Let me preface this by saying I am a casual hockey fan. I used to follow the Hawks in the paper in the early to mid 90s. Mainly because the games were not on TV. I watched them like many others at a bar when they went to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1992. My heart broke a little, but I already shed tears over the ’84 Cubs and the ’88 Bears. I was done crying over sports. But on Sunday night, after seeing no one come to the aid of a fellow player who got crushed, I was again disgusted.
This seems to be a recurring theme with this group over the last few years. We know they are capable of playing very tough at times. We know to a man, the Blackhawks are one of the toughest teams in the NHL. They have 2 Stanley Cups to prove it. So when I see something like what unfolded on Sunday night vs the Penguins, I have to scratch my head a little. Nothing happened. We can debate whether it was a clean or dirty hit all day, but that’s not really the issue. Now, I am not calling for blood or retribution but how about some good old fashioned–hockey?
You know like they played back in February vs the same group of Penguins. I thought that was their “statement” game. I hear a lot of talk about no one stepping up because they have their eyes on “the bigger picture”. If they are thinking 2 weeks ahead, that would certainly explain why they are sputtering into the playoffs. I have total faith in coach Joel Quenneville. My faith in the players is a little weakened. I am more than a little disappointed they let their captain get manhandled again, without so much as anyone raising a stick. Again, I am not calling for blood or for them to put someone out of the game. Just a reminder to their opponents who they are messing with, and that they are the defending champions.