The last time the Chicago Blackhawks swept the season series versus the Detroit Red Wings, Hall and Oates were tearing up the pop charts and an 18-year-old hockey fan could walk into a bar and legally order a cold one.
My, how times have changed.
It’s been 36 years since the Hawks swept the Wings. As tonight marks the last time these two teams will be meeting in the regular season as divisional opponents, it seems only fitting that there’s a bit of history on the line. The Wings are in the midst of a 21 year run of consecutive postseason appearances and with a win tonight at the United Center, the Hawks could go a long way towards putting an end to it. Detroit is hanging on to the 8th seed in the Western Conference by a mere two points. With a formidable schedule still remaining, they need points in the worst kind of way.
Unfortunately for them, they happen to be facing a Blackhawks team who’s won five of six and has been wiping the floor with them as of late. The Hawks have won six straight in the series and have earned at least one point in the last nine (7-0-2). The last time they faced each other, Chicago humiliated them 7-1 in Detroit in what was essentially a Corey Crawford shut out until Detroit scored a garbage goal with 47 seconds to play.
In other words, it’s safe to say Detroit won’t be complaining about the NHL’s re-alignment next season, which will move them to the Eastern Conference and break up the legendary rivalry. If Crawford can continue his dominance of Detroit (1.15 GAA during his five game winning streak), there’s a very good chance that when the fans at the UC get the “Detroit Sucks” chant going early in the 1st period — and they will — it might finally be true.