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posted: 10/4/2013 5:35 AM

Expect a repeat performance from Hawks

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  • Mike North counts himself among the Blackhawks faithful who believe the Chicago club will repeat as Stanley Cup champions. These fnFans cheered the team after Tuesday's 6-4 win over the Capitals.

       Mike North counts himself among the Blackhawks faithful who believe the Chicago club will repeat as Stanley Cup champions. These fnFans cheered the team after Tuesday's 6-4 win over the Capitals.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

By Mike North
The Rebel Inside

Even though I wasn't ready for hockey season, I watched part of the Blackhawks' game 6-4 victory in their entertaining opener.

I missed the banner-raising ceremony, but that's OK. "The Sopranos: were on HBO, plus "Good Fellas" and the Cincinnati Reds vs. Pittsburgh Pirates game made up a smorgasbord of great TV.

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Now I know how "The Sopranos" and "Good Fellas" ended, and for sure I know how the Blackhawks' season is going to end.

The only mystery of the night was the baseball game, and after a few innings anyone watching knew the Pirates were going to win. So really there was no mystery at all in anything I viewed.

The Hawks played OK, and I was never worried they were going to lose to the Washington Capitals. They collapsed in the third period, the same way they have collapsed in previous playoff series.

While Washington's window is starting to close, Chicago's window is wide open. The Hawks really won the game and looked completely different in the last five championship minutes.

They were penalty killing successfully and stuffed the Capitals, except for the three power-play goals they gave up in the first 55 minutes.

Corey Crawford gave up 4 goals in an OK performance, but in the last 5 minutes he became "Cash and Corey!" He looked like a combination of Tony Esposito, Ken Dryden and, well, Corey Crawford. He stood on his head and the team looked dramatically different.

It could have been a loss, but their championship pedigree will continue to make them the odds-on favorite to do it again. Patrick Kane looked great, Jonathan Toews is Captain Winner, and the team appears experienced and strong in all phases.

So while we flip around the TV channels this fall and winter, we will stop at movies like "The Godfather," "Shawshank Redemption" and "The Hangover" but also Chicago Blackhawks' games.

I don't mind reruns, and the Chicago Blackhawks will be the best rerun of them all with another championship in the cards.

And one more thing. I wasn't good at geography so I don't know why the NHL took the Detroit Red Wings out of the Western Conference and left the Hawks, but that's a bonus for us.

We still have the Pistons and the Bulls, the Tigers and the White Sox and the Lions and the Bears in the same divisions. Only the NHL would split up one of the great rivalries in sports. Things just got easier because of it.

Program notes:

I will be filling on Fox Sports radio from 6-9 p.m. Friday. I will also be filling in for Jay Mohr on Monday and Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Check me out on XM 247, iHeart radio or Fox Sports.

Listen to "The Mike North Pregame Show from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on WIND 560-AM The Answer.

• Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at For more, visit

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