Now that the hometown Flyers are eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs, what keeps me watching? Well, I think I’d watch no matter who was playing. I just love hockey that much. But I’m watching with added excitement this year because I still have a rooting interest. For whom? For the Chicago Blackhawks.
Why? Well that’s easy to answer.
First, I’m from Illinois. Then, it’s the crest on the sweater. The renaissance of a once moribund franchise. It is the determination and execution of a plan by a man who had years to stew about what should be done and finally got to do it (he’s my favorite Rocky!). It’s the long-suffering fans who were desperate for a reason to keep supporting their team and when they finally got an owner who cared about them and cared about winning they came back with open hearts and embraced the team that finally was there to embrace them in return. It’s the young players–Kane, Toews, Byfuglien–and the old ones–Havlat, Khabi–and the in between–Sharpie, who couldn’t be more likeable and turned out to be a heck of a player, Mr. Hitchcock.
So starting tonight it’s yet another chapter in the remarkable rebirth of a legendary hockey franchise. GO HAWKS!