Blackhawks Confidential

A new season, a new blogmeister, but same old championship run for Blackhawks

As Marian Hossa said, everyone has to be ready for a new start this season. Don't live in the past.

Of course, when you have $100 million marinating in the bank account, espousing a bright future isn't a philosophy, it's a cash-and-carry necessity.

Since Blackhawks Confidential has always tried to toe the party line, so long as the party has a full bar and buffet, we have gone to great lengths to follow the new script for Stanley Cup II, the Revenge of the Leftovers, and retooled for an era of change you can believe in.

Just as Kris Versteeg had to turn over a new Maple Leaf and Dustin Byfuglien was gone with the wind to Atlanta, exiled for moonlighting as the invisible man once too often while waiting to catch the playoff bus, Mark and I have also chosen to exit stage far right while we advise Sarah Palin's lamestream media campaign and march on Washington to execute Katie Couric and castrate Obama.

Yes, there will be plenty of blood. Revolutions and hockey demand it. Or at least My Fuhrer Glenn Beck, Palin's John Adams during this war for red-blooded American independence and female fruition, does.

There was blood when Duncan Keith decided to sink his teeth ferociously into the playoffs last season in heroic fashion. I expect that Blackhawks' hard bark will remain as big as their bite again this season, even if I'm in a minority that is under siege from what I read for thinking the Hawks will ride high in the saddle again.

The Hawks might be a hot ticket in Chicago. Elsewhere, they are cold soup, their stock being dropped as quickly as Jay Cutler under pressure.

As for myself, I consider it better odds that Palin wins over Washington before Ovechkin does and that Capital crimes continue unabated. Predictions about Alex The Great coming down with championship fever seem nothing but a rash judgment, and what can a Russian with a bad rash do but reach for the Stoli to calm himself.

Anyway, while I'm in full dither and before too much of a lather builds up, allow me to introduce a young lion named Paul Czerwien, the new immoderate moderator of our experimental zoo called Blackhawks Confidential. Paul becomes your guide from championship to certified dynasty.

It's Paul's job now to step into the shit left behind by Mark and myself and get everything cleaned up for a fresh run at a championship almost no one seems very eager to anticipate or embrace.

Paul is an intrepid hockey fanatic who recently graduated from St. Louis U. with his degree in aerospace engineering. While waiting for NASA to hire again, he is going to take up some space here and there in hopes our frozen trips to the moon become a routine rather than an occasional Cup of moonshine every 50 years or so in Chicago.

I have read the word "Detroit" more often during the last several weeks of NHL predictions than I have since we had to bail out the Motor City from destruction and devastation when the wheels were coming off the world. I was sick of it then and I'm sick of it now.

I'll take Duncan Keith over Nicklas Lidstrom. I'll take Jonathan Toews over Pavel Datsyuk. I'll take Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp over Henrik Zetterberg and Tomas Holmstrom. I'll take Marty Turco over Jimmy "Shemp" Howard.

I want to see the Hawks drop their championship banner on Detroit like a shroud on Saturday at United Center. Wrap 'em up like a corpse and dump 'em in the alley. OK it's just one game. But I'd like it to be a humdinger just to set the tone.

I also see where almost everyone is lining up with Vancouver as your conference champion, as long as they can overcome Roberto Luongo. The last I heard from the Canucks was their mayor calling me disgraceful for belittling the Sedin sisters in the postseason. Vancouver is long on scenery, short on Chicago grit and going the distance. The Canucks' body will be buried in Stanley Park again next spring.

It's become so sophisticated in hockey circles to doubt the Blackhawks. I said it before and I'll say it one more time. They can use that as motivation. Seldom has a champion been so dissed as pursuing an impossible dream than the Hawks and I'll be surprised if the character of this club doesn't bristle at the rejection and a repudiation of their intrinsic worth.

Just as a final warning, I may decide to return on occasion at Paul's permission when I feel a need for purging my corpusles of a little pus and letting loose. I wouldn't want you to think I've gone too far away that I can't reach out now and then and smack anybody that needs it.

Smack them on the back, that is, for a job well done. Hard to believe I have to tell anybody how good the champs are. Buy, hey, these guys are pretty strong and I'm thinking quite a few fence straddlers underestimate them at their peril--and will be clambering back on the wagon months from now claiming they never left.

Paul will debut tonight on Blackhawks Confidential with his take on the game in Colorado. He will just be one of the many new guys we have to watch this season with the Hawks.

I bet he scores plenty.



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Hostile Hawk said:


Welcome to Paul who has some pretty big words to fill.
I join in with you Mike as a promoter of positivity for this season. Yes, they have got a really strong core, any team in the league is hard pressed to compare to. And the "replacements" aren't that bad to boot. "Jack of all Skills," Skille is ready to make his mark. Pisani is ready to make spaghetti and hockey synonymous. And, Scott might even show Buf what it is like to be the little guy in town.
Brouwer is ready to step up his game, Turco will make Keith and company feel like the Hawks put an extra attacker on the ice, and the Hawks will win plenty.
Don't know about placing Datsuk under Toews, but I do know that Hossa wasn't even mentioned in that comparison above. Throw that in the pro column for the Hawks.
Exciting times here in Chicago again. Lets have less repeat talk and more "Lets go Hawks" chants.

Rich said:

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I'm sorry to see you go. I enjoyed your writing last season tremendously. No offense to Paul, but how can anyone fill your shoes? Please come back as often as Sarah allows. Take care, Rich

OneTeam said:


What a banner evening it was indeedy. I don’t think it set the tone you were looking for unless cute versions of U2 music pumps blood to your lower extremities. I’m pretty sure I saw that new third of your team standing stage left bobbing their heads to it. I wonder if Antti Neimi watched the game or if he was still too dizzy from making 32 saves standing on his head in his winning effort the night before? The Wings meanwhile chose to continue warming up for that other thing that happened after the Hawks raised their new decoration next to those other three deteriorating Cup banners. Honestly, where do they find the space up there?

So Turco has started 0-2, big deal. He has had MUCH longer losing streaks in his career. Just look at his life time record versus the Wings. Epic. I’m sure he'll get it straightened out over the next several months. Not to worry. Meanwhile, the Wings new Dallas acquisition has gotten off the schnide pretty quickly. But he's old right? I mean how long can that last playing on the Red Wings third scoring line!

I must say that it’s pretty bold to suggest that you would keep your core players over trading them for any Red Wing. I mean, you are way out on a limb on that one even for you Mike. Of course you wouldn’t. Why would anyone want Nick Lidstrom over "Dun-Ate-My-Teeth"?? What with his four Stanley Cups, six Norris trophies, ten NHL All-Star game appearances and playoff MVP award. Ridiculous I know.

Although I would have to disagree with you about the statement "Seldom has a champion been so dissed as pursuing an impossible dream than the Hawks" are you forgetting the more recent dissings of the Tampa Bay Lightening, Carolina Hurricanes or the Anaheim Ducks? They were all dissed the following season and they proved the critics.....well, bad examples.

Even though I’ll miss reading your blog Mike I am encouraged that they brought a rocket scientist in to come and try to explain to the blinded Hawk faithful the prodigious complexity a Hawks repeat would be for this team of replacements. What number is Keanu Reeves? Hopefully he will attempt his explanation with a "Hockey for Dummies" style approach.

As the final horn sounded at the UC Saturday night, the banner was hung, the Wings had won and this unimaginable odyssey has finally come to an end. Order has been restored and things returned to normal. The Wings beat Turco, "little brother" was put back in place and the Hockey world awaits another return to the Cup for the Detroit Red Wings. I hope you all took lots of pictures, saved your newspaper headlines and bought your DVD’s. I’m sure it was fun while it lasted but its time to get back to reality.

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