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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