Dislike lingers between Columbus and its original rival: Detroit
THE RIVALRY BETWEEN Ohio and Michigan goes way beyond hockey, so it’s no surprise that for years, the Jackets’ main divisional rival was Detroit. It helped that the Red Wings were perennial contenders, while Columbus couldn’t even get to the post-season. Then the Jackets finally made it, in 2008-09, and, of course, Detroit unceremoniously swept them.
Geography, plus the fact Columbus is also home to Ohio State, the University of Michigan’s chief rival, made this one a no-brainer. And even though the Red Wings are one of the least-truculent teams in hockey these days, players such as Jordin Tootoo have still managed to raise the ire of Blue Jackets fans.
Now that the Motor City Machine is in another division (and lessened in force), Columbus fans may find themselves hating another Midwest neighbor – the Pittsburgh Penguins – more in the future. But you never forget your first hate and Detroit provided a great foil for the lunch pail Blue Jackets.
The two teams meet Nov. 18, Dec. 16 and March 12.
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