Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Honestly, watching the Chicago Blackhawks come back from a 3 games to 0 round one deficit to Vancouver only to lose in overtime in game 7 really stings.
I'm not really a 'Hawks fan, but it's hard not to become one after this series. The amount of heart they showed after being down as they were was inspiring stuff. Honestly, Bolland, Toews, and Crawford (not to mention Duncan Keith) have become names I will cheer for from here on out. To me, their performances and leadership in this series were truly legendary, at least as legendary as you can be in an opening round series loss. It's a shame to not see them continue in the post season.
So, why do I cheer against the Canucks with such hostility? It's pretty simple - they are a division rival. They have been lazy and cocky, and it's a lot of fun to watch a gutless and lazy giant fall.
I know, I know - in the end they bested the Blackhawks when it mattered most, but it could have gone either way. In the end, the Blackhawks out-scored Vancouver 21-16, and lost 3 of their games by a single goal. There are few things in sport as inspiring as the mental fortitude shown by the Blackhawks to comeback as they did. It hits me like a tragedy that they lost.
I really don't want Vancouver to win - even as an observer, I'm like the Daniel Plainview of the Northwest Division fan base, "I have a competition in me. I want no one else to succeed." That's just the truth. Of course, if it can't be my hometown team, then it may as well be the Red Wings who still have a piece of my heart despite the retirement of one Stevie Y. As for the Canucks, the Oilers, and the once and future Jets, they can all follow roads to glorious failure as far as I'm concerned. If anything, I'm going to look forward to at least one more round of cheering against the Canucks. I really don't get the whole "cheer for the Canadian teams" crap. That kind of nonsense is for non-passionate NHL fans, and really - nationalism is what the Olympics are for.
Interestingly though - the Canucks look strong, and there are some eerie similarities between their year and the one champion year for the Flames - both winning the President's trophy during the regular season, both winning in overtime in game 7 to move on from round one, and... well that's where the similarities end for me. I don't see leadership on that team.
Just watch what Jordin Tootoo does to the twins when Nashville comes to the West Coast - I have a feeling it won't be pretty.