All the way back in April 2011, the Detroit Red Wings nearly ended the Chicago Blackhawks’ season in a huge game. The Minnesota Wild bailed the ‘Hawks out in an odd scenario, yet it still showed that the veteran Red Wings could foil the upstart ‘Hawks.
Even the powerhouse 2012-13 Blackhawks had trouble finishing off an underdog Detroit team in last year’s playoffs.
On Sunday, the role reversal seemed truly complete, with Chicago making life a little more miserable for Detroit this time around. The Blackhawks won 4-1 in an increasingly rare rivalry game between two teams now in different divisions and conferences.
Chicago improves its chances of wrestling the Central Division’s second spot from the Colorado Avalanche (another Detroit rival), while things are far more dire for the banged-up Red Wings. This loss keeps them at 73 points in 67 games played, leaving an increasingly small margin for error for a team desperately fighting to keep an outstanding playoff streak going.
It wasn’t all good news for the Blackhawks, however, as rising forward Brandon Saad left the game with an injury and didn’t return. On a night in which Marian Hossa looked fantastic in his return from an upper-body issue, that’s a little disappointing for the defending champions.
These two Hossa-powered goals should soothe those wounds, however:
Chicago and Detroit won’t meet as often going forward, but if Sunday is any indication, the two teams could still keep this rivalry alive.