Blackhawks’ Showtime Approaches

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I’d be lying if I said the bitter taste of defeat had entirely left my gaping face hole. In perhaps one of the greatest quotes from one of the world’s most underappreciated films, Rounders, Mike McDermott quotes Jack King from his book “Confessions of a Winning Poker Player”,

“… Few players recall big pots they have won, strange as it seems, but every player can remember with remarkable accuracy the outstanding tough beats of his career.”

Sure, we all remember the 2010 and 2013 championships. Or, at least fragments saved on video or court documents (Pat.). A lot of that is because, a lot of us are losers and don’t win things and because they are monumental achievements – watershed moments – in our otherwise mundane, everyday lives.

It’s why sports are great. It’s why winning at sports is even better.

Even if we are just remembering the memory of those moments, not the true instant itself, we’re not going to wholly forget them. At least not until the depraved bastard of Alzheimer’s comes calling or an unexpected meeting with a drunk driver at 3 am closes the curtain on us forever.nhl-blackhawks_01

Point being, the celebrations were fantastic. I can clearly remember screaming “It’s In!” after Patrick Kane beat Michael Leighton in 2010 (and many other occasions). In 2013, I brought champagne to pop. I remember the feeling of dejection as the third period neared its end. I remember the sudden turn around and hardly believing that something that only cost $4.99 tasted like the greatest thing ever bottled.

I’d be lying if I said those memories were at the forefront of my mind right now. There is a darkness surrounding my hockey mind right now. I can recall with fantastic clarity and awareness of what happened following the deflection off Nick Leddy and past Corey Crawford.

Those crushing defeats that linger like hockey stink. It’s filed away in the shoebox storage that is my brain. Rattling around like an ink black obsidian rock found on vacation. There’s no value to it. No purpose for holding onto it. But, there it is; 10 years later and you can still explain who, why, and the what.

We’re quickly approaching the start of the recovery effort. I hope the Los Angeles Kings enjoyed their time with the Stanley Cup. I honestly don’t have the slightest idea of who did what with it. I don’t care to ever know. It was borrowed time anyways.

October 9th, 2014. 7:30pm.

That is what matters now. What can we expect from that day and moving forward?

-Critics and Real Fans will be hard pressed to find something to complain about this seas…oh. They already are? What about? The ‘tough-guy’ role left vacant by the Brandon Bollig trade? They’re pissing and moaning about that? The Hawks go out and sign Brad Richards to fill the 2LC vacancy that everyone died over forever and now they’re complaining about tough guys? Real Fans kind of suck.

-It’s impossible to ignore the Western Conference. There’s only two or three teams you could label as legitimate Bums compared to the plausible six o’er East. With St. Louis, Anaheim, Los Angeles, and San Jose (ermmpph) still getting a piece of the pie, it’s entirely possible for the Blackhawks to wind up at a less than third seed in the conference again this year. Add in the fact that Dallas, Minnesota, and Colorado look to stay on the UP arrow, not a point can be wasted.

-Overtime. Woof. Those were some shitty games last year, folks. 15 points lost in overtime and they lost the division by five. Penalty kill needs an improvement this season from barely Top-20 of 81.4 percent. Why couldn’t the Hawks dominate in 4-on-4 OT? It used to be their bread and butter.  It’ll be interesting to see what Richards can bring to the odd man units during regulation play as well.

-Crawford is the starting goaltender. Maybe we can get a little less than 27 shots allowed per game? Or is that greedy?

-It will be a defensemen that gets traded. I’m guessing Johnny Oduya for a pick or two. Nobody will take Kris Versteeg for Leddy.

-CORSI is still dumb.

Later this week, I will have my divisions, conference, and champions all on display for you to agree with. I plan on also doing awards because my time is never in demand.

Brennan consents to no searches per his Fourth Amendment right. You can find him on Twitter @midway_brennan