DETROIT -- Jonathan Toews sat in a weary but victorious Chicago Blackhawks dressing room late Monday night, quiet except for the din of interviews and unspooling hockey tape. I asked if he knew how long it had been since the National Hockey League witnessed the occasion his team earned a Game 7 between the Blackhawks and their Original Six rival Detroit Red Wings.
No, Toews replied. How long? Do you know?
1965, I told him.
Oooh, he answered, with a whoosh of air that conveyed three emotions:
1. Im tired.
2. Thats a really long time ago.
3. This is going to be fun.
Fans from every country, province and state except Michigan may rightly view the Blackhawks 4-3 win in Game 6 as a parting gift straight from the hockey gods. The Red Wings will (happily) take leave of the Western Conference next season, reducing their travel significantly while enabling them to renew divisional acquaintances with their Original Six brethren in Toronto, Montreal and Boston.
One casualty of the m...