The Blackhawks just won the first game in triple overtime of the Stanley Cup Finals, which means hockey mania is at a fever pitch throughout Chicago and the suburbs. The pricey tickets may be out of reach, but you can still share the action with other fans by catching the game at a local sports bar. Some of these spots are official Blackhawks bars, meant to serve as hangouts for fans during away games, and all of them will have the finals on plenty of TVs and offer perks like specials and giveaways. It's the next best thing to being in the United Center.
Bannerman's Sports Grill, 858 S. Route 59, Bartlett, (630) 213-2400: During the Hawks 2010 Stanley Cup run, this bar got so packed that people started bringing their own tables and chairs to watch the game. This year Bannerman's has moved its pool tables and rented extra furniture to make room for fans, who help replicate the United Center experience by standing and screaming during the national anthem. During away games, you'll see the same introduction played at the stadium on 80 TVs including nine projector screens. Drink specials include 24-ounce Miller Lite and Coors Light cans and $5 Jagermeister shots.
Blue Line Bar & Grill, 475 S. Grace St., Addison, (630) 543-7825: Located in a hockey rink, Blue Line is a hangout for hockey lovers year round. For the finals they'll be giving away coupons every time the Hawks score and will play Blackhawks songs throughout the game. They're also offering a Hawks bingo board where players fill squares based on what's happening in the game. While you watch on their 10-foot-by-10-foot screen, order up a $3 Corona and Corona Light or a $12 set of shots served on a hockey stick.
Chelios' Pub and Grill, 2105 Ogden Ave., Aurora, (630) 585-7650: You'll want to arrive early to catch the bar's pregame show where they play DVDs from the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals and team anthem "Chelsea Dagger." The bartenders spit fire to kick off the game and they'll repeat the trick if the Hawks win. You can catch the action on 23 TVs while drinking $2 Bud and Bud Light bottles and $2 select shots.
DMK Burger Bar, 2370 Fountain Square Drive, Lombard, (630) 705-9020: The bar paid tribute to star player Patrick Kane by naming a special burger for him. Topped with blue cheese sour cream, buffalo sauce and onion strings, the $10 burger is available during each game.
East Side Pub, 2400 E. Main St., St. Charles, (630) 377-7655: The bar shows the game on nine TVs and holds the same shoot-the-puck competition that you'll find at the United Center, giving away T-shirts to fans that score a goal.
Fitz's Pub, 172 N. Addison Road, Elmhurst, (630) 530-0777: You can snack on 25-cent wings while watching the action on the bar's dozen TVs. The bar's staff rings a fire bell and plays "Chelsea Dagger" after every goal.
John Barleycorn, 1100 American Lane, Schaumburg, (847) 619-5540: Chow down on a special bar menu including $5 Italian sausage, $9 stuffed potato skins, $7 pretzel bites and $9.95 Lagunitas beer cheese nachos.
Mullen's, 3080 Warrenville Road, Lisle, (630) 505-0240: You can watch the game here on three projectors and 15 HDTVs and have a shot at winning a raffle for a jersey. The bar plays a train horn whenever the Hawks score that can be heard throughout the space. Fans can watch with $3 Bud and Bud Light 22-ounce stadium cups.
Paps Ultimate Bar and Grill, 1904 S. Elmhurst Road, Mount Prospect, (847) 806-7733: When the playoffs started, Paps strung up a dummy clad in a Minnesota jersey, skates, pants and a helmet with a hockey puck stuck in its mouth -- and they kept changing up the uniforms to match the Hawks' latest opponent. Fans got so attached to the effigy that when it deflated, they blamed its absence for the team's slump and urged the owner to get a new one. Now it's back in a Bruins jersey for you to ridicule and take pictures with.
Real Time Sports, 1120 W. Devon Ave., Elk Grove Village, (847) 534-5000: Fans get a raffle ticket when they come in that enters them in a drawing for a jersey at the end of the game. While you watch, enjoy $15 Coors Light aluminum pint buckets and the sounds of a newly installed goal horn and "Chelsea Dagger" marking every goal.
Thirsty Whale Bar & Grill, 1700 S. Randall Road, Algonquin, (847) 458-8555: The bar brings in everyone from families to seniors to watch the Hawks play on two 10-foot projector screens and 32 other TVs. The place goes wild for goals, with three red lights flashing and a horn and "Chelsea Dagger" blaring. They'll be raffling off beer and wine packages, gift baskets and T-shirts and serving $4 tequila shots and $2.50 Bud Light drafts colored Blackhawks red.
Shanahan's, 1999 75th St., Woodridge, (630) 985-5945: Catch all the plays on 11 screens while drinking $3 Budweiser and Bud Light, $3 Fireball shots and $5 Captain Morgan, Ketel One and Jack Daniels cocktails.
Wickets Bar & Grill, 601 N. Martingale Road, Schaumburg, (847) 619-1400: Watch the game on nine HDTVs while drinking $3.50 24-ounce Corona bottles or sharing a $13 bucket with friends. The bar will also be surprising fans by adding food and drink specials each period.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.