Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 04/10/13 at 02:58 PM ET
By Matthew Feuerman of TiqIQ,
The Red Wings and Blackhawks get together Friday night in Chicago and tickets are currently averaging $410, making this the most expensive Hawks-Wings tilt this season, according to TiqIQ. Normally, tickets to see the Blackhawks at the United Center average $265/seat, making this matchup is 55% more expensive than the team’s home average. Get-in rates are available for $174 per seat. Prices are down 14%, however, so there's a chance they will continue to drop as game day approaches.
Hockey fans aren’t used to storylines about the Detroit Red Wings fighting for their playoff lives. Normally, the Wings’ postseason chances are seemingly guaranteed the first day of the season, and not like the Panthers’ are. We know the Wings are going to get in. It seems like a foregone conclusion year after year.
This year is different, however.
With nine games left, the Wings are tenuously clinging to playoff life, sitting in eighth place in the East only two points ahead of the surging Stars. It’s not a position Detroit fans are used to or want to become accustomed to.
With Red Wing stalwarts like Nicklas Lidstrom and Tomas Holmstrom spending more time on the couch these days, the dynasty has relied on stars Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg to balance out a young, largely untested roster. While those two have excelled as expected, the rest of the Wings’ young core has struggled to find its bearings. It’s powerplay has been middle-of-the-road, as has its penalty kill, and it’s transitioned into a team that struggles to win close games, a staple of Red Wings squads of yesteryear.
The Chicago Blackhawks haven’t had these same growing pains this year. In fact, they’re the NHL’s top team, and they’ve played like that all season long. They’ve also gone undefeated this year against the Red Wings, including a 7-1 shellacking in late March. After a few sluggish moments in late March, the Hawks have come on again in April, winning four of five this month, including two 1-0 shutouts. When you’ve scored the second most goals in the league and allowed the least, that’s typically a recipe for success, which the Blackhawks this year can attest to.
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