I tweeted this just a minute ago but, for reference if nothing else, I think this deserves a post.
With the Red Wings downing the Colorado Avalanche, 5-1, in Colorado’s last trip to Joe Louis Arena, 22 teams have made their final appearance at the Joe. The Wings have won eleven of those and lost eleven.
They’ve beaten Colorado, Chicago, Washington, Boston, Pittsburgh, Anaheim, Dallas, Vancouver, Carolina, San Jose, and Nashville.
The NY Rangers, the NY Islanders, St. Louis, Columbus, Los Angeles, Arizona, Philadelphia, Florida, Calgary, Edmonton, and Winnipeg have won their JLA finales.
Looking at those lists, I think I’m pretty happy with that. I mean, you want to win them all, but there are teams you want to beat more than others. It’d have been nice to send the Rangers or the Blues packing with a loss. I’d trade one of them for a win over Washington. But closing out the Joe with wins over the Avalanche, Blackhawks, Bruins, Penguins, Ducks, Stars, Sharks, and Predators? That’s a small bit of respectability in an otherwise pretty dismal season.
New Jersey, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Minnesota, Tampa Bay, and Buffalo have all yet to play their final JLA game.
For the record, among defunct teams the Wings beat the Colorado Rockies, Minnesota North Stars, and Hartford Whalers in their last visits to the Joe, while losing to the Atlanta Flames, Quebec Nordiques, Winnipeg Jets, and Atlanta Thrashers.