• Brandon Murray

    At 38 years old, I no longer play hockey, aside from rolling the net out and playing with my sons and their friends in the street. My daughter’s boyfriend is a defenceman on the high school team. Me? I have traded in what limited hockey skills I had and have invested my heart & soul in the men of four feathers. I celebrate wins with them and agaonize over losses from them. Probably a little too much.
    As I sit here today, roughly 34 hours from puck drop, my stomach is a mess. I don’t remember being this nervous in a long time, until I thought about last season. I can remember telling friends that I didn’t want to go out and watch game 7. I was going to sit and home with my boys and watch the Hawks win the WCF. My reasoning for staying home was that God forbid they lost, I didn’t want to be anywhere with anyone (other than my kids) because I would immediately want to go home and the night to end.
    I remember taking the dreaded 2 goal lead, which was the worst lead to have across any series in either conference last season. I remember them playing so hard, but what I ultimately remember is an Alec Martinez shot which seemed harmless and the deflection and then the trickle over Crawford’s shoulder. I sat there stunned. Silent. Refusing to acknowledge what I had seen. My boys immediately left the room pissed to go to bed, looking for answers that never came. I shut the television off before the handshakes were done. I sat in the bar in my basement, in the dark, with nothing but the glow of a Labatt Blue neon reflecting off my face. I wanted to cry, I wanted to throw something, I wanted to keep watching hockey.
    In the end though, I simply turned off the light, went upstairs and tried not to think about just how close we had come to another Cup. So here we are again. Game 7. A chance awaits to play for a 3rd Cup in my lifetime. Aside from the loss at the hands of the Penguins as a kid, I didn’t think I would ever see a Cup in my lifetime until 2010 came. I’m certainly not old, but I sat through some pretty bad hockey in my life. So it once again all comes down to Game 7. I believe in this Hawks team, I don’t doubt their ability to crank it up when they need to. I know that in Game 7’s anything can happen and usually does. So here is to hoping that around 10:30 pm tomorrow night, there are hundreds of thousands of Ducks fans sitting in their basements in the dark looking for answers that will never come because they’ve just seen the Hawks take the Western Conference title away from their team. It is a feeling you live with for a while and I hope the Ducks summer vacation begins Saturday night.
    Let’s Go Hawks!

    • SuperHawk27

      Just remember that it could always be worse. See: St. Louis Blues.

    • Jim

      The Hawks used the Martinez play to motivate them to this point (as per numerous interviews I’ve read online). They are 100% aware that it could only happen again if they let it. Can’t have letups, especially if they take a lead. Need all 60 minutes.

      I think they’ve solved the Duck’s defense bunching up in front of the goaltender and blocking shots. They are making a lot of passes and scattering them to open lanes, then taking shots and exposing Anderson for what he is, a good, but not great goalie.

      If all of the Hawks lay it on the line, Anaheim can’t match the Hawks talent, and 4 lines they roll. And if they put 20,19,88 look out. Then there is Hossa, Richards, Bickell, then 86, 80, 10, then Shaw, Kruger, Dejardines, how they gonna stop all of that? I forgot the main secret weapon, Duncan Keith. It almost ain’t fair. The Ducks are good, but they aren’t as good as the Kings were last year.

    • Much like yourself I remember game 7 vividly. I had a hockey game that night and was praying for a regulation win. Thought I was golden with that 2 goal lead. Then the Kings tied it up. I tried to watch as much of OT at home before I had to leave for my game.

      I remember the score alert game on my phone first (I was streaming the WGN feed and it was about 30 seconds behind). Then I heard it on the broadcast. Just totally felt my heart sink.

      The weeks that followed sucked, namely because of all of the new Kings fans that were suddenly popping up everywhere (I’m in San Diego) and it was so damn annoying. I don’t want a repeat of that.

      So many things have to go right just to get to this point and I know that next year, this team is going to look very different. So with that in mind I don’t want this to end, not tomorrow night and certainly not before we win the Cup.

    • ZigZags82

      Amen brother. One of the most painful losses of my life. If it hurt us this bad, you just know it motivates the Hawks deeply. A cheers and hope to the Hawks inflicting that same pain on Ducks fans tomorrow night!

      Let’s Go Hawks!

  • rhodes

    Good article about the Messier award (from a little while ago) linked from the Getzlaf article.


    I did not realize that the Messier award recipient was decided by Mark Messier alone. Takes a bit of the shine off of it for me.

    Mark Messier and Ryan “we-lost-because-of-me” Getzlaf have that in common. They both hold very high opinions of themselves.

    • ZigZags82

      Have others respect you not you deeming your respect.

  • Preacher

    I just hope that the Hawks don’t “cool and calm” themselves into a flat first period while the Ducks are flying everywhere playing with desperation and urgency into a big lead. While Q can coach himself out of a good game on occasion, I think the players get a little too “flip-the-switch” happy at times. Here’s hoping they come out with the switch flipped, killer instinct on full, blood-in-the-water mentality from the opening puck drop. And they don’t let up until the final horn sounds and they’re accepting a trophy that they won’t touch. Let’s Go Hawks!!!

    • ZigZags82

      They won’t waste it. Coming out flying.

  • ourgeorge

    I really want to believe the Hawks have finally ‘broken’ the Ducks with their high pace of play. Ducks have a bunch of big athletic guys, but they go on auto-pilot when they get tired: Kane walks around a defender who is looking to block a shot, Keith paralyzes an entire defense with two fake shots, Maroon fails to capitalize on a few decent chances. Similar to what the Hawks did to the Bruins to win the Cup eventually.

    Evade the first defensive wave with two passes. Apply pressure while the Ducks are out of position and need to scramble. Repeat until the Ducks are tired and engage auto-pilot then bury them with speed and skill plays. The Hawks need to be calm and collected to make those first passes. I’ll be very optimistic if the Hawks look comfortable and move the puck well in the first few minutes of the game (like the beginning of game 6). Otherwise, I’ll be an absolute basket-case for the entire game.

    • ZigZags82

      They’ll be on point and focused to do exactly that.

  • rhodes

    Love the picture above the links, by the way. That might have been the biggest play of the night.

    • ZigZags82

      A metaphor for tomorrow night. Hawks keeping the Ducks out.

  • GoldenJet

    I have work to do and my brain can’t concentrate on anything…I have butterflies in my stomach…fuck!…wish this game was tonight.

    I’m like a broken record…keep to the smart passes to the open man, avoid the traps, keep the defense moving side to side, keep good spacing, get someone in front of Andersen, keep Anderson moving side to side, avoid turning the puck over in our zone or the neutral zone.

    If Anaheim tries to skate with the Hawks, they’ll lose.

    If Anaheim tries to smash everyone into next week and the Hawks avoid retaliation and injury, Ducks lose.

    Fuck you Corey Perry, right in the pussy!

    We all remember last season and how the Hawks let one slip away…If the Hawks play their game, they should be moving on…Let’s win this one in regulation boys!