Detroit and Columbus Give Blackhawks two Divisional Mountains to Climb

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When I covered the 2009 NHL Western Conference Finals, I saw firsthand when the Detroit Red Wings soundly defeated the Chicago Blackhawks. Actually, I saw Detroit own Chicago the way Goldman Sachs owns the United States government, and it made me realize the only way the Blackhawks were ever going to win the Cup was if they did during a Detroit down year.

Sure enough last year, the Hawks peaked before the implosion of salary cap grenade, and at the same exact time Detroit suffered a ton of broken wings. But now that those Wings have all healed, and the road back to the top of division goes through the Motor City; and Columbus too.

I don’t see St. Louis or Nashville as a legitimate threat, but if the Hawks are goign to turn this epitome of mediocrity that is 2010-11 into a worthwhile season, they’ll have get past both the Red Wings and the Blue Jackets.

By Paul M. Banks

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Red Wings Take Hockey Portion of Michigan-Ohio Rivalry Weekend

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Assuming that it was planned and not just coincidence, “Michigan-Ohio Sports Rivalry Weekend” is a very clever and exceedingly marketable idea. I’m referring of course to the Detroit Red Wings visiting the Columbus Blue Jackets on the eve of THE GAME (Michigan Wolverines vs. Ohio State Buckeyes) at “The Horsehoe” of college football.

The only similar set up coming to mind is the annual November clash Florida St. and Florida used to have, where the college basketball teams play each other on Friday night and college football on Saturday. Of course, given the varying schedules of the leagues involved, it would be hard to pull this off every year.

The Wings took the NHL portion of the doubleheader, a critical battle for Central Division supremacy, 2-1 Friday night.

By Paul M. Banks

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