We aren’t quite in the doldrums of the 82-game season, but if the extended list of players on IR tells us anything, it will probably hit us soon enough. The Western Conference is not immune to this, which is why I propose we take a walk down memory lane and fire things up with the return of what many can say was their favorite hockey rivalry: the Detroit Red Wings and the Colorado Avalanche. I personally didn’t get to witness it in real time, but it doesn’t mean I can’t argue for it!
- With Seattle joining the NHL soon, we might as well get ready for inevitable scrambling of divisions. This being said, most talk has been around what to do with the Arizona Coyotes, but the line between East and West gets kind of blurry around Midwestern teams anyway. The Atlantic Division wouldn’t miss Detroit, right?
- To appease the Trusted Hockey Men who still want to keep things like the good ol’ days. We can’t exactly forgo all of the knowledge about player safety that medical technology has given to us since the days of not wearing helmets (insert joke about the Department of Player Safety here), but the fights between these two teams were heated and definitely worth rewatching. I’m sure we can bring back enough bad blood for some highlight-worthy scrums…
- Minnesota v. Colorado isn’t that fun of a rivalry. The Minnesota Wild are in the Central Division, as are my favorite team. Despite this, I am constantly forgetting about them. If you meet up that often but can’t bring yourself to care enough to dislike them, I say it’s not that entertaining of a rivalry. You can take this with a grain of salt if you’d like – I live in New England, so most of the Midwest is out of sight and out of mind.
- Say what you want about Bernier’s tenure in CO, but you kind of miss him. That statement was most likely a projection of my feelings onto you, dear reader. In the end, this is all a business and a game. That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t seek out drama wherever I can get it! Having your number 2 goaltender guide you through a ten-game winning streak and eventually aiding you in your return to the playoffs after an atrocious year prior? Poetic. Cinematic. Leaving you right after for your noted rival? So much potential for that inevitable game against each other! Oh, well. If you need me, I’ll be looking up articles about Nylander negotiation gossip.
- We can appreciate Dylan Larkin and enjoy watching the Red Wings lose at the same time. The fine art of multitasking doesn’t get me very far with schoolwork, but watching two teams with players I like is something I can handle. The Red Wings aren’t doing too well at the moment (#LoseforHughes) and I love watching the Avs win. I tend to not watch Detroit play unless it’s against my team, but I’m also patiently waiting until Larkin becomes captain, because he’s a great player.
After the interesting attempt that was Rivalry Night on NBCSN, I say this is a step in the right direction. Gary Bettman, feel free to hit me up for advice: I’ll be waiting (along with the rest of the FPS crew).