It’s time to say goodbye to the Joe Louis Arena in downtown Detroit. After countless memories made since 1979, the arena simply known as The Joe in Detroit, will play its last game before heading to their brand new pad across town at Little Caesars Arena.
It looks like it’s going to shape up to be a modern, beautiful looking arena, but it’s going to be difficult for Little Caesars to duplicate the rich history that Joe Louis produced over the years. You can’t forget the hall of famers and legends that have come through this arena, too. It will all come to a crescendo this evening, as the Red Wings welcome the New Jersey Devils for one final matchup.
This is a true going away party, as the Red Wings will not be advancing to the playoffs this season. It’s the first time in twenty-five years that there will not be any postseason hockey being played in Detroit. Joe Louis is certainly not accustomed to closing his doors this early in the year.
This time, though, they’ll never be opened again. There aren’t many other storylines to talk about here with this matchup. The Devils and Red Wings both endured rather forgetful years on the ice, with the Wings probably needing several more years to rebuild, while the Devils have been trying to put everything together over the last few years. Let’s get a winning pick on our last for the regular season. Head below for our Devils vs. Red Wings pick for Sunday.
N.J. Devils vs. Detroit Red Wings Pick
There was a lot of frustration within the Red Wings’ organization when Pavel Datsyuk picked up and left for Russia, but it was understandable, and perhaps an inevitable move. However, the Wings took a massive hit when he decided to go home to finish out his career. Detroit has been feeling the pinch on both ends of the ice without him, but maybe more so on defence.
Datsyuk was one of the best two-way players in the NHL. His ability to backcheck and play a role on defence was unmatched in the league. To the untrained hockey fan, this was often missed. The statistics have helped support this claim, as the Red Wings are allowing 3 goals per game, 26th in the league. The defence has witnessed a steady decline over the past few seasons, but it took a major hit in 2016-17.
Likewise, the Devils have been suffering on defence as well. They’re just a bit better than the Wings, as they’ve allowed 2.93 goals per game for 25th in the NHL. In their last ten games, they’ve given up 3 goals per game. The Penguins mauled them for 7 goals in their last outing on the 6th.
Nothing more than a bona fide recreational hockey game tonight in Detroit. Although, for the Red Wings it’s more than that given the circumstances. With these two lackluster defences going toe-to-toe, I expect an exciting conclusion to the curtain call at Joe Louis Arena. For our Sunday NHL pick, I like the OVER to come through for us.
PICK: OVER 5 (-115)