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Quick Hits: The Happy Halloweed Edition

Minnesota Wild v Detroit Red Wings Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images

In Red Wings Land

Around the League

NHL’s ‘national’ schedule is killing passionate division rivalries - Larry Brooks

It is instead a feature of the NHL schedule and a league that has made it its business to devalue rivalries in favor of a more universal schedule that has become a significant factor in the wavering passion and diluted intensity across the league’s six-month tour.

Sometimes I like Larry Brooks’ “Old Man Yells at Cloud” energy. I think the love for the old rivalry stuff was driven by necessity of not having enough teams to prevent clubs from facing each other until everybody was sick to death of it and that absolutely did create a lot of good carryover animosity throughout the season.

That said, it’s hard to argue with him here: The regular season is a grind that is all-too-often procedural. I’d hate to lose out on the opportunity to “see everybody”, but honestly at some point, gate is better served by building ongoing regular-season storylines better than it’s driven by every team seeing every other one. In cases where you’ve got a must-see player then I guess you can make that team see every club on the road.

The Divisional Playoff round is supposed to help solve this, but generally that round ends up feeling more like the start of the animosity and by the time it really gets going for these teams, the round is over.

NHL Power Rankings: 1-32 poll, each team’s biggest surprise - ESPN

Detroit had a busy offseason, acquiring free agents who have contributed to the team’s hot start. Elmer Soderblom is an in-house lineup addition who’s been surprisingly effective early on. The rookie is an intimidating presence on the ice, at 6-foot-6, 220 pounds, and uses that size to his advantage (see: Soderblom undressing Kings defenseman Sean Durzi with an alley-oop pass — to himself). Soderblom’s two goals in five games look like just the beginning of his run.

This ranking which was released on Friday (after Detroit had finished that two-game stretch where they allowed 11 goals) has Detroit having moved up one spot from 16th to 15th and also had Carolina in front of Boston. That’s a bad list!