RECORDS: Hawks 42-19-5 Wings 25-29-11
PUCK DROP: 6:30pm Central
TV: CSN, NHLN for those not around here
THE UNMENTIONABLES: Winging It In Motown
ADJUSTED TEAM CORSI %: Hawks – 51.2 (9th) Wings – 47.4 (25th)
ADJUSTED TEAM xGF%: Hawks – 49.2 (17th) Wings – 47.3 (27th)
POWER PLAY %: Hawks – 19.3 (15th) Wings – 12.6 (Dead Ass Last)
PENALTY KILL %: Hawks – 77.2 (27th) Wings – 81.3 (13th)
The last game at the Joe. There probably won’t be any tear shed by any Hawks fan. I suppose there’s some feeling of lost that this is basically the last “old” building in the league, and it’s going to go the way of all the others. Soon, the Wings will move into yet another faceless, corporate, sterile building to go with their faceless, sterile team. But for Hawks fans, the amount of fucksticks and shitheels that used to grace the surface at Joe Louis Arena will mean sentimentality will certainly be at a minimum.
This is where Vladimir Konstant-Jerkoff crosschecked Jocelyn Lemieux in the mouth like the chicken shit he was. This is where Bob Probert tried to repeatedly sucker punch Jeremy Roenick. This was home to the infinite number of slashes from Dino Ciccarelli before he went home without his pants. Shawn Burr, Dave Barr, Gerrard Gallant, Joey Kocur, we could go on and on. All the games that turned into a bar fight between the Hawks and Wings. And then when the Wings grew up, all the blowouts where they were simply laughing at us, back in our stone age as they mounted up the banners. Kozlov’s series winner. Helm’s series winner. Toews’s second period. Campbell turning the puck over in overtime. Kris Fucking Draper.
And yet there are happier memories too. It’s Dirk Graham scoring to set up a sweep in ’92. It’s Frolik’s penalty shot. It’s Brendan Smith… well, Brendan Smith. Kane’s tying goal in the ’13 season during the streak. The touchdown they would put up later that season. Versteeg and Eaves throwing fucking sledgehammers at each other. It wasn’t all bad.
It all comes to an end tonight, and you wonder what the buzz about the Wings will be after that. Because it sure as hell isn’t on the roster.
It’s not that I’m tired of writing about how wretched this Wings team is, because I never will be. It really is. They’re dead ass last in the East. If it wasn’t for the utter helplessness of the Avalanche and Coyotes, they’d be dead ass last in the entire league. And they deserve to be there. They’ve watched all their kids that Pierre McGuire spent years telling us would carry the torch drop said torch and burn the Joe down. Larkin is in a sophomore slump. Anthony Mantha is going to be a healthy scratch tonight. Andreas Athanasiou is the fastest skater in the league but might be just Salmaleinen-plus. Tatar and Nyquist have taken a step back. The blue line is still hilariously bad. And there’s no help coming, other than what they can do with the third to fifth pick in June. Maybe that will be the highlight for those going to the draft at the UC, getting to see the Detroit brass up there so early and pretending like they’re happy to be there.
Last time the Wings were on the ice, they were giving up a touchdown to the Bruins in Boston, and that was on NBCSN because they’re still under the impression that there’s anyone out there who still has the slightest interest in watching this dreck. Even Wings fans don’t. So maybe they’ll be a little more inspired tonight after getting embarrassed. But it might not matter .
For the Hawks, Crawford will keep rolling in net because there isn’t another option. Wouldn’t imagine there would be any other lineup changes but maybe Kempny gets back in or Tootoo is scratched or something.
The Hawks sent the Wings out of the West with one last loss. Let’s close out the Joe the same way.