The Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks meet one more time as members of the Western Conference starting on Wednesday in a best of seven, semi-finals, series. This rivalry started way back in 1926, the inaugural season for both franchises and according to detroithockey.net, Wednesday night will be the 800th meeting all time between the two clubs. Chicago and Detroit have the most regular season meetings in NHL history, only the Canadiens and Bruins have more games played, including playoffs. This upcoming series between Detroit and Chicago will be their 16th playoff appearance against each other, 7th and final series as members of the Western Conference.
The two teams are tied at 3, in terms of head-to-head in the playoffs since being put together in the west back in 1981. The winner of this 2013 series holds some bragging rights and also earns a trip to the Conference Finals against San Jose or Los Angeles. Unfortunately the Red Wings haven’t been able to defeat Chicago this season, losing all 4 games (3 in overtime/shootout) by a combined 14-5. At this point that record doesn’t mean much for either team, this best of seven is a fresh start for Detroit, coming off a game 7 road victory over Anaheim. Chicago took care of the Minnesota Wild in 5 games.
The Red Wings will have to score a lot more than 5 goals in four games if they want to beat the NHL best Blackhawks and Jimmy Howard will certainly have to play incredible between the pipes. It should be plenty fun though, watching these rivals go at it one more time as Western Conference foes.
A lot of great memories being in the Western Conference, winning multiple Championships and developing fantastic rivalries, but new challenges await Detroit in the Eastern Conference. Both teams started this Central Division (Formerly, Norris Division and Campbell Conference) rivalry in 1981. After this season, it all ends, and if the Blackhawks and Red Wings ever meet again in the NHL playoffs, it’ll be in the Stanley Cup Finals.