Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 03/30/13 at 12:15 PM ET
By Eli Epstein, TiqIQ
For hockey fans, Original Six matchups are what the sport is built on. Even as it’s expanded to the far reaches of North America, hockey relies on these six teams to be the cornerstone of its history, intensity and vivacity.
In the Midwest, Blackhawks-Red Wings battles are some of the NHL’s most anticipated and hard-fought. So far this season, the matchup has belonged to the Hawks, who’ve bested the Wings twice, each time by a margin of only one goal. The games have been low-scoring, feverishly-paced and decided in the final minutes of the effort. Both Blackhawks victories have come in overtime, with the latter win coming in the shootout.
Once seemingly untouchable, Chicago has become mighty beatable this month, having dropped five games. Last night, in a battle for the top of the Western Conference standings, they were bested by the Anaheim Ducks. Currently, they sit three points ahead of those Ducks for first place in their conference. Defense kills this season for the Hawks, who’ve ceded the third least goals in the league. The Hawks’ goalies have the NHL’s second best save percentage.
Long thought of as perhaps the NHL’s most dominant franchise, the Red Wings have struggled to win consistently in the shortened 2012-2013 campaign. They’re middle-of-the-road in most offensive and defensive categories and their penalty kill is among the league’s bottom 10. Much of that is due to an evolving defensive core that’s increasingly relying on power-hitter Niklas Kronwall to anchor the team’s back end. Luckily, defenseman Jakub Kindl has emerged as a shutdown defensive star for the team.
The average price for Red Wings tickets at Joe Louis Arena Sunday afternoon in Detroit is $166, according to TiqIQ. That’s down a staggering 18 percent this week. Lower-end seats are available for as cheap as $70. The Wings’ home average is $89, which makes this matchup 87 percent more expensive than the Joe Louis norm.
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