Mar 25, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Former Chicago Blackhawks hall of fame goalie Ed Belfour is honored during the game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Nashville Predators at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-US PRESSWIRE

Reflections On Blackhawks History


Since becoming a fan of the NHL and the Chicago Blackhawks in 2011( aka last year), I don’t have a whole lot of background knowledge of where the team has been. I know some of the highlights just from listening to Pat Foley and Eddie Olczyk and reading articles like these, but it’s difficult to connect those events to the same club. I know that history is what made winning the Stanley Cup in 2010 so gratifying for fans. Going through so many highs and lows, coming so close only to lose ground – overcoming all of that to claim the Cup two years ago sounds like an exhilarating ride and one that wish I had been a part of.

Fortunately, Comcast SportsNet has decided to air classic games of the Blackhawks in light of the lockout. Tuesday night, they aired game 4 of the 1994 playoffs series between the Blackhawks and the Toronto Maple Leafs. Here are just a few things that I picked up from that game.

 

The Old Chicago Stadium was important to fans and the players. It still is to those who have fond memories of the building. If the Blackhawks dropped game 4, there was a chance that they would never be back. The team would move to the United Center the following year, and the combined emotion of the players and the fans in the Stadium that night revealed that they were not quite ready to say goodbye.

Jeremy Roenick was a stud. I like JR for his strong opinions on rules and plays and for his obvious love of hockey, but he was also a dynamic and passionate player all over the ice. It was easy to see that the fans responded to him and loved him. Scoring the game winner in overtime to ensure at least one more game in the Old Chicago Stadium didn’t hurt either! But that’s just what studs do.

Last year the Blackhawks hosted Ed Belfour Heritage Night. They played a few videos of his unbelievable saves and some clips of him displaying his colorful personality while guarding his net. That ceremony was the first time I had heard of “Eddie the Eagle,” and it was fun to see him play.

Seeing Darryl Sutter behind the Blackhawk bench was a little startling. I learned his demeanor well from the Los Angeles Kings’ 2012 Playoffs run to the Stanley Cup, but it just doesn’t seem right if there’s not a magnificent mustache calling the shots for the team in the Indian Head jersey.

Darren Pang used to have some hair. He looks better now. On the bright side, at least he wasn’t part of that mullet craze that lasted waaaay too long in the ’80s and ’90s.

Pat Foley is still the greatest play-by-play announcer ever. Period. Can we PLEASE hear an original “Hawks win! Hawks win!” again soon???

 

 

What do you think: what was your favorite part of the 1994 Blackhawks/Maple Leafs playoffs series?

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  • ericthered

    I appreciate that younger fans still care about the Hawk before they became fans.

    I’m a little older so I remember going to games at the Stadium, including that memorable ’93-94 season. It’s tough to look back on it now because what probably should’ve been a fantastic season was a bit of a struggle from the start. There was the Larmer holdout after the Hawks failed to trade him during the summer, and then when he finally did get moved, it seemed like they didn’t get enough for him. The Hawks lost Goulet that year to a career ending injury when he got concussed after a scary fall and collision with the end boards. Late in the season Steve Smith broke his leg in a game against Winnipeg during a fight with Tie Domi, and he would be missed for not just the rest of the season but also the playoffs as well. It was a lot to overcome.

    That Leaf team was tough. Toronto was so gritty, and I sometimes wonder if Steve Smith had been healthy would he have made a difference. Imagine a top 4 with Chelios, Suter, Weinrich, and Smith, pretty good…I guess looking back on it I’m just glad they fought back after losing the first two games in that series. I still remember that gut wrenching feeling when the lost game 6 at the Stadium, and then the radio interviews after, it was tough. The Hawks finished that series losing two games (games 5 and 6) 1-0, just a tough pill to take.

    Edit: I almost forgot to add, how great did Pat Foley sound! Back then they still did the simulcasts so you heard more play-by-play from Foley then you do nowadays as the broadcast with Dale Tallon as the color guy was also used as the radio feed. It’s not to say that he isn’t good today, but they were a special broadcast tandem back then.

    • JoHannah

      Thanks for the information! The more I learn about the
      Blackhawks, the more I love them. I like hearing the names of players that may
      not have made it into the Blackhawks hall of fame but had important roles on
      the team nonetheless.

      And I’m so glad Pat Foley has been with the Blackhawks for so long! I never thought about how broadcasting must have changed… Thanks for your insight!

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