After analyzing the regressive shuffling of NHL clubs last night, “Our rivalry basically just ended”, is what I sent via Facebook to a pal who roots for San Jose. This is not entirely true, but last night a message was sent to all, that what we have been asking for is on its way: A dramatic decrease in trips to California and Western Canada.
Actually, this is not entirely true either. A union ratification is pending.
But an NHLPA approval of this realignment seems to be a given.
All of Detroit, dislocated fans included, should be pleased by this change.
Detroit can now inflict even more wounds on the petty psyches of Chicago fans, with more grievous blows to come. This will be fun.
The days when Detroit surges to the top of the conference playfully while establishing a very cozy cushion in points have ended, for now. However, this does not mean that playoff appearances are seriously jeopardized.
Adding Dallas and Minnesota to our “division” makes the regular season even more challenging. By the same token, a more arduous regular season is a welcomed sacrifice for a guarantee that the Wings will not have to go coastal during the playoffs until a hypothetical third round.
This could all change very quickly, of course. The future of the Coyotes is uncertain. A movement of that franchise would be the impetus for another reshuffling.
The third round format is yet to be decided, so something goofy could be decided on, and this marshaling suddenly becomes an enormous pain. I doubt this will happen, though.
Under this new system, a hot Red Wings team could win several Stanley Cups in short order. On the other hand, a team must finish fourth or higher regardless of the conference’s numerical strength. Detroit is in the “8” club.
Like I said before, a riskier regular season is worth a smoother itinerary in the playoffs.
The league will be molded into “donferences”. This is not a clever coinage in the least, but I’m claiming it anyway.
This is what we wanted.