Someone will have to explain what it means for the Blackhawks to start the season the way they have.
Except that, you know, it sure is fun to witness.
The Hawks have been so good so far that even the bad times are good.
The Anaheim Ducks beat them 3-2 in a shootout Tuesday night, and that still was good enough to extend the Hawks’ streak to 13 games without losing in regulation.
The Hawks’ record is 10-0-3, meaning they have compiled 23 of a possible 26 points.
The most recent point recorded in the United Center indicated how much fun the start to this season has been. My goodness, how exciting does a sports fan want a game to be in February?
It was fun on this night to see Corey Crawford continue to grow into the goalie he’s becoming.
Fun to see Patrick Kane continue to play up to his enormous potential.
Fun to see Hawks penalty killers stifle Anaheim’s two-man advantage.
Fun to see Brian Bickell use that sturdy body of his to knock a couple of Ducks into the boards.
Fun to see Brandon Saad horizontally fly through the air like Superman and swat a shot into the Anaheim net.
That’s the short term.
It’s the long term that remains mysterious.
Like, does all this mean the Hawks are on their way to more likely winning the Stanley Cup than not winning it? Or are they merely ensuring themselves a playoff berth?
Maybe it’s just my background growing up in Chicago, but all I can think of is that the Kings won the title last season after finishing the regular season eighth in the Western Conference. So even blitzing the entire regular season wouldn’t mean much.
Let’s localize the issue. Remember, the Bears just missed the playoffs after starting the season 7-1.
Going further back, the Cubs were 25 games over .500 one year and finished the season right at .500.
Heck, the Milwaukee Brewers won their first 13 games in 1987 — No. 13 coming here in the old Comiskey Park — and didn’t qualify for the playoffs.
The Hawks know the drill. They know that even in this compressed 48-game season the playoffs — not to mention the Stanley Cup Finals — are a long way off.
The NHL is even wackier than other sports. The Hawks finished third in the West before winning the Stanley Cup three years ago.
Individual slumps and team skids await the next couple of months. The good bounces the Hawks have been enjoying will at some point become bad bounces they will suffer.
The Hawks are relatively healthy right now, but somewhere along the way a blocked shot will become a bruised ankle. If it happens to a Duncan Keith or Brent Seabrook, the Hawks will be set back at least a bit.
But that’s the long term, and right now the short term is something to behold.
Man, is this ever fun.
The Hawks are skating and shooting and defending so well. They’re so entertaining. The United Center is so alive.
National hockey writers are referring to the Hawks as the Monsters on Madison and nominating Kane for league MVP.
Anyone who likes hockey will love it if they tune in to these Hawks on television or are fortunate enough to attend a game in person.
This is flat-out good stuff, the game played the way it should be, enough so that the NHL work stoppage that delayed the start of the season seems decades ago.
The best advice is to live for the short term as long as it lasts and worry about the long term later.
We’re talking a fun-for-all, folks.
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