Honouring a great but overlooked rivalry

The NHL is screwed up. That's how I'll start this post. The Detroit Red Wings rolled into Montreal this evening. The first we see of them in two seasons. Imagine that; an Original Six team to which the Habs battled many a great games barely play anymore.

The two teams see so little of one another that a ceremony was held to honour 81 years of great tradition. Pure Red Wings legends Gordie Howe, Marcel Dionne, Marcel Pronovost, Alex Delvecchio and Ted Lindsay as well as Chris Chelios were all present. Dickie Moore, Guy Carbonneau, Jean-Guy Talbot, Stephane Richie, Claude Lemieux and the great Jean Beliveau represented the Habs.

Why do we get shivers whenever we hear the names of legends of a time past be called out?

It was interesting to observe that the two captains who took the ceremonial face off - Nick Lidstrom of Detroit and Montreal's Saku Koivu - were Europeans (Swedish and Finnish respectively) among players who for the most part played in a league that was 80% if not 90% Canadian. The number is down to around 60-65% now.

The Wings have revived their franchise. They are easily one of the most successful franchises (along with the New Jersey Devils) in the NHL for the last 15 years and are once again among the best teams in hockey this season. It is hoped by Habs fans that they too can rekindle what was once a glorious franchise.

If that were to ever happen wouldn't it be grand to one day see a Detroit Red Wings vs. Montreal Canadiens ( both holders of dynasties in the 1950s) Stanley Cup final?

First things first; make the Original Six teams play each other more.

By the numbers:

Montreal Canadiens 24 cups in 32 appearances.
Detroit Red Wings 10 cups in 22 appearances.

The two teams met five times in a final with Detroit holding a 3-2 edge. 1966 was the last time they met; Montreal were victorious that year.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Mysterious and anonymous comments as well as those laced with cyanide and ad hominen attacks will be deleted. Thank you for your attention, chumps.