I wondered how long it would take us to get here – how long until everyone in Chicago and around the country, including the great Jeremy Roenick would start blasting the lack in goal production of the Chicago Blackhawks to the rest of the Nation on national television. But there he was and there we continue to be – all of us collectively together starting to write off the best thing in this town because they’re 6-5-1, because they’ve been shut out in almost 100 minutes of hockey, because Q continues his line blending only now its deeper and with the entire team. Regardless, lets pump the proverbial breaks for a few moments.
Of all the articles that I have read, everyone has made mention to everything that has been going on, so to make mention of it again, seems more than redundant. So redundant I can’t be, nor do I wish to find the words to reiterate the sentiments – instead I would like to remind a few people, more like the masses, of a few things – more like a million bunched into something I’ll call, “THE SHORT, in the long of it."
Tinker Toys are for Kids, line blending is for Q, Kitch & Kev, and the nail biting is left for us –
Let’s not stress ourselves over who is playing with whom and what line it is. This is a hockey team and this hockey team plays in 2014. Less we forget, they are also a championship hockey team, eighteen of which have hoisted Lord Stanley's cup, seventeen of those young men have done so as a Chicago Blackhawk. The old ways of four denoted and specifically categorized lines is all but over with, the only thing still around is the enforcers role and as we all know Q loves the role and for good measure. The thing about the enforcer is it helps free up space for superstars, and a few of those superstars we do have in Chicago – stop arguing everyone, start watching, start embracing, every ounce of it! And even embrace Danny Carcillo darn it! He’s an upcoming father and repeat Cup contender – he’s not here to mess around anymore- proof is in the pudding. He's taken more penalties than he gave before his injury. When he's back, you'll see his heart fly up and down the ice again... Remember he only makes $550,000 this year and it just might be his last. If this wasn't Chicago, if this wasn't the Chicago Blackhawks... I'd talk about his heart more and remind other players of it, but we all know this roster has more than one of those, why beat another dead horse with another broken record player.
Remember, remember the fourth of MOvember- so we're slumping, not scoring goals, in need of a breakout game, somewhere, somehow... Well, Montreal sounds like a great place. The Habes are no joke and even more so, neither is Carey Price. What better an opportunity to shut the critics and league up by putting four or five past Mr. Gold medal himself on his own ice? The lines are projected for tonight and one has caught my eye... Smith - Toews - Kane at the top of it all. Remember when I mentioned the enforcer role, well Ben Smith will be skating in those shoes tonight but will be asked to play hockey also, and thankfully we all know Benny boy can certainly take care of, grind the boards for, and distribute the puck both in his zone and in the oppositions more than well on any given night. There's only one thing about the blender that gets me frustrated often, no Toews/Kane line... But when you have players like the Hawks do, why not spread them out? It only makes sense, but it seems it might be time to put them back together... With Brad Richards' Windy City legs finding their way beneath him, the idea of "blank -Toews -Kane followed by Sharp - Richards -Hossa has me giddy... Those lines gush with experience, poise and skill. If there ever was a storybook night to right the ships course... It's certainly election night in America... So I say again, remember, remember the fourth of MOvember... For I foresee plenty of reasons as to why this 2014-2015 season will slowly never be forgot.
The LONG of it – The 82 game regular season is anything but it’s title of regular. There will be slumps, records, injuries and of course, we still have four months until the trade deadline occurs and we’ll all have another thing to clamor around about, but right now there is only one thing that should be in the back of Hawks minds and those of Chicagoans as we embark on this new month – these are FIRST WORLD, DYNASTY, CHAMPION problems. To talk about a slump or a problem twelve games into the year is ridiculous. To get upset with a coach looking at what is going to put his team over the top, is nutty, even for us that love the polar vortex and go sledding in it! To be frustrated with the front office when all they have done is prove every doubter wrong, is just insanity. Does anyone remember why we’re here? Does anyone remember the point to the season? It’s to make it to the post season, it’s to shorten the season to a measely sixteen games. That’s all it takes, SIXTEEN games… but you can’t roll off sixteen without figuring it all out first and sometimes that takes twelve, twenty four or even maybe sixty two games, but the point is… Q is the winningest active coach in all of hockey. Better than Babcock, Julien, Hitchcock and Suter. (Two of which coached Toews, among others to a gold medal last summer) Let him do his thing. Again, less we forget, here in Chicago we have a goal, it may be copied elsewhere in the league, on the continent, maybe in the world, transcending to other sports, maybe even other careers, but here it rings true – ONE GOAL. This is Cup or bust town, this is slowly becoming, if it hasn’t already officially become, HAWKEYTOWN.
If this has changed, please wake me from my slumber, because I must be dreaming. I must now be living elsewhere, where the idea is that one wins the division, wins the Presidents Trophy and one gets a shot at the cup, right!? WRONG! In Chicago, we make it work, we find what’s wrong and fix it. Sure, this is arguably the best division in hockey; of course, it’s the best conference, but who wants to raise a President’s trophy banner, and/or a division champion banner and not a sixth STANLEY CUP banner next October? Did you raise your hand? Did you get upset that Saad was on the fourth line Sunday night? Then shake yourself awake too, you’re in Saint Louis - we’re both in Saint Louis, and we're both in coma's. I’ll remind you when the Hawks were down two games to none to the Blues in the opening round of the playoffs last year. It was the end of the world, Corey was the worst, we couldn’t score, it was over… and worst, it’d be the Blues to bounce us. But low and behold, Corey became accountable, Toews led, Kane was magical and the boys just played hockey. Fun to watch, heartfelt, pride filled, magnificent hockey. We may not have won the cup, may not have made the final, but to my recollection there was only five games last year played without the Blackhawks playing hockey – that scenarios a long way from now.
The Hawks always have needed something to get them going, maybe this is it – maybe the fourth of MOvember will mark the true start of the journey. Maybe it won’t, regardless, my money’s still on Chicago to be around in June – and yes I’m awake… I can still see the SEARS TOWER!