The Blackhawks celebrated their Stanley Cup victory at the White House yesterday. Barack Obama gave a speech and was presented with a minnie Cup, and Jersey exhibiting the number 44. Sopel was at the event and it was nice to see an old face while Obama spoke of the 49 year drought that built character. It made me ask myself if we do in fact have character. Does the newly added fan-base add character to the team? Obama mentioned his ties to Chicago as he remarked how Chicago was in fact, a Hockey Town once again. This is something I can be proud of. I grew up when hockey was really prevalent in the Chicagoland area, and it was extremely helpful in my progression as a player. Hearing about organizations falling apart in the past years brought sadness to my childhood memories, and hearing about their recent re-emergence makes me feel proud of the Hawks.
Update on everything Blackhawks
I would like to take this time to offer my thoughts and condolences for the people of Japan during this immensely difficult few days for them. Watching videos has been a disturbing event, seeing buildings and cars washed away in the Tsunami resulting from the massive earthquake and many following tremors causes a great amount of perspective for this Chicago resident. I encourage everyone to offer help in anyway they can. Often, it is the animals that are forgotten during these disasters and organizations like the IFAW do great things to help.
Being that this is a Hawk's blog and a few things have transpired in the world around the Hawks, if you don't find it too ignorant to bring the conversation back to hockey then read on. After all, it is what I do. Well, one of things I do anyway.
Obama said it, "Chicago is a Hockey Town again." This hockey town saw the unavoidable end to a great winning streak a couple of games back in Florida, and the eventual fall in the standings has occurred. Last night was hard to watch from a Hawk fan's perspective. Dallas won their game, Anaheim won theirs, and Los Angeles won theirs. As a result, Dallas moves into the 4th spot and pushes Chicago back into a 4 way point tie with the remaining teams currently in a playoff spot as of now. Anaheim is only 2 points behind that group. Among the teams tied are Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Calgary. Chicago and L.A. have played 68 games, Phoenix 69 and Calgary 70. Nashville could move within 1 point of us if they win today by beating Colorado, and Calgary is playing Vancouver. Losing those Florida games, especially the Panther's one is starting to look pretty hurtful now.
The Hawks have an early game tomorrow against a Washington team on a role. They have won 7 in a row and much of the credit goes to Ovechkin who seems to be finding the back of the net often these days. This will be a huge game and should also be hard fought. Toews vs Ovi! Hopefully the Hawks do not kill themselves too much because they have a game the following night back home against the hot Niemi and San Jose Sharks. I have tickets right behind Niemi in the 300 level, so I will do my best to rant him even though Im a fan of his.
Thanks to a cheap shot by Pavel Kubina the other night, Bolland is listed as day to day. Bolland felt a little woozy after the elbow to the back of his head that went without a call. His return is up in the air. We all know how serious these head injuries can be. He has been quoted as doing well and could be back shortly, or he might be out for some time. The league did suspend Kubina for 3 days, but the real question is how long Bolland will be out. His loss leaves a large whole in the center of his team. The question becomes, who will fill the spot. Frolik was the candidate for last game, and is likely to be the guy until Bolland comes back, but Frolik has said he feels more comfortable as a wing. Putting Sharp in that spot would be a mistake even though he has had a great deal of experience there this year. His line has been too crucial to the Hawk's success lately. Is Johnson an option? He has been playing great hockey lately, and winning lots of face-offs. His hardworking style might fit well alongside Hossa's. Pisani could fill his loss with Dowell and Kopecky centering the 3rd and 4th line. Im also curious where Stalberg was last game. He was a scratch, but I have not heard anything about it.
Campbell is likely to return tomorrow morning, which will help the D from getting all clumsy like they were last game for a time. Im still looking at Seabrook to really step his game up. If he can become the player we should expect of a guy with his new contract, then the Hawks D will be complete. Again, I liked a lot of what I saw out of Campoli. Heres to the Hawk's D overwhelming the Caps and the Toews line bringing their explosive game. Taking advantage of early chances, like always, will be crucial.