Skip to content

Rivalry Night on NBCSN: Hawks visit Detroit to face old foe

Jan 22, 2014, 8:49 AM EDT

Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard, left, reaches out to defend against Chicago Blackhawks' Brandon Saad (20) in the first period of a preseason NHL hockey game Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013 in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson) AP

Throughout the season, NBCSN will feature the NHL’s fiercest rivalries on Wednesday nights. Tonight the Chicago Blackhawks will head to Joe Louis Arena to take on the Detroit Red Wings at 8:00 p.m. ET. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game online.

The days of the Red Wings and Blackhawks competing for the Central Division title are over. They’ve faced each other in the playoffs in two of the last five years and their Conference Semifinals series in 2013 went to seven games.

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $1,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Wednesday’s NHL games. It’s just $5 to join and first prize is $200. Starts Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.

With Detroit switching conferences, this represents just the first of two contests between these squads in 2013-14 and if they are to face each other again in the postseason, it would have to be in the Stanley Cup Final. All of that suggests their past rivalry will diminish and perhaps it will in time, but the memories of the fiercely fought games are still fresh in the minds of the players and the coaches.

So for now, playing in only two games just means that the stakes have been raised.

“Everyone will be into it to a different level than anyone we play, and we’ll be revisiting a great seven-game series that could’ve gone either way,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville told CSN Chicago. “Knowing we play only once a year in each building, we can still bring back the intensity that’s been in that rivalry for a long time.”

As is the case on almost any given night, the Blackhawks will enter this contest as the favorites. They are a team of few weaknesses and their offensive might is unparalleled. With 31 games remaining in their schedule, they already have three different 20-goal scorers and five players that have recorded at least 40 points.

By contrast the Red Wings’ top scorer is Henrik Zetterberg, who has 15 goals and 39 points this season. Of course, he’s been limited to just 38 contests as almost no one in Detroit has been spared from the injury bug.

Only two players on the Red Wings’ roster have participated in all 49 of their games (Drew Miller and Kyle Quincey). They are likely to enter tonight’s contest without forwards Pavel Datsyuk, Daniel Alfredsson, Johan Franzen, Stephen Weiss, and goaltender Jimmy Howard. Given everything Detroit has been through, it’s impressive that the team is still in the running for a Wild Card spot.

It’s clear which squad has the edge on paper, but in the thick of a playoff race and in a rare meeting against an old rival, Detroit isn’t going to let this one slip by without a fight.

Latest Posts
  1. Isles, Poulin avoid arbitration with one-year, two-way deal

    Jul 24, 2014, 12:22 PM EDT

    Kevin Poulin

    He’s likely to be the No. 3 goalie in New York this year.

  2. Bruins name Sacco assistant coach

    Jul 24, 2014, 11:26 AM EDT

    Joe Sacco AP

    Former Colorado bench boss and Massachusetts native returns home.

  3. Avs hope to learn from ‘nightmare’ playoff finish

    Jul 24, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    Minnesota Wild v Colorado Avalanche - Game Seven Getty Images

    “Maybe it just wasn’t our time yet,” Patrick Roy said.

  4. PHT Morning Skate: What to do with Niemi?

    Jul 24, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    Antti Niemi AP

    Thursday’s assortment of links.

  5. Babcock on analytics: ‘I love the information’

    Jul 23, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT

    mikebabcockgetty Getty Images

    Makes sense for a franchise that frequently favors puck possession.

  6. Florida phases out ‘Lady Panthers’

    Jul 23, 2014, 9:00 PM EDT

    Pittsburgh Penguins v Florida Panthers Getty Images

    They’ll feature a “skating-only” ice crew next season.

  7. Video: EA teases what’s new in NHL 15

    Jul 23, 2014, 7:20 PM EDT

    eanhl15screen

    Will their latest physics improvements make a big difference?

  8. Stamkos shrugs off talk of LeBron-like homecoming to Toronto in 2016

    Jul 23, 2014, 4:20 PM EDT

    James Reimer, Mark Fraser, Steven Stamkos AP

    “We’ll see what happens. It’s a couple years away.”

  9. Sakic says there was ‘never any animosity’ between Avs and O’Reilly

    Jul 23, 2014, 1:45 PM EDT

    Joe Sakic AP

    “Any of the perceived animosity came from the outside.”

  10. Jacques Martin is now Pittsburgh’s senior advisor of hockey operations

    Jul 23, 2014, 12:57 PM EDT

    Jacques Martin, Dan Bylsma, Sidney Crosby, James Neal, Chris Kunitz AP

    His previously “yet-to-be-determined capacity” has been determined.

  11. Fayne looking forward to defending the ‘bigger guys’ in West

    Jul 23, 2014, 12:41 PM EDT

    Mark Fayne, Mark Letestu AP

    “My style and build might be better against the bigger guys.”

  12. Ex-NHLer Paek to coach Korea, with goal of participating in 2018 Olympics

    Jul 23, 2014, 11:34 AM EDT

    Detroit Red Wings 2007 Headshots Getty Images

    Won a couple of Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

  13. Sabres sign d-man Benoit — one year, $800,000

    Jul 23, 2014, 10:48 AM EDT

    Colorado Avalanche v San Jose Sharks Getty Images

    Had seven goals with 21 assists last year for the Avs.

  14. Avs and O’Reilly agree on two-year deal, but questions remain

    Jul 23, 2014, 10:23 AM EDT

    Colorado Avalanche v Ottawa Senators Getty Images

    The 23-year-old can now become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2016.

Featured video

Bettman hears the boos in Philly
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. S. Crosby (1877)
  2. L. Stempniak (1589)
  3. D. Roy (1516)
  4. R. Nash (1320)
  5. A. Rome (1242)
  1. M. Ribeiro (1216)
  2. C. Franson (1170)
  3. R. O'Reilly (1148)
  4. D. Cleary (1119)
  5. P. Subban (1079)