It’s only been four days since the last Blackhawks hockey game. Four. And yet, it feels like it’s been weeks. I’m just going to state the obvious when I say I miss it. Usually when the Hawks aren’t on there are other games to watch. I’ll watch the Penguins and Capitals since they’re always on TV. They’re not nearly the same, but at least it’s hockey. But for the last 4 days there’s been nothing. Zip. Zero. Zilch.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy watching the Olympics. From the snowboarding to the curling and everything in between, (well, maybe not figure skating), it’s been very entertaining so far. How someone can ski for miles and then pause to fire off five perfect shots with a rifle is beyond me. I can’t even pour a glass of water with a steady hand after exercising. But up until today, they’ve been missing the best part: hockey.
A Bitter Taste
I’ll get into the Olympics a little bit more later this month, but I think part of the reason that this wait has been so difficult is that the Blackhawks had such a lousy showing in their last game. On Friday, they fell 2-0 to the Phoenix Coyotes, who will soon be named “Arizona Coyotes.” There are so many reasons that this loss was awful, but I’ll start with the main one reason: I can’t stand the Phoenix Coyotes.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the West Coast. I’ve spent plenty of time there, and gotten to know some really great local businesses, such as the helpful people at Brown Koro & Romag, who helped me out of a jam that is worth a whole other post in itself. That’s another story though. Let me get back to my hatred for the Yotes. Most of it comes from Mike Smith, their goaltender, who is the king of diving.
Diving – NOT an Olympic Sport
I’ll never forget when Shaw slightly bumped into Mike Smith behind the net during a playoff game. Sure, they did hit heads, but Smith flopped around like he had been stabbed. Check out the video for yourself, just ignore the music in the background. Of course, Shaw got called for goalie interference and Smith popped up like he was fine once he had sold the call well enough.
This isn’t the first time Smith has dived, and it wasn’t the last, either. Thankfully, karma eventually caught up to him, and he will forever be known as the goalie that scored an own-goal with his butt.
The Disappointing Game
Part of me gets excited whenever the Hawks play the Coyotes, because I can’t wait for them to pile on the goals. So you can imagine my disappointment when Mike Smith shut out the Blackhawks for the first time this season. The Hawks couldn’t stay out of the box, and it hurt them badly as Vrbata blasted the puck past Crawford during a 5-on-3 power play.
It really looked like the ten Blackhawk players going to the Olympics had already mentally checked out. The rest of the team may have been ready for vacation too.
Back to Hockey
This has been a rough four days after the loss to the Coyotes, but I’m pumped to see what happens in the Olympics. It will be tough to root against some Blackhawks players, but I’ll be cheering for USA every step of the way. This break wasn’t very fun, but we’re about to have an amazing two weeks of hockey. Bring it on.