Posted tagged ‘Chicago Blackhawks’

The Cup Resides in Chicago – Some Thoughts in The Afterglow

June 12, 2010

 

It finally happened…. 

In my lifetime… 

The Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup! 

Ahhh, the celebration amidst friends and family was sweet indeed.  I was hoping to have pics by now of us celebrating, and me wearing my Bobby Hull autographed sweatshirt, but will post those when I receive them via email. 

There was a time, right after the Hawks bumped off the Sharks, that I thought the Cup was going to be theirs.  I wasn’t going to make predictions though, or write about their shortcomings, or about how Patrick Kane still rubs me the wrong way a little bit.  I just thought that the worst competition was eliminated and that Philadelphia wouldn’t be that tough – but then I hadn’t really seen much of any of the Flyers’ games.  

I really want to take my hat off to Philly.  I mean, they ground, and crashed, and limped and fought the Hawks all the way.  While all eyes were looking at Anti Niemi to be the weak spot, nobody looked to Michael Leighton.  Sure he was great earlier in the playoffs but he’s still Michael Leighton and against a high firepower team like the Hawks, I wasn’t sure he could handle it.  

In the end, Niemi wasn’t a weak spot, even though he wasn’t great either. 

Michael Leighton was a weak spot.  

Goalies.  This series showed how important they can be in a game.  If either goalie got relatively hot in this series- I don’t mean scalding Patrick Roy hot,  just a notch above Anti Niemi- the series would’ve definitely gone to that team.   

Philly needs to look at their goaltending situation in the off season.  That last goal just shouldn’t happen. Period. 

Speaking of which, that has to be the most bizarre finish to a tournament competition in the history of sports.    We sat there watching, not sure to jump and scream or wait for the next face off or what.  Kane saw it go in , and Leighton knew it was in as well (I just think Leighton was trying to sell it to the ref that he had it in his pads and was hoping for a whistle.)  Everyone else just looked and thought, “What happened?”  (I love how Anti Niemi acted when Kane jumped him.  He acted like someone in an airport getting hugged by a person who mistook him for someone else.) 

Then there’s this song from YouTube that pokes fun at how many people jumped on the Blackhawks Bandwagon.  To be truthful, it got frustrating in how getting tickets for the Blackhawks was like getting tickets for the Chicago Cubs.  I mean, sure you could get tickets, but the tickets from the 300 level and above were the first ones to sell out.  It just cost too darn much and was too hard to get a group of folks together for a game at a reasonable price.   I mean, there can’t be that many people who know hockey in this city, right? 

But, as with the Cubs, when everybody loves a team (incidentally, I’m a Sox fan) everyone left doesn’t want to be left out. (Witness 2 million people at the rally today!)  One thing is for sure: John McDonough and crew know how to market.  

Still, here my brothers and I had a Blackhawk head painted on the floor of our basement when we were kids in the early 70’s!  (It’s still there when we sold the house this May, as this picture will attest.) 

The Hawks Emblem on the Basement Floor from My Childhood - Look Closely, it's There.

 

So yeah, it felt at times that it was (more…)

Thoughts on the Blackhawks and the Devil’s Trapezoid

March 14, 2010

We’re coming into the home stretch of the season and some things are beginning to bug me.

1.  The Blackhawks.  There is something about the way they are playing that is making me feel uncomfortable.  I can’t put my finger on it though.  The last two losses to the Caps and Flyers didn’t help that feeling.  It’s not about goaltending, even though it’s been less than solid.  It’s a team dynamic thing.  It’s about giving up goals in bunches.  It’s about perhaps being too cocky or confident.  It’s about not being able to always put teams away.  It was summed up when Captain Jonathan Toews said today, “We’ve got the most skill in the league, on any team.  There’s no reason, up 3-0, we can’t go out and finish the team off.” 

He’s right that the Hawks should be able to finish of a team when they’re up 3-0, but I don’t buy that the Hawks are the most skilled team in the league – and most teams in the NHL don’t think that either.  So now, when teams are looking for that extra something to make the playoffs, they’ll have Toew’s  little tidbit posted on their locker room walls.  It’s bad enough that teams are gunning for you because you’re a top team but to say you’re the most skilled team will just tick some teams off and make the Blackhawk’s road to the Cup that much more difficult.

I do value that as Captain he’s trying to fire the boys up, and hopefully he knows his team best and they will respond.    But, only time will tell…

2. Please, please PLEEEEEASE get rid of the stupid trapezoid behind the net (It was such a relief and pleasure to watch Olympic hockey without it).  Last night I watched a game where the puck was trickling to the goal line and a player from the other team was bearing down on the goalie but still was a few strides away (a teammate was coming down the opposite boards).  The goalie accidentally touched the puck almost in the corner and was given a delay of game penalty.  I was stunned.  I know that’s what’s given for the infraction but here the goalie clearly kept play moving and prevented a lull where the puck would’ve died just past the goal line and we would’ve waited for someone to catch up to the puck.  A Delay of Game?  Why not call it a ‘Bettman’?  

New Jersey Penalty, Number thirty, Martin Brodeur, 2 minutes for a Bettman at 14:36, Brodeur 2 minutes for a Bettman at 14:36.  Penalty being served by….”

That has a ring to it!

Do Patrick Kane and Leif Garrett Look Alike? and Other Random Thoughts

December 29, 2009

What do you think?

I now figured out what drives me nuts about Patrick Kane.  He looks like Leif Garrett.

What do you think?

On other notes, what is it with the NHL having the Winter Classic in Fenway Park and why don’t fans complain about this blatant lack of concern for their comfort or their pocket books?  Just like in Wrigley Field, the fans will be nowhere near the ice and in fact will be even further away because of the Green Monster in left field.  I’m sure Boston College has an outdoor stadium, or  MIT perhaps?

Thoughts?

Cheli Coming to the Wolves?

October 8, 2009

My 8 year old called me a little over an hour ago.

“Hey, Uncle Mikey, did you hear the Chris Chelios is going to play with the Wolves?”

I was stunned, “Oh yeah?”

“Yeah.  This should help them and maybe help them go all the way this year!”

Still stunned and clutching the phone to my head I got on the internet and found this article.

I can’t say it’s a bad move.  Having Cheli around will give some stabilization and toughness to the defense and supply some defensive leadership. 

I know, I know, he’s 47 years old.  But if he’s been staying in shape, and if he wants a crack at the NHL then why not?

The more I think about it – the more I like it.  But, don’t just take my opinion – ask my nephew…

Hockey is Underway! (Drew MacIntyre – Get a New Mask, bro…)

October 3, 2009

Hockey is officially underway.  The Blackhawks came away with three of four points against the Panthers.  They looked good in the second game and they capitalized on Florida’s flatness.  The first game the Hawks had a tougher time putting the Panthers away and it cost them a point.  It looked  a lot like last year in some ways, but the season is too young to jump to any conclusions.

The Wolves also started out with a loss tonight against the Milwaukee Admirals.  Great crowd of over 10,000 but the Wolves fell flat for a period and it cost them the game.  What bothered me about the game though was not so much the play  of any particular players but Wolves goalie Drew MacIntyre’s, Milwaukee Admirals mask.

mask2 michaelplishka2009mask1 michaelplishka 2009

Drew,  I know you’re playing against your former team but that’s even more a reason to get your new mask done before you play them.   Also, I know goalies like their equipment but while you’re at it, could you ditch those blue pants and get some black ones?

Wolves fans everywhere thank you.

Kane Agrees to Plea Deal

August 27, 2009

monopoly-get-out-of-jail-free-card

Well, as expected, Kane pleaded guilty to lesser charges and as a result has to issue a written apology to the cab driver and stay out of legal trouble for a year.

What this essentially says is that the evidence against Kane was strong enough that he most likely would have been convicted of more serious charges had this gone to court.  In other words, odds are him and his cousin beat the cabbie up over twenty cents.  I still can’t believe a person can be that shallow.

Speaking of shallow, his apologies, though I realize they’re crafted in legal-eze,  for “causing pain” to everyone and for being in a “regrettable situation“, don’t really get to the core of what happened and instead perpetuate the perception that he really didn’t do anything wrong,  he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and the fact that people are emotionally hurt and scarred by this, to the extent that it was due to his being in the wrong place at the wrong time, he’s sorry for that. 

Dude, step up and apologize publicly to the cabbie for beating him up.  If not that, go face to face with the dude and be a man.

It will be interesting to see how he’s treated by the fans when the season starts.

Patrick Kane – Fact and Spin

August 11, 2009

facts