Sports

3 things to look for during Hawks-Wings

The hockey gods put the fix in.

Now the fans have a nice warm feeling about old-school hockey.

The Blackhawks and Detroit will renew a decades-old rivalry in the Western Conference semifinals starting Wednesday. It's the first time they have met in the postseason since the Red Wings eliminated the Hawks in the 2009 Western Conference finals.

More important, this will be the last time the two Original Six franchises face off as division rivals, as the Red Wings head to the Eastern Conference next season. Here are a few things to look for during this series:

Look for similarities between the current Blackhawks and the late '90s/early 2000s Red Wings.

A core of offensively gifted players, skilled blue liners, a pipeline of young players, above average coaching, adding veteran players when needed and keeping them. That was the formula to the Red Wings' recent Stanley Cup wins. Of course, there are no catchy nicknames associated, such as Detroit's "Grind Line" or "Russian Five," with these Hawks. Still, this Chicago team was constructed in a similar way.

Look for Michigan transplants to be constantly reminded of the decision they made to live in Chicago.

People who relocated to Chicago from Michigan are well aware that local hockey fans do not care for the Red Wings. I hope they knew that before they made the move. I know some really nice people who are Red Wings fans. Just because we like you and our cars might be made in Michigan doesn't mean we have to like your favorite hockey team. Sorry guys and gals, it's going to be a tough two weeks for you.

Progressive Blackhawks fans will look to end the "Detroit Sucks" chant.

It's easy to say and it rolls right off the tongue. But face it: It's a dumb and outdated chant. I'll admit, I've been one of the 300-level guys who yelled that chant during games. Later, I realized I did it out of jealousy. The continued consistency of the Detroit franchise is impressive. Blackhawks fans should hope that some of that consistency can rub off on their own team franchise. Let's stop being fan "dumb."

Evan F. Moore is a RedEye special contributor.

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