I was reading Peter Dewar’s first installment in a series of articles looking ahead to the Columbus Blue Jackets move to the Eastern Conference this coming season, and what it will take to compete in The East next year and beyond. It’s called Joining The Eastern Conference Battle-Pittsburgh Penguins, if you haven’t yet give it a read.
Well that got the hamsters in my head up and running on their wheels. I started thinking about the rivalries we are going to be leaving behind in the Western Conference, and what that could mean to the Blue Jackets in the coming years.
I will be taking a look at each team that comprised the soon to be former Central Division of the NHL’s Western Conference. By far the toughest division that the NHL has seen in recent years. It has been producing at least three if not four teams into the yearly spectacle we call the Stanley Cup Playoffs. More often than not the Blue Jackets were cellar dwellers, but fought night in and night out with some of the heavyweights in their division.
First up is the team that I hold the most contempt for and that’s the Detroit Red Wings. Maybe it’s the fact that they have owned us record wise. Maybe it’s the Buckeye in me, and the fact that they are from that state up North. The real reason probably stems from the fact that they are so damn good, and constant winning breeds hate in the hearts of your rivals.
Detroit is moving East with us, albeit in the opposite division of the Eastern Conference. So this rivalry has little chance of dying off because of our conference swap. That makes me and should make Blue Jacket fans happy, considering the success we showed against the Red Wings this year. Let’s hope that dominance can continue instead of returning to the days of old. Count me in the consensus of fans that are also happy we will get to see Jordin Tootoo again this year. He is deserving of a couple of knuckle sandwiches for some of the antics he pulled against the Blue Jackets last year.