It's game day in Chicago and the Ducks are coming to town. I saw a tweet that the Hawks are going to be wearing their winter classic alternate jerseys tonight and it rubbed me the wrong way. I want the memories. I want the colors from 2015. I've been largely avoiding memory lane this year because John McDonough was trying to force "Decade Of Dominance" down our throats when he fired the coaching legend, extended clown boy, and the team is still a disaster. I didn't want to hear about the decade of dominance from the PR Department when for the last half of that decade the team hasn't won a playoff series. This one though...this one deserves some love because I feel like it is forgetten a little bit. Lost in memories of Cups, 17 seconds, the LA series, the Detroit series, and a golden era of Blackhawks hockey is this absolutel BLOOD bath between the Ducks and Hawks.
This was still early Barstool Chicago days and Carl, WSD and I decided to throw a watch party for Game 2 at Fifty/50 in Wicker Park. Already down 1-0 in the series I was on fucking edge. I don't think I said more than 5 words for the entire game that went into triple OT and had the disallowed Shaw head butt goal which should've counted just because it was so Shaw and so sweet. You watch the highlights from this series and you're like "put #50 in the rafters right now". Crawford was incredible.
That was the series of the Big Bad Ducks. Getzlaf, Perry, and Kesler, but also big boys like Pat Maroon. The famous quote from Kesler "no team can withstand this many hits". But he forgot who he was talking about. He was talking about the Joel Quenneville Chicago Blackhawks. The team that was roughly 38-2 in games 4-7 in playoff series. So when the Hawks were down 3-2 in the series and only had 4 defensemen. I mean they only had 4. Not a joke. I feel like people forget that too. Rozsival broke his leg. TVR was injured. They traded for Kimmo Timonen but he had almost nothing left in the tank. It was Keith, Seabs, Hjalmarsson, and Oduya playing essentially the entire game. Duncan Keith averaged 31:07 TOI in the playoffs that year. That is fucking insane. The Ducks could hit him all day long and it doesn't matter. He was made from iron. He also had 21 points and all three of his goals in those playoffs were game winners. While you're putting Crawford's #50 in the rafters, go ahead and start casting Duncan Keith's statue.
Teravainen, Sharp, Vermette, Brad Richards, Andrew Shaw...all the supporting characters had their moments in that series. When the team had their backs against the wall in Game 7 on the road though it was Jonathan Toews potting two goals early and setting the tone. Build him a statue too. Patrick Kane had two points in that game as well. The memories of that series are burned into my brain forever. I don't think it was the best or my favorite, but it was definitely the hardest fought.
I need more moments like that. Toews, Kane, Keith, and Crawford deserve them. It wasn't supposed to be this way. Saad, Panarin, Turbo, and Danault were supposed to ascend into the roles and production occupied by the Hossas and Sharps of the team. It was great when the Hawks were the Roman Empire of hockey. We need a Maximus to come in and save the city and restore 19, 88, 2, and 50 back to where they belong.