The Chicago Blackhawks have swept the San Jose Sharks. I’ve waited half a lifetime for this moment–for the ‘Hawks to return to the Stanley Cup Finals. The last time that happened was 1992, when the 17-year old version of me watched in horror as the team lost in 4 straight to the Pittsburgh Penguins. A disappointing end to an exciting year.
A few other notes about the Blackhawks…
Teeth 4 Keith: Duncan Keith lost
fourseven teeth in Game 4 against the Sharks. He still returned in the third period, and even answered everyone’s questions after the game. Sure, he sounded lispy, with the missing teeth and swollen lips, and woozy from the painkillers. But he handled the onslaught of questions well.
Yes, this is the only Niemi card I own.
Pro Antti: Now that the ‘Hawks have made it to the Cup Finals, perhaps this will make all the anti-Antti Niemi folk pro-Niemi. There is no goaltending controversy, and no more doubts about Niemi. The ‘Hawks can win the Cup with a rookie netminder. Just ask Cam Ward. Or Patrick Roy. Or Ken Dryden.
Byfuglien? Damn Near Traded ‘Em!: Way back in November 2008, it was rumored that the Blackhawks were going to trade Dustin Byfuglien to the Washington Capitals for Michael Nylander. Eighteen months later, it is safe to assume that the Blackhawks organization are glad they didn’t engage in such stupidity. Nylander split this season between the AHL and Finland, while Byfuglien leads the ‘Hawks with 8 goals in the postseason–3 of them game-winners against the Sharks.
Stop Saying Chalmerson! As much as I like Mike Emrick, someone really needs to correct his pronunciation of Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson. Same goes for that other Versus announcer. It is pronounced YAL-mer-son, not CHAL-mer-son. Every time I hear “Chalmerson”, I think of The Simpsons for some reason. We need Eddie Olczyk to shout “Stop it right here!” and then Tellustrate the correct pronunciation.See what I did there? Nice, huh?
Speaking of Swedes…What happened to Kim Johnsson? If you recall, the ‘Hawks gave up Cam Barker for Johnsson and prospect Nick Leddy. Johnsson hasn’t played since March 13, and is believed to have sustained a serious concussion. I know the ‘Hawks are riding high now, but I’d still feel better if Barker was on the team.
“Serious” Extends Streak: Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews (aka “Captain Serious”) extended his playoff point-scoring streak to 13 games today. Two nights ago, he broke Stan Mikita’s team record, which was 11 games. That puts Toews in pretty good company.
Twelve wins down, 4 more to go. There’s still plenty of hockey to be played in Chicago.
And once the Blackhawks opponent for the Stanley Cup Finals is determined, check back later this week for Puck Junk’s first contest.