For this weekend home-and-home, we decided to combine the Three Questions piece into one article. I mean, how many questions can you really ask someone? JJ From Kansas from Winging It In Motown obliges us one more time.
1. How annoyed are Wings fans that they're just 1-2-0 against Columbus so far? Is there something Columbus does that brings out the worst in the Wings' play?
JJ: Not to be mean, but it's embarrassing to have a losing record against the team that's threatening to climb out of 29th place in a league of 30. I don't know specifically what it is, but the three Columbus games (even the win) have been three of the Wings' worst performances this season as far as putting in full-game efforts. I'm going to guess that the Jackets intentionally play possum early to lull Detroit into a false sense of security and then wear them down as the game goes on. It's a dangerous gameplan, but it's earned the Jackets 5 points in 3 games played against Detroit so far.
2. Along those lines, however, the Wings have gone 5-1-1 since that last-second regulation loss to Columbus last time out. What's been different? Was that game a bit of a wake-up-call?
JJ: I think that loss to the Jackets was the culmination of a few wake-up calls that the Wings finally heeded. That was the third time in those five games the Wings were up 2-0 and ultimately lost. While Detroit has still struggled with finishing games (most notably the collapse against Chicago), they're getting much deeper into them before the trouble starts. I'm hoping that they finally got the message that this Red Wings team isn't good enough to play lazy hockey, even when sitting on leads.
3. This home-and-home is basically the end of an era for these two clubs. They're both moving East, yes, but they'll be in separate divisions. Are the Red Wings sad to see us split up at all, given the big/little brother rivalry that's developed (at least, down here) since the playoffs on 2009? Or, do the Red Wings not even care about Columbus?
JJ: Honestly, the first-round sweep kind of derailed anything that could have been a real brewing rivalry. While I don't speak for all Wings fans, I never really had much of a hate for the Jackets. Many times I found myself rooting for them to get better just so the games between the two teams would get more-entertaining (while hoping the Wings wouldn't get worse to make the same thing come true). If anything, I'm going to be wishing the Jackets well in their new division as Pittsburgh's new "little brother."
Our thanks to JJ. Head over to WIIM to get their perspective on these games!