Tonight, the Vancouver Canucks learned the same, valuable lesson that the Calgary Flames learned in the first round of the NHL playoffs. The Chicago Blackhawks will not be taken for granted. Simply “trying to get physical” won’t work, and intimidation can’t stop players like Patrick Kane from scoring. Strong play is the only answer to combat the Chicago team.
On Monday night’s game, the sophomore Kane lit the lamp for the Hawks three times for the first Chicago hat trick in the playoffs in over a decade, propelling the team to a 7-5 victory. The win sends Chicago for a visit in the Western Conference finals against the winner of the Ducks/Red Wings series. Chicago fans in attendance of the game on Monday were heard several times taking up the chant “Detroit sucks”, obviously looking forward to the team that will most likely face them in the next round.
Regardless of the rest of the playoffs, the city of Chicago couldn’t be more thrilled with the return of hockey to the windy city, for just a couple short years ago, home games couldn’t actually be viewed on television, as mandated by long time owner William Wirtz for over thirty years. Since his passing, his son Rocky Wirtz has taken the helm and done a fantastic job of returning the team to professional levels and breaking one million attendance this season.
Hockey has indeed returned to Chicago. For Vancouver, it’s a return trip home for summer vacation.