If you are like me, then the only Chicago Blackhawks fans you will engage in conversation with are the intelligent, respectful types. Especially on twitter, which sort of corners the market on rude little trolls. @Hockeenight and @AndrewCieslak are two such Hawks fans. Not everyone from opposing fanbases (and their blogs) needs to be angry, venomous, hateful, bitter, poor sports and sore losers with conspiracy theories on the NHL and its officials. With that prefaced, I think everyone should take time to look at this series from a Hawks fan’s perspective and read what was posted on Hockeenight yesterday.
The last two games are scary for myriad reasons. First, the Hawks and Wings have a history. You might have heard about it. The phrase "you never went through us" has to strike a nerve. The Blackhawks didn't beat Detroit when the won the Cup in 2010. They never had to.
For more: http://hockeenight.com/2013/05/21/killed-the-lord-left-for-the-new-world-.aspx
Ah yes. A true statement that is fun to say to Hawks fans when you wish to get under their skin. The article goes on to mention his fear and dread that this is actually happening the way it is, and the frustrations at seeing Joel Quenneville more interested in gooning it up at the end of Game 3 than trying to tie it. Has Q not seen the Boston/Toronto game? A 2-goal deficit with 90 seconds remaining is not the end of the world…
But as a Wings fan not from the area, I lack a bit of the hatred that fuels an intense fire burning down all objectivity, reason, and respect when dealing with Chicago fans. So I sort of get to see this thing from the outside looking in, I guess. And I think it is fascinating. Mostly truth written there, Chicago is the better team. We have a history that (since we have dominated) means little to them. But since we have lorded it over them for so long, they wish to cash in on our rebuilding era and league-leading injury rates to finish this rivalry on a good note, which to them means embarrassing us.
I just have to believe that ending it the way Game 1 played out, a 4-1 stomping and the potential for a sweep (just ask any “expert”), is ill-befitting of the nature of this great rivalry. The two organ-i-sations have gained great renown over the years. The Hawks now have Scotty Bowman and quest after the same dynasty that we once held. The Wings have 22 consecutive playoff appearances, 6 times reaching the Stanley Cup Final and winning 4 in that stretch. We have been and admirable, if not honourable, foe for all of our rivals along the way.
This fight does not end abruptly. It may not end pleasantly, either, but at least everyone will know that battles on the ice being fought by rookies and led by European players deemed to lack talent (you are an idiot, Glen Healy) will still end this rivalry with as much intensity and competitiveness as it rightfully deserves.