Chicago, IL – I’m still not quite sure where I am on the emotional rollercoaster of this past 2013-14 season and playoffs. I’ve run the gamut since Sunday when the Hawks were so abruptly sent packing for the summer. I’ve experienced shock, disbelief, pride, joy,sadness, anger,euphoria, disappointment, appreciation but what I am probably left with is a sense of hope and wanting more. I suspect the players have all these same emotions as well.
There are always lessons to be learned in order to go forward and the players will have a couple of months to reflect on them in order to improve going forward along with getting some much needed rest. Maybe the lesson to be learned is you can never feel comfortable with any lead especially against an opponent that is as resilient as you are.
Maybe the lesson is hockey is just a game of crazy bounces and you were one crazy bounce away and this time it was that the bounce did not go your way but so many in the past have.
Maybe the lesson is that no team, no matter how skilled can ever repeat in the salary cap era although the Hawks came close and that is a testament to the team and orgainization.
I’m not sure what the biggest take away is or should be and perhaps it will be different for each player and fan. The one thing I do know is as a fan, unlike main stream media that have to be professional and not show emotions or biases as a fan I have the luxury of being able to express my feelings.
I still can’t watch the handshake line and I can’t hardly stand seeing a sad Patrick Kane or a sad Jonathan Toews. I’m not sure I can watch the boys clean out their lockers today but maybe like our captain Jonathan Toews said the work for next year starts now and viewing the future is best.
Even though this season came up just short of the one goal the Blackhawks have I’m choosing to focus on the positive emotion I’m left with hope. Hope for the future and it this hope that is founded on real tangible evidence.
Brandon Saad, Ben Smith and Antti Raanta all developing and gaining important game experiences for one. Brandon Saad and Ben Smith my gosh how they have grown in just these playoffs. They are developing into beasts that will be a force for years to come. Oh and Stan you need to literally anti up for Ben and Antti, please and thank you.
The talent that is sitting is Rockford gives me hope. Names like Clendening, Teravainen, McNeill, Danault, Hartman, Johns I can’t wait to see them develop and grow into the next wave of forces to help catapult the Hawks farther for this I thank you.
From October to June I was completely entertained and witnessed some of the most extraordinary hockey I have ever seen that was capped by a WCF series that was just incredible. The skill and creativity on this team is just other worldly and for that I thank you.
For giving me and my friends great experiences at the United Center. I thank you
The character and leadership on this team makes me proud. This team represents my city with grace, class, skill and dignity. I’m old enough to be the parent of all of these players and yet I find they inspire and motivate me to want to do and be better and for that I thank you.
In parting, the other positive is in October we get to go on this incredible rollercoaster ride together again with new challenges and thrills. I know the boys will be ready to once again go for the one goal and they will be for many years to come which brings a smile to my face and for that I thank you.
The core on this team, every single one of them makes me appreciate their dedication and bringing hockey back to Chicago and for that I thank you.
See you boys in October at the Madhouse. Enjoy your summers, rest up and always remember we are here standing behind you wanting only the best for you with one sentiment – GO HAWKS!