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Chicago Blackhawks: True Rival of Today’s Detroit Red Wings

Chris Chelios

Photo by Reuters/Shaun Best

Often times, NBCSports’ Wednesday Night Rivalry Night delivers a matchup of two marketable teams from big market cities. Tonight’s Red Wings-Blackhawks matchup offers that, plus a respectable rivalry in today’s NHL.

Jonathon Ericsson once said in a Bob Duff article that the players from both teams always get up for the Detroit-Chicago games and have mutual respect for each other. The matchup is truly quality hockey at its finest.

Already this season, the Detroit Red Wings have been featured on Rivalry Night a number of times, including matchups with the Capitals, Penguins, and Avalanche. There is plenty of bad blood with the Avalanche in the history of the two franchises, but none as of late. The Penguins and Capitals are obviously former Stanley Cup opponents, but do not offer much else in history or distaste for each other.

The Red Wings-Blackhawks rivalry can be traced back to the days when the Norris family owned both teams. Their proximity to each other and distance from other original six teams offered a Midwest rivalry during Original Six play. Red Wing greats Glenn Hall, Ted Lindsay, and Sid Abel all spent a portion of their careers in Chicago (usually through unbalanced, intra-family trades to improve the Blackhawks).

Of the players on today’s teams, only Marian Hossa and Danny Cleary have played for both the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks. Greats Chris Chelios and Bob Probert also spent time as fan favorites for both franchises during their careers.

The showcase of these two teams for Rivalry Night features Detroit’s one true, contemporary rivalry. It can be traced back to the franchises’ entrance to the NHL, but most recently to the 2009 Western Conference Finals, where the Red Wings defeated the Blackhawks in five games on Darren Helm’s overtime goal.

Since then, the Red Wings and Blackhawks have been among the NHL’s most talented teams year-after-year. They feature superstars, budding players, and the most pure skills between any two teams in the NHL. Look back to the quality of hockey played during the 2013 playoff matchup of these two teams. Though the Red Wings lost, you can’t help but appreciate the talent these two teams put on the ice for that series.

The teams’ talent and compete levels are similar because their systems are bred from the same template: the Red Wings franchise. It’s no wonder the Blackhawks resemble the Red Wings—Scotty Bowman is a team consultant and his son is the GM. The Blackhawks are modeled after the success the Red Wings experienced over the past two decades. Pretty cool to be model franchise for rival teams and other NHL clubs, huh?

Enjoy the game tonight. It’s the best matchup in the NHL and the best rivalry the Red Wings are a part of today.

What You Should Know About the Detroit Red Wings

What You Should Know About the Red WingsI like to think of myself as someone who is knowledgeable about the Detroit Red Wings while discussing their past, present, and future. That changed after I started reading Keith Allen and Bob Duff’s book, 100 Things Red Wings Fans Should Know Before They Die.

The book covers the entirety of the Red Wings’ history, starting with the sale of the PCHL’s Victoria Cougars. The Cougars would move to Detroit and the NHL to become the Detroit Cougars, Falcons, and finally, Red Wings franchise we still adore today.

Stories of Jack Adams, Steve Yzerman, Gordie Howe, and Ted Lindsay fill the book, but some of the most interesting Red Wings historical factoids are about players most people have not heard of. Joe Turner and Ned Harkness each have their story told, along with many others who deserve to have their story told.

I’m not one to recommend a book, but all Red Wings fans need to get ahold of this collection of Red Wings stories. It covers all eras, not just the periods when Gordie Howe or Steve Yzerman led the team to greatness.

Bob Duff knows his Red Wings. Learn the Red Wings’ rich history that he details in 100 individual stories.

Top 9: Worst Plus/Minus in Red Wings History

On Monday, the Washington Capitals hired Barry Trotz to become their next coach after he was dismissed from Nashville earlier this spring. I began a conversation with another blogger about whether Trotz could steer the Caps out of dark waters and right the Alex Ovechkin ship. Ovechkin led(?) the league with the worst plus/minus rating of any player at -35 last season. It made me wonder who on the Red Wings had terrible plus/minus numbers in their career.

The plus/minus statistic was not officially compiled by the NHL until the 1967-68 season, so players like Ted Lindsay and Jack Stewart could never be on any Red Wings’ plus/minus list for better or worse. Luckily, this statistic was adopted just in time for the Red Wings’ dark ages: the 1970s. Let’s take a look at the Top (Bottom) 9: Worst Plus/Minus Ratios accumulated in players’ stints in Detroit.

9. John Ogrodnick: -74

John Ogrodnick

Photo courtesy of the Detroit Red Wings

8. Randy Ladouceur: -77

Randy Ladouceur

Photo courtesy of the Detroit Red Wings

7.Dennis Polonich: -78

Dennis Polonich

Photo courtesy of the Detroit Red Wings

6. Vaclav Nedomansky: -85

Vaclav Nedomansky

Photo courtesy of the Detroit Red Wings

5. Jean Hamel: -92

Jean Hamel

Photo courtesy of the Detroit Red Wings

4. John Barrett: -114

John Barrett

Photo courtesy of eBay

3. Willie Huber: -129

Willie Huber

Photo courtesy of the Detroit Red Wings

2. Reed Larson: -135

Reed Larson

Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Wild

1. Nick Libett: -150

Nick Libett

Photo courtesy of the Detroit Red Wings

 

Thank you to NHL.com for the statistical report.

Top 9: Detroit Red Wings All-Time Playoff Scorers

We need to score tonight. A coach’s favorite phrase to motivate the team (and demotivate the goalie) is, “(Goalie) can’t win the game for us tonight. He can only lose it. It’s up to you, the skaters, to score and win the game.” Tonight, Pavel Datsyuk and the boys need to put some biscuits in the basket and give Jimmy Howard some help.

Hoping this will encourage the Red Wings to score more, we are going to take a look at the all-time playoff leading scorers. Though Gordie Howe has the team record for points per game in the playoffs, was he number one on the list?

9. Ted Lindsay– 88 PTS

Ted Lindsay

Photo courtesy of Richard Bak/HHOF

8. Tomas Holmstrom– 97 PTS

Tomas Holmstrom

Photo courtesy of Tim Sharp/AP

T6. Pavel Datsyuk- 104 PTS

Pavel Datsyuk

Photo courtesy of AP

T6. Alex Delvecchio– 104 PTS

Alex Delvecchio

Photo courtesy of Denis Brodeur/NHLI/Getty Images

5. Henrik Zetterberg– 114 PTS

Henrik Zetterberg

Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Jason Cohn

4. Gordie Howe- 158 PTS

Gordie Howe

Photo courtesy of USA Today

3. Sergei Fedorov– 163 PTS

Sergei Fedorov

Photo courtesy of Tom Pidgeon/AP

2. Nicklas Lidstrom– 183 PTS

Nicklas Lidstrom

Photo courtesy of Gene J. Puskar/AP

1. Steve Yzerman– 185 PTS

Steve Yzerman

Photo courtesy of Dave Sandford/HHOF

 

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Detroit_Red_Wings

Top 9 Assists Leaders

The Red Wings have had their fair share of playmakers throughout their history. This list only includes assists while in a Red Wings jersey, so guys like Daniel Alfredsson, Mike Modano, and Brett Hull will not qualify for this Top 9. Should’ve spent more time in Detroit, guys. Maybe someone should create a list of top players to make cameo appearances in Detroit…

Here are Detroit’s Top 9 for career assists:

9. Ted Lindsay– 393 Assists

Ted Lindsay

Photo courtesy of the Windsor Star

8. Henrik Zetterberg– 409 Assists

Henrik Zetterberg

Photo courtesy of AP

7. Norm Ullman– 434 Assists

Norm Ullman

Photo courtesy of redwings.nhl.com

6. Pavel Datsyuk– 512 Assists

Pavel Datsyuk

Photo courtesy of AP

5. Sergei Fedorov– 554 Assists

Sergei Fedorov

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

4. Alex Delvecchio– 825 Assists

Alex Delvecchio

Photo courtesy of Denis Brodeur/NHLI/Getty Images

3. Nicklas Lidstrom– 878 Assists

Nicklas Lidstrom

Photo courtesy of Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

2. Gordie Howe– 1023 Assists

Gordie Howe

Photo courtesy of Water Iooss Jr./SI

1. Steve Yzerman– 1063 Assists

Steve Yzerman

Photo courtesy of Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

 

The All-Time Red Wings Team

All-time team

Photo courtesy of Carlos Osorio/AP

I have often thought of who would be selected for an all-time greatest Red Wings team. This would be a team that would combine the greatest players from today, my childhood, my dad’s childhood, and even when his dad was growing up. Imagine Steve Yzerman skating the puck into the offensive zone, walking around a defenseman, and dishing the puck off to Gordie Howe, who one-times it into the back of the net. What if Bob Probert was called for a roughing penalty and Kris Draper and Ted Lindsay were sent out as the forwards of the penalty kill with Nicklas Lidstrom and Marcel Pronovost on defense?

I have always known who I would select for my all-time greatest team. In Fall of 2012, Eklund, over at Hockeybuzz, put together a content strategy that had his blog readers vote on the members of each teams’ all-time greatest team. They would compete in simulated games on NHL 2013 after each player would uploaded with the appropriate ratings to create a buzz during the lockout. Detroit’s roster had all of the obvious choices – guys like Yzerman, Howe, Lidstrom, Sergei Fedorov, and Terry Sawchuk, plus a few questionable choices.

Take a look at my team, the Hockeybuzz team, and a team composed of the top scorers by position and decide who you think best exemplifies the Red Wings’ all-time best.

Red Wings Intelligence Team:RWI Team

Hockeybuzz Team:Hockeybuzz Team

Top Scorers Team:
Top Scoring Team

Top 9: All-Time Penalty Minute Leaders

On March 26th, 1997, all hell broke loose at the Joe. Pent up frustrations boiled over during the heated matchup between the Colorado Avalanche and the Red Wings leading to a line brawl with Darren McCarty and “the turtle”, Claude Lemieux, at center stage. With the 17th anniversary of the brawl this past Wednesday, today’s list is going to take a look at the Top 9 penalty minute leaders in Red Wings’ history.

For a look at the fights that happened 17 years ago, visit hockeyfights.com and view the game’s profile. You won’t be disappointed.

Here are the Top 9:

9. Gary Bergman– 1101 PIMS

Gary Bergman

Photo courtesy of Steve Babineau/Getty Images

8. Reed Larson– 1127 PIMS

Reed Larson

Photo courtesy of Steve Babineau/Getty Images

7. Dennis Polonich– 1242 PIMSDennis Polonich

6. Darren McCarty– 1302 PIMS

Darren McCarty

Photo courtesy of Associated Press

5. Ted Lindsay– 1423 PIMS

Lindsay

Photo courtesy of TedLindsay.com

4. Gerard Gallant– 1600 PIMS

Gerard Gallant

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

3. Gordie Howe– 1643 PIMS

Gordie Howe

Photo courtesy of Richard Meek/SI

2. Joe Kocur– 1963 PIMS

Joe Kocur

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

1. Bob Probert– 2090 PIMS

Bob Probert

Photo courtesy of Associated Press

Stats provided by hockeydb.com

Detroit’s Top 9 Goal Scorers

For the initial Top 9, I am going to take a look at the top goal scorers. These players scored the most goals while wearing a Red Wings’ jersey. Guys like Luc Robitaille, Brett Hull, and Marcel Dionne have all put the biscuit in the basket frequently throughout their career, but not enough times while playing for Detroit to make the list. Goals only matter if they are scored in a Red Wings’ uniform anyway.

Statistics are provided by HockeyDB.com. Go there. They have endless data about all stats hockey.

Note: It is Top 9 because Gordie was, and still is, the man.

9. Nicklas Lidstrom– 264 goals

Lidstrom

Photo courtesy of Bill Roose

8. John Ogrodnick– 265 goals

Ogrodnick

Photo courtesy of Steve Babineau/Getty Images

7. Brendan Shanahan-309 goals

Shanahan

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

6. Norm Ullman– 324 goals

Ullman

Photo courtesy of redwings.nhl.com

5. Ted Lindsay– 335 goals

Lindsay

Photo courtesy of TedLindsay.com

4. Sergei Fedorov– 400 goals

Fedorov

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

3. Alex Delvecchio– 456 goals

Delvecchio

Photo courtesy of redwings.nhl.com

2. Steve Yzerman– 692 goals

Yzerman

Photo courtesy of David E. Klutho/Hockey Hall of Hall

1. Gordie Howe– 786 goals

Howe

Photo courtesy of Getty Images