I don’t really remember the first time he told me he was thinking about giving up season tickets, but I do remember that the handful of times he brought it up to me I would beg him to reconsider. My excuses for my family to drop thousands of dollars on brutal hockey was shaky at best: What if they’re good, dad? I like watching other teams’ great players come and play. You’ve had them too long to give them up. Someone who won’t appreciate the game will buy your seats.
I’m sure there were more poorly thought out reasons that I came up with.
I was probably in junior high the first time he mentioned it to me — little did we know that the futility of this franchise would last through college. I’m sure he and my mother had talked about it for much longer. We weren’t rich people, the money for season tickets wasn’t throwaway cash to us. In my late 20’s I’m just starting to understand the sacrifices that my parents made for me to play hockey 12 months a year, send me to college, and make sure that I was happy. Paying for season tickets to watch the Blackhawks seems insane to me now. More >
Game 6 is on the horizon and the boys chat about how in the hell the Blackhawks managed to get into the driver’s seat of the Stanley Cup Final. More >
After dropping game 5 in OT, the Blackhawks have their backs up against the wall and Game 6 at the UC. Jeff, Jim, and Tom collectively freak out about Bryan Bickell, how the team started Game 5, and talk about what they think will happen in Game 6. Listen after the jump. More >
On the Ed Belfour edition of Cheer the Podcast, Adam checks in from Italy while the guys talk about the longest game in Blackhawks history, the Blackhawks’ defensive issues, and what it all means as the Hawks head home. Listen after the jump. More >
The fellas discuss how exactly the Blackhawks have turned on the jets and put themselves up 3 games to 0 on the Wild, Teuvo’s impact, and they look ahead to the next series. Listen after the jump.
Well then.. After an uncertain 1st Round against the Preds, the Hawks appear to be rounding into Championship form this series. They’ve won both handily, the stars are shining, the supporting cast is doing its job, their goalie is solid (yes, really) and the lines and lineup are about as optimal as they can be. The Wild have not had a lead for a single second thus far and are heading back home without the smash & grab win you feel they really needed. Of course, it’s only been two games and this time last year the Hawks headed to St Paul with a similar advantage and promptly got their asses handed to them so we’ll not be getting the Corey Perry photoshops out just yet. But there’s reasons to be cheerful this morning and we’ll get to them directly.
The entire stateside CtA crew got together to do talk about the Hawks vs. #perds series, what to expect against Minnesota, dream scenarios for the Blues, Q’s roster choices, and everyone makes fun of Tom for eating McDonald’s. Listen after the jump. More >
Tom and Jim hop on the air to talk about the Blues failures and the Jets being bad. Topics covered: Bad goaltending, sad Blues fans Tweets, is the Central Division really that good? and more… Listen after the jump: More >
This series was very much a Ugandan action movie: part entertaining, part excruciating, mostly just glad it’s over and I don’t have to look at it any more. Nashville chased Newport News, IL (or is that Lemont, Va?) native Scott Darling then blew a two-goal lead and really didn’t look like they wanted to be there, much less go to the 2nd Round (considering they’d have to visit either St Louis or St Paul, that’s completely understandable). The Hawks got it done, in regulation no less, and can take a few days off while pointing and laughing at the Blues & the Wild. let’s get into it:
Anyway, Nicolas-Cage based antics aside, this series is now 2-1 and the Hawks now have a chance to make the return to Nashville an elimination game (Which sounds like a tortuous setup for a urine -based pun, but I won’t go there…heh, heh). Despite some reversals , especially in the immediate aftermath of scoring a goal, and some curious coaching decisions, the Blackhawks dominated this one for long stretches and were well worth the win. Shall we address the matter at hand? We shall.
Somehow this series is tied 1-1. The Blackhawks deserve to be opening up game 3 at United Center down 2-0 and needing to be desperate. They’re still comfortable right now, it seems. They’ve miraculously taken home ice advantage back despite being the worse team in both contests.
The goaltending “controversy” happening in Chicago is taking center stage in the media and even in the locker room. Scott Darling is getting the start this afternoon, but that’s masking the fact that the Hawks have been hot garbage in front of whichever guy is standing in the blue paint and it’s been that way for weeks.
You know it’s the playoffs when the Tribune’s Dumbass-In-Chief, David Haugh, stops fretting about Kris Bryant long enough to give we mere mortals the benefit of his wisdom. Yesterday, he pinched off a real steamer about the “Goalie Controversy” ahead of Game 2. Needless to say, it’s down to his usual level of gibberish but fear not, intrepid reader, I’ve gone behind the paywall so you don’t have to.
Hello and welcome to Narrative Heaven. Last night had a bit of everything, didn’t it? A first period meltdown, Roszival and Shaw being terrible, the goalie getting pulled and replaced by the “local” boy, the comeback, the fourth year in a row we go to overtime in the Hawks’ Game 1, action, drama, redemption, MOAR OVERTIME and finally Victory and a win on the road that starts this series off the Flahavans’ Way. In addition, I was kept up until 6am by Playoff hockey.. oh, how I’ve missed that.
Let’s get into this, shall we?
Those of you who were around this site last year may recall that, rather than shaving off my beard and regrowing it, I instead chose to brew a beer during the playoffs with the eventual aim of using it to toast victory. The beer turned out just fine but, sadly, was imbibed a little sooner than planned. Oh well.
“To Piss On One’s Chips” is defined thus by Urban Dictionary:
“…to really mess something up for yourself (rather than for someone else) with an unnecessary and/or stupid act….The origin of the expression is from the scenario in the UK of a guy buying some takeaway chips (french fries for any US readers) after an evening’s drinking.
Finding that he then needs a piss on the way home, the inebriated guy finds a quiet spot somewhere then and puts his chips on the ground nearby while he relieves himself. In his drunken state he then accidentally pisses on his chips, thus depriving himself of his meal through his own carelessness and stupidity”.
A better definition would be the highlights of last night’s game, with special attention paid to Michal Roszival.
It gets really grim when the Blackhawks have a day off after a particularly demoralising defeat. As a fanbase we take to social media and comment threads en masse in order to tear our hair and each others throats out. Considering that this specific defeat is the third really bad one in the last four games, the angst levels have been redlining. That’s not to say this is without good reason: losing three out of four is never a Good Thing, but losing them to non-playoff teams in abject fashion makes it far worse. It isn’t even so much the lowly status of the Stars, Flyers and Beej that stings, it’s the patheric capitulation by the Hawks in those losses (and you can include the win over the Canes in that, too: the Hawks did their level best to fuck that up as well). just four games ago we were coming off a successful trip to New York talking about a run at the Division. Now the Hawks are (at least temporarily) in the Wild Card mix and we’re looking anxiously over our shoulders at Winnipeg.
The boys take on the last week of Blackhawks action and discuss Q’s roster usage, the effectiveness of Brad Richards, and what’s going on with the rest of the playoff picture on the Jocelyn Lemieux episode. Listen after the jump.
This effing Hockey Team.. right after I bigged them up in relation to the Central (and by default, Western) title race, on the back of a shutout of the Rags, the Hawks go and #Cube one up against the out-of-it-even-if-they-don’t-believe-it-themselves Stars. Guess those are the breaks. What made it doubly annoying was the Wings making it three straight losses (albeit with loserpoints involved) for the Blues. Boy, St Louis must be looking forward to a playoff series against Minnesota the way one looks forward to a proctological examination. Anyway, stuff:
OK, that one felt pretty good, despite it not being a “classic” but rather a tight, disciplined effort from both sides, backed up by excellent goaltending. Could have gone either way but Brad Richards popped up late in the 3rd and clearly greatly enjoyed his goal against the team that scratched him in the playoffs ahead of buying him out last offseason (although I’m sure he enjoys cashing the checks they’ll be writing him till the sun goes supernova more), Scott Darling earned his first NHL shutout and the Hawks leave the Empire State with four points from two games against two of the East’s best.
That was a short recap, hey? Let’s talk more stuff, specifically how the rest of this season looks..
Matt Carey Cam Barker Jerome Dupont episode. In the first cast since Pat Kane’s collarbone become more than one piece the guys discuss the implications of the injury, the replacements acquired to help soften the blow and of course there’s plenty of Teuvo talk after his big game against the Rangers. We do wonder if Patrick Sharp will ever emerge from urinal trough he’s been stuck in for the better part of two months however.
Audio after the jump.
That one was annoying. Granted, the Rangers are one of the top teams out East but last night felt like a squandered opportunity to close in on the floundering Predators and the stuttering Blues, not to mention putting a little distance between the Hawks and the Wild, who are riding Devan Dubnyk right back into the postseason picture. If there was going to be a bounce from the new acquisitions, it was going to be here.
On the Bob Probert episode we chat with Sirius Chicago Blackhawks correspondent Al Cimaglia about the Hawks’ recent slide. We try and understand the roster construction, where blame should be placed, and what can be done to get the Blackhawks back to being a perennial powerhouse. Jim’s computer dies.
It’s the Kris Versteeg episode of Cheer The Podcast. The guys discuss the past week of Hawks games, whether or not they have enough depth to compete in the Western Conference, and the moves that have already been made by Nashville.
We all wanted Hossa to be a hero. He didn’t need to score the winning goal against Vancouver. He sent the game to overtime. That was enough. We hailed him for it.
Then, early in OT, Sedin offered a silent objective rebuttal to homophobes and ingrates. The Hawks lost. Hossa got a loser point and a fine harangue. We’ll call him a fucking hero.
All around the league losses are rotting on the ice. Points left behind. Some days we anoint heroes. Other days we damn them all. Who is just a loser? Who is a fucking hero.
We decide, based on nothing. Hossa is a fucking hero. Hossa still lost. So did the whole team. They all lost.
Maybe you claim Hossa as a hero because you need something beautiful to cling to in the wee hours. Maybe you claim Hossa–especially in the aftermath of embarrassing defeat–because simply accepting that even the best teams skid sucks the meaning away. I know I do.
No matter what your reason, it is selfish. It means nothing. The Hawks still lost. They still left two points rotting on the ice. But he’s a fucking hero.
And now what? After the Canucks game, Teuvo earned a ticket to Somewhere in Illinois that is Not Chicago. LIke I said in our Round Table, even the Pope admits he can’t explain how his supposedly loving God permits the suffering of innocents. Where does that leave Hawks fans, drenched as we are in pride and avarice? It leaves us with our Golden Boy clipping coupons for the Olive Garden.
Which begs the question: do we try and force meaning into this game tonight? We can hue and cry but we cannot affect the front office. We can contort a February skid into a narrative of challenge and grit. We can write off losses to a bored team that maybe, just maybe, isn’t placing hockey at the top of its daily To-Do list.
Whatever path you choose, know that it is meaningless. The season will grind on, wins and losses accumulating whether we swear blind allegiance or boycott, the end result of countless events too obscure to measure. We are powerless to affect change.
So I choose to rage against the heavens. I don’t want a fucking hero. I want a team. I want Carcillo and Shaw off my team. I want Teuvo back from Nebraska or wherever the fuck they sent him. I want whatever happened one spring evening at the penalty box door in Detroit two years ago. I will not be happy until this team’s name rings from the throats of choirs raised in triumphant measure.
You keep your fucking heroes. I want a fucking team.