Chicago, IL — There are some NHL games that don’t need any pomp and circumstance as they are event all by themselves without sales pitches or marketing schemes. Tonight’s game at the United Center against the Montreal Canadiens is one of them.
If it was not enough the most iconic NHL jersey’s will square off in an original six cross conference match-up.
For the youth of today go look up the 1960’s/70’s Chicago Blackhawks and of course the hallowed Flying Frenchmen of Montreal. The history and tradition that the NHL was built on are captured in those sweaters that will don the ice once again.
If that was not enough both clubs are currently ranked #1 & 2 in the NHL. The Montreal Canadiens have come out of the gates flying that would make the Rocket proud.
The Hawks had a little bit of a stumble at the gates due to new faces and finding themselves particularly on the special teams.
Now though the Hawks seem to have found themselves and are currently sitting #1 in the West and 2nd in league overall sitting only behind these same Montreal Canadiens.
Putting aside traditions, legacy and best club statuses perhaps what is more impassioned will be the return of Phillip Danault and Andrew Shaw.
Now I for one did not like at the time the trade of Danault and my opinion of that trade still has not changed. I’m admittedly biased for Danault. I remember seeing him in prospect camps and loved the guys passion and sheer love of the game and nothing has changed that.
I understand the Hawks have a window and they needed to bulk up last year for another playoff run but damn I want Philly back but I guess that is hockey baby.
Danault has come out of the gates flying and has seemed to have found the net. He already has more goals with Montreal than I believe he did the entire time he was here in Chicago in a limited stint.
Ironically he is centering Andrew Shaw and Max Pacioretty and that line I believe has as many points as Kane, Toews and Panarin combined.
Danault is a Montreal native so the trade seems to have worked out great for Phillip. I wish the kid nothig but success and a bright future there as I’m sure anyone who was at those prospect/rookie camps, Icehogs games & Hawks games do as well. Meilleur de tout Phillip.
Andrew Shaw has not had that easy of a transition to the hockey club de Montreal but seemed like his ole Shawzy self in yesterdays game vs the Detroit Red Wings.
Don’t feel bad Shawzy I’m sure your team mates, coaches and fans here in Chicago have had problems as well adjusting to life without the Mutt. Again thank the cap, oh why can’t hockey be like baseball.
Remember coach Quenneville said that Shaw was irreplaceable prior to the trade and as far as I can recall he has never said that about anyone. So we all miss Shaw.
Chicago will never forget him helping bring two Stanley Cups here in 2013 & 2015. I for one will always have that indelible image of a puffed up black and blue eye and blood running down his cheek while hoisting the Cup in my head. That pretty much sums up Shaw, determination, energy and above all grit.
If you didn’t love Shaw already he dedicated the goal he scored yesterday to his friend Bryan Bickell when I saw that I almost melted into an emotional pool of mess.
Speaking of which, the news yesterday of Bryan Bickell was surprising and heart wrenching. It also explains a lot for those that thought he got complacent with the big contract. I may have been guilty of that thought myself. It now seems it was because of medical reasons and we should never judge because you have no idea what a person is going though at the time.
I wish Bryan nothing but the best, be strong, hang in there and I know with the great support system you have you will somehow thrive in a new chapter of life.
Ok back to hockey, I’m really not sure as I’m sure most fans and team mates are how i’m going to feel seeing Shaw and Danault with the C on their chest repping Canadiens not Chicago.
The game itself will be a good measuring stick for both teams to see how they will fare against a strong opponent who they will not see much unless somehow they manage to both make it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final. Oh that would be a dream but first things first.
This will also be the last home game for the Hawks for a while as they head out on their annual circus trip. So to say a win here would be nice to put further distance between themselves and the Blues who happened to lose on Saturday to Columbus.
It’s highly unlikely we will see Carey Price this game being the second of back to backs but one never knows.
So if you are a fan of tradition, fast skilled hockey and emotional reunions tune into this one folks it has all the earmarks of a classic.
Welcome back boys it’ll be good to see you and hopefully we can see you again in June. Chicago wishes you both well just not tonight.