Pardon me. I have a head injury. Is this the bus stop?
We've mentioned numerous times on this site and in our game-day paper that it has frustrated us in the last decade that even when the Blues have a decent team, Red Wings fans dismiss us and our hockey team. We talk about the rivalry from the St. Louis perspective; Detroit fans say there is no rivalry.
We'd now like to agree with Detroit fans, there is no rivalry. Until the Wings can show they can beat the Blues on a consistent basis, that is. So thanks Wings fans for showing us the light. While you're content to play up the rivalry with the assholes from Chicago, we'll gladly take the two points from the Wings. And while it's not a large sample size, the NHL is all about "what have you done for me lately?" One month you're a finalist for the Jack Adams Award for coach of the year. Six months later, you're out.
Last night the Blues won 3-2. The Wings kept it close for much of the game before the Blues jumped out to a 3-1 lead. A questionable power play where David Perron was pushed into Jimmy Howard and the referees called interference (unlike the times the Wings fell on Brian Elliott) was how Detroit was able to make it look close on the scoreboard.
Back on Nov. 15, the Blues won 2-1. The officials tried giving the Wings help in that one too with 15 minutes of power play time. Okay, Chris Stewart deserved the five minute major for boarding, but the Blues penalty kill kept the Wings off the board all six power plays. It was early in the Ken Hitchcock regime, just four games in. So the Blues really weren't comfortable with Hitchcock's system or expectations. That's probably why the outcome was so close.
Back on March 12 last year was the last time the Blues scored two power play goals in one game, a 10-3 crushing defeat of the Red Wings in Detroit. Chris Porter scored twice. Cam Janssen got into the scoring act. The stick boy and assistant trainer were a combined plus-2, I think. That was really the beginning of the Blues domination. That's three wins in a row for a combined score of 15-5.
Oh sure, the Blues have taken their share of beatings from Detroit in the past, golly yes. But that's ancient history. You know, similar to how Detroit fans don't remember the Blues winning a President's Trophy or making the playoffs for 25 straight seasons while Steve Yzerman was often out golfing in mid-April. No, if we can't talk track record for the Blues, then we shouldn't for the Wings either. We must live in the present, a present where the Blues dominate the Wings who are led in scoring by...Johan Franzen. (Yikes. The king is dead, long live the king.)
In the past after Wings games, I've been known to talk shit with visiting fans. I spout off a little, drop a few curse words, shake my head. It was all very mature, I assure you. But Tuesday night after the Blues controlled the flow of play and had the upper hand on the scoreboard, in the corners and in front of the crease, I didn't say anything to a single WIngs fan on the way out of the building. I guess I just don't see them as legitimate competition anymore.
It's sad, seeing the end of the rivalry. But take heart, Wings fans. After the Blues fight it out with the Hawks for Central Division supremacy this year, the Wings will still have their rivalries with Columbus and Nashville to keep you motivated to not fill those empty seats in Joe Louis Arena during a long, cold winter. Good luck with that.