Hello, April. I have been patiently waiting for you to come up on the calendar. For when April rolls around, so does my favorite time of the year: playoff hockey time.
The NHL playoffs just make me feel like a kid on Christmas Day, except I get to feel those feelings of jubilation for the next six or so weeks. Through the long journey, I will reach my highest highs and my lowest lows, but like so many other hockey fans, we do it for one reason: It’s the Cup.
Hailing from Chicago, I have been blessed to see, hold, kiss and enjoy the Stanley Cup three different times over the past six years. There is nothing quite like the feeling of seeing your team win a championship, but I can assure you that watching your team in the middle of a dynasty is an quite the unexplainable experience. Although I have for sure shaved some precious years off my life with the strain the excitement three championship runs does to the heart, I’m definitely ready for another parade.
Am I overconfident? You better believe it, but I have my reasons.
The Blackhawks have the beyond solid core of players in Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith and Patrick Kane that the league has ever seen. Any other team in the league would pay and an and a leg to have one of these players on their side, and the Blackhawks have all six together. To make it better – or worse for opponents – Kane has been having a career year with 46 goals and 106 points.
The talent continues with Corey Crawford between the pipes, who has registered 35 wins and a league leading seven shutouts during the regular season. The depth stretches with rookie Artemi Panarin, who led all rookies with 30 goals and 77 points during his first regular season in the league. The next closest rookie registered just 56 points on the year.
Are the stars aligning for another Blackhawks championship? Will the Blackhawks win back-to-back Stanley Cups for the fourth time in seven years? Will I lose some more precious years off of my life because of the drastic mood changes I will undoubtedly go through over the next few weeks? It seems as if all answers point towards yes, and I sure hope I am correct.
It is amazing to really watch every second of the championship run, and it is another completely different thing to see a championship parade with your own eyes.
There really is nothing like a championship parade. What the Blackhawks have been able to do for the City of Chicago is indescribable. It is truly amazing to see a sea of red sweaters in the summer heat coming together for a chance to see the most coveted trophy in sports.