Well, that was easy, wasn't it?
After my share of refreshments at Chequers in LaGrange Thursday night, where owner Matt and barkeep Tom and beautiful waitress Christine rung in my new year just fine and I assured them I'd kiss ass, it felt especially good to be in a positive Blackhawks atmosphere where the 5-1 win over New Jersey was expected and not a surprise.
Troy Brouwer is the most underrated player in the league. And that's how you get over the hump to win championships, with people that emerge from obscurity.
Replacement analyst Denis Savard gave the No. 1 star on Comcast to goalie Cristobal Huet, but I think Savard is still part of the feel-good brigade that is trying hard as they might to will Huet into being a No. 1 goalie, which he still has to prove to many of us he is.
He was OK, but not three-star worthy. Well, maybe third star. I'm being kind, which is just my nature.
I got no problem with anything right now, because we have the best team in hockey and I have a snootfull.
It's amazing to me Savard is still cheering on the Hawks in such public fashion after being fired just a year ago. That shows what an amazing game hockey is and the tremendous individuals that are part of it.
You won't see Lovie Smith kissing the Bears ass a year after he's fired.
I don't have a problem, either, with Savard or any of our blog commenters pumping up the problematic Huet. I'm still rooting for my No. 1 puppy Keira to take a shit in the grass and not right outside the door on the patio.
Just like Huet, it's a process. My hope is Huet and Keira both evolve into shit-stirrers in 2010.
Judging by this game, Team Canada anchor Martin Brodeur might be a problem child in the 2010 Olympics. But who gives a shit about the Devils or Team Canada for that matter.
Saint Johnny Toews was an icon, as usual, in this game. What else is new. But let's celebrate the new year by naming the five things we would like to see from the Hawks in 2010.
I want to hear from you, as always, since this is your blog and not mine. But here's my top five.
ONE: Marian Hossa has to find a way to be exceptional rather than pretty good. And Coach Joel Quenneville has to make it happen.
TWO: Kris Versteeg has to harness his excellent skills into a managable hockey player who plays within the system and makes a difference by being solid rather than fancy. Versteeg could be a monster if he adapts.
THREE: Patrick Kane has to continue to be the MVP of the National Hockey League, which he has so far. No one can touch him at his best, not even those ballyhooed guys Ovechin or Crosby (not Bing).
FOUR: The power play has to move the puck with the rhythm we have seen on occasion and not just once in a while.
FIVE: John Madden has to continue to be the psychological motivator that he has been so far and provide the character factor on ice and off that wins championships in the trenches.
While I'm out of numbers, let me add that I hope the Blackhawks Confidential community that has grown over the past year keeps on keeping the Blackhawks honest by providing your honest opinions on this site, where we are beholden to no one and say what we mean, right, wrong or bullshit.
Thanks for your passion, your knowledge, your observations, your sarcasm, your criticisms of us and your belief that sometimes we are full of shit.
I'll try to keep being a pain in the ass if you will. What more can you ask with a new year where we have the NHL by the short hairs and a Stanley Cup is real and not a fictitious goal
Give me your five wishes for the new year, other than winning than lottery. Peace, and let's kick ass.