Jun 13, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks centerJonathan Toews
(19) passes the puck against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second period game five of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Not that anyone is counting (actually we are), but there are only 25 days until the Chicago Blackhawks raise the ceremonial championship banner at the United Center. That’s right, it’s Corey Tropp days until the start of the season. I don’t know about you, but for me it’s been a long and drawn-out summer. Yet we are on the cusp of a new chapter. 25 days might seem like a long time, but it goes by in a flash. A new hockey season is definitely something to look forward to, something to cherish. Kind of like Christmas.
My son was born on December 1st. So it has become something of a tradition in our household to not begin the Christmas season until he has his special day. A few red things might creep into the décor, but for the most part, we don’t see anything Christmas until we officially start the 25 day countdown. The Advent calendar certainly helps things along. I personally thought my kids were getting too old for this last year. But let’s face it, having the privilege of popping a chocolate into your mouth before breakfast never gets old.
But I digress. In the same spirit as the countdown to Christmas, I’d like to present to you 5 ways to prepare for the upcoming Chicago Blackhawks season.
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5. Get your projects done. I personally like to watch every Blackhawks game if I can. So that’s 82 games, at approximately 3 hours a piece. That’s 246 hours, which calculates to over 10 days of your free time (and that’s just the regular season)! Jeez, when I put it that way I start to feel a little guilty…no, not really.
Now don’t lie to yourself. You probably have a few projects that you’ve procrastinated. Were you supposed to paint a room in the house? Clean out the garage? Maybe you’ve really been meaning to redo the bathroom. Whatever it is, get your projects done now, so that you don’t have to feel guilty later.
4. Find your apparel. It’s ok, really it is. When summer came along, and the Hawks weren’t playing anymore, your Blackhawks sweaters and apparel got slowly delegated to the back of the closet. Well, now it’s time to pull it out. Grab that Toews sweater. Pull out your Blackhawks t-shirt. Do a have a championship baseball cap? Wear it with pride!
Better yet, with a new season upon us, why not go out and make a new purchase? This is the perfect time to add to your Blackhawks wardrobe. With no games coming up just yet, you won’t have to worry about your latest acquisition being bad luck. Remember, we ‘Hawks fans can be a superstitious bunch. That reminds me, I have to get a new Hjalmarsson sweater ordered. My existing one is pretty beat up; but I couldn’t do anything about it during last year’s playoffs because I didn’t want to jinx it.
Ladies, are you in the market for some Blackhawks jewelry? Google She Beads and the Blackhawks and you can shop for some great necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. Everything is 100% handmade, and pretty reasonably priced. I have a bracelet that I wear every game for good luck.
3. Schedule some parties. There’s nothing like a good excuse for a party, and now you have 82 excuses. If you go to the official Chicago Blackhawks website, you can take a look at the schedule, and plan some fun get-togethers.
Of course the first home game and the banner raising is on October 7th. That’s a Wednesday; I might have to call in sick or get the day off the next day. In 2013, the banner raising was pretty special. I would anticipate the Blackhawks organization going all out this year to put together a phenomenal show. Oh, and then the ‘Hawks play their first game against the New York Rangers! Let’s hope they can keep the hangover at bay and pull out a win.
The following weekend (October 9 and 10) the Blackhawks play on both Friday and Saturday night. It might be a great weekend to wear your Hossa sweater all weekend. And you could go to Jewel and get a big Blackhawks brownie cake to live off of.
Of course, this is only the beginning. For the next 7 months, we will have the opportunity to watch the Chicago Blackhawks play 3 to 4 nights a week. Take advantage of it and have some fun!
2. Get to know the players. Again, if you go to the Chicago Blackhawks website, you can take a look at the roster and get to know the players. I for one am pretty diligent about putting names with numbers. Everything happens so fast out there, sometimes it’s easier to see a number on the back of a jersey instead of a name.
The ‘Hawks have some new names this year. There’s Artem Anisomov (15), Marko Dano (56), Ryan Garbutt (28), Artemi Panarin (72), Viktor Tikhonov (14), Corey Tropp (25), and Trevor Daley (6). There will be a quiz about names and numbers at the end of this post (just kidding).
1. Go to a game! I mean this with the utmost of sincerity. Watching a game on TV is great, but it’s nothing compared to taking in the real thing. Treat yourself! You’re worth it! Figure out a way to get to at least one game. And if you’re the kind that goes to multiple games, plan one more! Trust me, you will not be disappointed.
There are affordable solutions. You can go to a game against a non-rival team, such as the Florida Panthers, and it won’t cost as much money. Or you could get standing-room-only tickets. These tickets usually can be bought at the last minute for not much money.
Perhaps you want to try to go to an away game this year. Here’s a tip. The St. Louis Blues host the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday, November 14. The Chicago Bears play against the St. Louis Rams in St. Louis the very next day. Talk about an excellent road trip!
Or how about a trip to a warmer climate? The Hawks play in Tampa Bay on Thursday, January 21st, and then against the Florida Panthers on Friday night. Hmm, I hear Florida is pretty pleasant that time of year.
There you have it, Chicago Blackhawks fans. There’s not that much time left to get ready for the season. We need to buckle down and prepare now. How are you going to get ready for the season?
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