Earlier this season, I had a very brief sit down with Columbus and explained a reality: Detroit is just not that into you. As a rival, I mean.
The Wings once had a rivalry with Colorado that mattered, so I guess they might consider them a top opponent. They once had one with Chicago, so there’s that too. I think they might even consider St. Louis a rival. Regardless, I don’t think they’ve historically had you very high on their list of teams they’re concerned about.
Why’s that, you ask?
As per @aportzline, the Columbus Blue Jackets have NEVER finished within 20 points of the Detroit Red Wings. “Was 59 pts one year!”
— Mark Spector Sports (@SportsnetSpec) April 23, 2013
According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary “rivalry” is defined as “not that.”
I did a little check to ensure that was right, and check this out – it’s never been close. Chart time!
Total points since the Columbus Blue Jackets have existed:
CBJ: 803 points
Det: 1218 points
Difference: 415 points, meaning Detroit has finished ahead of Columbus by an average of 37.7 points-per-season. Being an expansion team explains the early days, but still, it’s never really been close. Also, please note that the Red Wings have cleared 100 points every season since Y2K.
This year the Blue Jackets sit in the final playoff spot, one point ahead of their “rival” Detroit, with Red Wings beating ferociously in their rear-view mirror.
How refreshing that must be.
Detroit: Los Angeles (home), Dallas (home), Nashville (road)
Columbus: Dallas (road), Nashville (home)
The Blue Jackets may get in, they may not. But either way, this year’s team has accomplished something more than every previous Columbus team – they’ve done more than just get on Detroit’s radar, they’ve become a significant problem for them. And after all this time, that ain’t worth nothin’.