Almost Heroes

27 Apr

The Blackhawks’ game seven, 2-1 OT loss to the Canucks last night was absolutely heartbreaking.  It was also an incredible hockey game.

Alex Burrows scored just 2:43 in, and that goal would stand for almost the entire night.  Every Canuck player seemed 10 feet tall at times – the Hawks couldn’t go through or around them, and they were getting hit from all sides.  Vancouver had 3 shots on a penalty kill while the Hawks had none with the man advantage.  But Chicago kept coming: always scrappy, always giving everything.

Corey Crawford was an actual miracle in net.  If you could win the Conn Smythe in a single game, Crawford and Ryan Kessler could have sawed in it half.  Game 7 was like an endless boxing match and I felt beaten.

With 5 minutes left in the third, the hairs on my arms were standing up.  I could feel the electric charge building and something was going to snap.  At 18:04,shorthanded, on a second attempt nearly laying on the ice, Jonathan Toews scored the tying goal.

This actually makes me cry.  He willed this to happen – with all of our help this puck went in the net by sheer force of will.  Jonathan Toews has the heart of a lion and I will fight anyone who questions his place as captain.  I could see the “History Will Be Made” commercial, taste the champagne.

But luck, you are a bastard.  The Hawks were lucky to make the playoffs.  They were lucky to make it to game 7 and lucky to make it to overtime.  I was hoping luck would hold out just a few more shifts.  But in maybe the perfect metaphor for their 2010-2011 season, the Blackhawks just couldn’t quite get there.

The had a very rough start to the year, like their 3-0 record to start this series.  In the second half, they came on huge like they did to make this series 3-3.  Right at the end of the regular season, when it was within reach, the Blackhawks couldn’t get that last game to clinch.  Someone else’s loss was their gain.  And that’s where this playoff story had a different ending.  Chicago had more guts in Game 7 than they did at any single moment all season long.  Just because it didn’t happen doesn’t mean they didn’t earn it.

So Chicago is out.  But after a very long season that fought back at every turn, at least they went out like Champs.

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9 Responses to “Almost Heroes”

  1. Lindsay April 27, 2011 at 7:46 am #

    I can’t even believe this happened. It was like the worst movie I’ve ever seen – when that puck went in during overtime, and the blue jerseys flooded the ice, all I could think was, “That’s the wrong colour of jerseys – it should be the white jersey piling up together.”

    I was SO HAPPY that JT got his playoffs goal right when we needed it most. I’m with you – anyone that questions his talent, skill and position as the team’s leader is a fool. Prime example is how he handled himself after the game. The post-game interviews nearly broke my heart, but JT again had heart and poise. While Henrik Sedin, the Canucks’ “captain” made comments like, “They didn’t deserve to be in Game 7,” Tazer stood tall and said, “I’m not going to be a sore loser and you have to respect what they did out there.” Leader, through and through.

    They battled longer and harder than anyone expected them to, and that was the best playoffs series I’ve ever seen. I only have two hopes coming out of last night’s game:

    1. That the Hawks will use the summer to rest, regroup and refocus – and come back an even better team than 2009-2010.

    2. That someone else takes out the Canucks and again destroys their Cup dreams.

    • Cassy April 27, 2011 at 7:58 am #

      I’ll be in Vancouver on my epic road trip later this year. Who fancies joining me and making it a Sedinbot sabotage mission?!

      • Shi April 27, 2011 at 9:22 am #

        Hi, my name is Tonya Harding. Nice to meet you.

  2. Lindsay April 27, 2011 at 8:05 am #

    OK had to post one more time. This quote from Tazer totally makes me cry:

    “It doesn’t matter what you say,” Hawks captain Jonathan Toews said. “I’m so disappointed. We battled so hard for each other. There wasn’t a doubt in my mind or any of our minds that the way we played the last three games, what we showed each other, what we showed everyone else out there … that we weren’t going to win this game.”

    Tears, Toews, tears.

  3. Chuck April 27, 2011 at 10:09 am #

    Great post, Pants.

    Heartbreaker, for sure, but they have it a valiant effort.

    And Captain Serious…he’s seriously the real freakin’ deal.

    I’ll pick him for my team any day!

  4. EZ April 27, 2011 at 11:06 am #

    GO ‘Nucks!

  5. Cya April 27, 2011 at 11:09 am #

    I’m very down in the dumps today, and my big boss (who is a Flyers fan) keeps answering the phone “Canucks Hotline!” Looks like I will be rooting for the Preds in the West and Caps in the East.

    • Pants April 27, 2011 at 11:11 am #

      Haha. I have 2 Caps fans, a Flyers fan and a Red Wings fan in my office. They love to gang up on me.

  6. Brittany April 27, 2011 at 11:35 am #

    After Burrows scored the OT goal, I just laid on the floor and repeated the word “No” over and over until I was sleeping.

    It may not be fair, but that SHG is exactly what I expected from Tazer. ❤ Further proof that he's perfect.

    Holy Corey Crawford.

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