It just had to end this way. It wouldn’t seem right otherwise.
The Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings, two proud Original Six franchises, will meet in the playoffs for the last time as Central Division rivals tonight in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals.
The NHL division realignment comes into effect next season as the Red Wings will be moving to the Eastern Conference along with the Columbus Blue Jackets in order to ease conflicts with playing in different time zones.
The Hawks and Wings certainly aren’t saying goodbye; under the new system, each team is required to visit every arena at least once during the regular season–a move that will allow teams to retain their respective rivalries.
Speaking of rivalries, tonight’s matchup marks the 800th overall meeting–regular or postseason–between the two teams. Let’s take a look back one of NHL’s greatest rivalries:
History of Blackhawks vs. Red Wings
All-Time Series (Regular and Postseason): Detroit leads 433-355-85
Number of Meetings: 799
First Meeting: November 24, 1926, Red Wings won 1-0 at Chicago Coliseum
Regular Season Meetings: 725
Regular Season Series: Detroit leads 398-316-85
Postseason Meetings: 74, Chicago leads 39-35
Postseason Series: Chicago leads 8-7