in the NHL with 77 points (24 Goals and 53 Assists), former Chicago Blackhawk Radim Vrbata finished 11th in the NHL with 35 goals, and team Captain Shane Doan had 50 points on the season. As good a year as those forwards had, it’s the Coyotes defense and goaltending that won them there first ever division title. The Coyotes feature one of the best defensemen in Keith Yandle, as he had 43 points on the year which was good for 14th among defensemen in 2012 along with another former Blackhawk, Adrian Aucoin, as he finished with a +14 on the year. Lastly, Goaltender Mike Smith finished the year with a 2.21 GAA (Goals Against Average) on the year which was 7th in the entire NHL.

As for the Blackhawks, they feature one of the best core of players in the entire NHL which includes Captain Jonathan Toews, (who I feel will be back for the playoffs and remember what Dave Bolland did for the Hawks last year when he returned before game 4 against Vancouver), Marian Hossa (leading the team with 77 points) , Patrick Sharp (second on the team in points (68) and best individual +/- on the Hawks (28), Patrick Kane (66 points), Dave Bolland (anchor of the 3rd line), Duncan Keith (2nd most average ice time this year), Brent Seabrook (best +/- by a defenseman), Niklas Hjalmarsson, and the newest Hawk Johnny Oduya. Even though the Hawks didn’t rank very high on the Power Play this year (26th), I still feel they can improve on this throughout the Playoffs. The biggest question surrounding the Hawks this year is their Goaltending as if Corey Crawford is able to be the Crawford that he was last years during the playoffs, then Chicago might just be able to make another long run in the NHL Playoffs.

Prediction: Blackhawks in 6

(8) Los Angeles Kings vs. (1) Vancouver Canucks (Regular Season Series Record: Vancouver won 2-1-1):

These two teams have great forwards, good defensemen, along with solid goaltending. The Canucks have two of the best offensive players (The Sedin brothers), one of the best 2-way players in the NHL (Ryan Kesler), along with winger Jannik Hansen. The Canucks also feature a few good defensemen on their roster which comprise of Alexander Edler (who lead all Canucks defensemen in points with 49), Dan Hamhuis (who is second among all defensemen in the NHL with a +29), and Kevin Bieksa. As for their goaltending, Roberto Luongo has once again had a solid regular season  (recording 31 wins) and their backup goaltender (Cory Schneider) had a 1.96 GAA during the regular season.

As for the LA Kings, they have three good centers on their roster in Anze Kopitar (team leader in points with 76) along with former Flyer teammates Mike Richards and Jeff Carter. Los Angeles also have a few good wingers in Justin Williams (finished with 59 points) and Dustin Brown (54 points and a +18) to help create two quality lines for the LA Kings. As for their defense, their signature player is 22 year old Drew Doughty (who led all Kings defensemen in points with 36), and alongside him are Willie Mitchell (finished the season with the 11th best +/- on the year with a +20), and former Stanley Cup Champion (won with Pittsburgh in 2009), Rob Scuderi. As good as the Kings forwards and defensemen are, its their goalie (Jonathan Quick) that’s become the star of their team. This season, Quick has the second best GAA (1.95) in the entire NHL and he’s so vital to their roster that I feel this series will come down to the goaltending as this will be a low scoring series.

Prediction: Canucks in 5


(7) San Jose Sharks vs. (2) St. Louis Blues (Regular Season Series Record: St. Louis won 4-0).

What a turnaround by the St. Louis Blues playing in either the hardest or second hardest division in all of hockey. At the beginning of the season, they were predicted to finish 4th or 5th in the division and instead overtook everyone and were named division champions ahead of the third, forth, and fifth best records  in the NHL (Nashville, Detroit, and Chicago). The Blues season changed on November 6th, when they named Ken Hitchcock as the teams new head coach and ever since Hitchcock took over as the teams head coach, the Blues have recorded 94 points. St. Louis don’t have the signature players that their opponent (the San Jose Sharks) feature on their roster, however, they have a lot of good forwards, defensemen, and two great goalies. Interestingly enough, not one forward on the Blues scored more than 54 points on the year (both Captain David Backes and T.J. Oshie each had 54 points), and Alexander Steen (+24) and David Perron (+19) also had great years. The Blues finished the year 7th in the NHL for PK% (Penalty Kill %) at a 85.8% mark and at one point successfully killed off 51 consecutive penalties. Their individual point scoring was good during the season, however, it’s the Blues defensemen and goalies that make this such a great team. The Blues feature three great defensemen (Alex Pietrangelo, who had 51 points which was good for 5th most in the NHL), Kevin Shattenkirk, and Barret Jackman (each of the final two had a +20 on the season). Lastly, the goaltending on the Blues in 2012 was fantastic as they had the best 2 man goalie combination in the entire NHL which featured Brian Elliott (who had a 1.56 GAA) and Jaroslav Halak (with a 1.97 GAA).

Like a few other playoff series, the San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues feature completely opposite styles. As shown above, the Blues don’t have much offensive on their roster; on the other hand, the Sharks have some of the best scores in the league on their roster. On San Jose, they feature a few of the best forwards: Captain Joe Thornton (who led the team with 77 points), Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, Ryane Clowe, and Martin Havlat. Most of these players didn’t have nearly the same statistics that they usually have; however, if they play up to their potential, they can average 3-5 goals per game. Like the Sharks offense, their defense has the potential to be great even though, they’ve had a pretty bad season. Their defense includes Dan Boyle (who led all Sharks defenseman in points), Brent Burns, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic (who led all Sharks defenseman in +/-). Lastly, San Jose has a goaltender (Antti Niemi) that won a Stanley Cup a few years ago and if the Sharks play like the team everyone thought they would be, they might win this series and go far into the playoffs.

Prediction: Blues in 6

(5) Detroit Red Wings vs. (4) Nashville Predators (Regular Season Record: Tied 3-3).

As good as the other series are, (and the other 3 matchups are good) no other Western Conference First Round Series can compare to the matchup between these two division rivals. The Wings, (making the playoffs for the 21st straight time), are well prepared for this this series as their accustomed to playing in the biggest games. Detroit don’t have any dominant scorers on their roster (no one scored more than 70 points on the season), however, they had 5 forwards (Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Valtteri Filppula, Johan Franzen, and Jiri Hudler) who recorded at least 50 this year along with Todd Bertuzzi (who was tied for the team led in +/- with a +23). Detroit also has a good group of defensemen led by Captain and future Hall-of-Famer Nicklas Lidstrom, along with Niklas Kronwall, Ian White (who led all Red Wings defensemen with a +23) Kyle Quince, Brad Stuart, and Jonathan Ericsson. The Wings also feature one of the best goalie in the league in Jimmy Howard who was voted as an All-Star this year by posting a 2.13 GAA in 2012.

Nashville on the other hand had a tremendous year and have started to realize that this might be there last chance to have everyone play together (as both of their star defensemen Shea Weber (RFA) and Ryan Suter (UFA) are Free Agents following the 2012 season). Even though Nashville didn’t have anyone score 60 points this year, the Preds contain a solid group of forwards on their roster which include Martin Erat (who led the team with 58 points), David Legwand, Mike Fisher, both Kostitsyn brothers (Andrei and Sergei), along with Alexander Radulov. Although Nashville has a talented group of forwards, its not the main reason why they have the best Power Play Percentage in the NHL. The main reason why they had the best Power Play is because of their dominant defensemen shooting at the blue line. Led by one of (if not the best) defensemen in the NHL in Shea Weber (who shoots the puck the second hardest in the NHL), along with fellow All-Star Ryan Suter and Kevin Klein, Nashville is a tough team to skate against. Lastly, they feature one of the best goalies in the league in Pekka Rinne who had a GAA 2.39 and recorded the most saves this year. This should be a great series and I feel the only Western Conference Series 1st round series going 7 games.

Prediction: Predators in 7

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Hawks vs. Wings


Thanks to free agency and the increase of trades, many of the intense rivalries in sports are unfortunately a thing of the past. At this time, there aren’t many great long lasting hockey rivalries left in NHL, but fortunately Blackhawks – Red Wings is one of the few that has stood the test of time. No two NHL teams have met as many times as these two teams (719) and few have featured the types of players that these two teams have featured. From Glenn Hall, Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, Pierre Pilote, Dennis Savard, Patrick Kane, and Jonathan Toews of the Blackhawks to Terry Sawchuck, Gordie Howe, Steve Yzerman, Nicklas Lindstrom, and Pavel Datsyuk of the Red Wings, in my mind this is the best rivalry in the NHL.

What makes this a great rivalry?

            One reason this is a considered such an elite rivalry is because the Hawks are two of the Original 6 teams from the start of the NHL and are the only Original 6 teams in the Western Conference (Bruins, Canadiens, Maple Leafs, and Rangers are all in the Eastern Conference). Although these two teams have had a few down years, the rivalry itself has been great even when both teams were not at their best. When the league expanded in 1967, the Hawks-Wings rivalry could have dropped off, but instead intensified and was taken to the next level. During the 1970’s, the Red Wings had a difficult decade (actually until Steve Yzerman came to Detroit in 1983 it was difficult time-frame for the Wings), and the Blackhawks at the same time had a difficult time once Bobby Hull left the West Side of Chicago and went to the Hartford Whalers. Even during these difficult times, the Hawks-Wings rivalry has thrived and was seen as one of the most prominent rivalries in the NHL.

The Young talent of the 1980’s and 1990’s

            In the 1980’s, Detroit Hockey was brought back to dominance as the Wings were sold to present day owner Mike Ilitch, and then drafted Steve Yzerman with the fourth overall pick in the 1983 NHL Draft. After that, the Red Wings were back at the top of the league, and were seen as one of the best franchises in professional sports throughout the 1990’s. At the same time, during the late 1980’s the Hawks brought in a tremendous amount of young talent to rival the other dominant teams of that era (Penguins, Oilers, and Red Wings) with the additions of Hall-of-Famer Ed Belfour, and future Hall-Of-Famers Jeremy Roenick and Chris Chelios. These players helped lead the Hawks back to the Stanley Cup (1992), and also lead them back to the top of the NHL.

Today and the future

             Since Steve Yzerman came to Detroit in 1983, the Wings have been a routine visitor to the NHL Playoffs year in and year out. As for the Hawks, throughout the late 1990’s and into the early parts of the 21st century, it was difficult to watch the Blackhawks as they struggled to only one playoff appearance from 1997-2008 (2001-2002 lost to St. Louis in the first round). Since 2008, the have Hawks joined the Wings as a staple at top of the NHL and feature one of (if not the best) young cores in the NHL. Just before the start of the 2008 season, Rocky Wirtz took over as owner of the Blackhawks franchise and since then, the Hawks have become one of the most popular teams in the NHL. Before the 2008 season, the Blackhawks ranked as the 14th most valued team in the NHL; today, the Blackhawks rank as the 6th most valued team in the NHL. With the Hawks great young core, the stability of the Red Wings franchise, and the rising media coverage of the two teams, this should continue to be one of the elite rivalries in the professional sports and one Chicago fans need to make sure they are apart of.

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Posted by on March 19, 2012 in NHL, Sports


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