Tag Archives: Stanley Cup

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O Captain! My Captain!

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Categories: Blackhawks, Hockey, IceHogs, Tags: , , , , , ,

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;

The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;

The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting

 

The fearful trip is done. No more games of Mario Kart in the hotel. No more taunting fans in orange.

The ship has endured every rack, from crushing blows by former friends to seven Chiclets scattered across the ice.

The prize you sought is indeed won, Captain. Lord Stanley’s Cup has returned to Hawkeytown after a too-long absence.

The bells and exultation are for your team. And you, their Captain, are held to be first among equals.

You, who has earned a gold medal for your country in Vancouver.

You, who was named most valuable forward of the Olympic games.

You, who broke and tied multiple Blackhawks playoff records.

You, who reclaimed the Stanley Cup for a city beleagured by sports almost-won.

You, who distinguished yourself as worthy of Conn Smythe’s trophy.

So, Captain Serious, live it up. You’ve earned it. Crack a smile. It’s OK. We’ll forgive you (just this once). You, unlike the Captain in Whitman’s poem, are very much alive and able to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

 

Congratulations, Jonathan Toews; captain of the 2010 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks, 2010 Conn Smythe Trophy winner, second-youngest captain of a Cup-winning team, and goddamned great hockey player.

O Captain! My Captain!

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One Game, One Goal

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Categories: Blackhawks, Hockey, IceHogs, Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tomorrow night, Lord Stanley’s Cup will be in Philadelphia for the Blackhawks to take home, if they want it enough. I can tell you from personal experience (see Exhibits A and B, below) that the NHL’s top prize is quite impressive in person. I can only imagine what it’s like to lift it – or eat Cheerios out of it.

There are five things I think the Blackhawks must do (and a few they absolutely cannot do) to win Game 6.

  1. Stay out of the penalty box. I understand what his job is, but Dave Bolland can neutralize Mike Richards without starting a one-man parade to the box. 30 PiM this postseason is a few too many. Everyone else must stay out of the sin bin too. There’s no reason a guy like Marian Hossa should have 23 minutes of penalty time. Smart, disciplined hockey is going to win against Philly. Don’t work harder, boys: work smarter.
  2. The Blackhawks must put serious pressure on the Flyers in the first five minutes of the game. Even if it doesn’t result in a goal, the Hawks need to be putting the puck on the net early and often. Philly fans are brutal, so take them out of the game. Also, we’ve seen how much Michael Leighton’s confidence can be shaken with sustained, early pressure. Get in his head and make Laviolette swap him for Boucher.
  3. Hit Chris Pronger. A lot. Hard. Work him over like a dime-store piñata. Taking Pronger out of his game means the Blackhawks offense has more time and space. Philadelphia has a weak defensive core. Make it weaker by making Prongs think twice about playing the puck. It worked in Game 5; it will work again.
  4. Carry the puck cleanly out of the defensive zone. Do not give the Flyers a chance at an easy shot on goal off a lazy turnover at the blue line. If there’s not a clean outlet pass, circle back and wait for a safer chance. Niemi will probably make the stop on a dumb turnover play, but why make him work that hard?
  5. Make the puck do the work for you. During the regular season, the Hawks were one of the fastest teams in the league because they could make laser-fast, hyper-accurate passes. By making the puck do the work for you, you exploit another of Philly’s weaknesses: slow skating. The Blackhawks are the faster team, when they’re passing well. Stick with the basics, boys.

Of course, there’s about a hundred other things I could mention that the Blackhawks need to do, but the five I listed above are the most critical to coming home with some serious silver hardware.

In the end, it’s going to be an intense, physical hockey game. The Flyers have proven they are a tenacious team. Don’t expect for a moment that Game 6 will look anything like Game 5. Don’t expect for a moment that a win is guaranteed. We’ll see what happens when the puck drops. Until then, remain committed to the Indian. Remain committed to the Cup.

Stanley Cup

Exhibit A

Stanley Cup

Exhibit B

P.S. For the record, that is totally the real Stanley Cup. And no, I didn’t actually touch it. But I really wanted to.

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The Silver Lining

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Categories: Blackhawks, Geek Stuff, Health, Hockey, Writing, Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

The last few days I’ve been dealing with a malfunctioning car and a brief but intense illness. It’s been less than pleasant. Add the Chicago Blackhawks playing like crap in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, and losing all my phone numbers and email addresses in Address Book (and thus my iPhone too), and this week looks pretty bad on paper.

There’s a silver lining though: another page in my novel finished. It’s been slow going, and I could probably find more time to write, but I feel good about the words. Do I think this novel will be sellable? Probably not. But it will be written, and that’s more important to me.

So, to anyone out there who thinks they can write a book: do it. There’s no better advice on writing than that. You will suck at first. You will get better if you try. That’s all.