Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks’ 7 Ghosts Of Seasons Past

By Colin Likas
1 of 3

Halloween is tomorrow! And the Chicago Blackhawks don’t have a game tomorrow! Hopefully you all have opportunities abound to trick-or-treat with your children, attend a Halloween party or maybe trick-or-treat yourself in spite of your age. I’m not here to judge.

At Blackhawk Up, it’s only right we get into the holiday spirit a bit. Today, we’re going to do that by taking a look at hockey types from the past who haunt the Blackhawks to this day. Whether it was by a single thing the person did or a result of a long-term action (or inaction), these individuals hold a spot in the dark, unexposed part of Blackhawks fans’ hearts. We don’t want their names said. We don’t really want to talk about them, unless we just want to rant a bit. They’re our ghosts of seasons past.

Now I will say this before I start: Considering I’m just 23-years-old, my immediate responses would likely be far different from those of someone who has been watching the team for longer than I’ve been on Earth. So I’m going to try and plunge into the before-my-time past to get some ghosts from there, too. After all, it’s not fair for just a segment of the Blackhawk Up readership to be scared on Halloween Eve while the other part rolls its eyes at how corny the attempted scare was. Also, this list is in no particular order.

And away we go!

Mike Smith, Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes goaltender

Why he’s a Blackhawks ghost: When you think of Smith, you should always think of the horrible acting job he did to get Andrew Shaw suspended for their collision in the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs. Not only does it make you dislike him more, it also helps you forget what else he did in that opening-round series.

Sure, the Blackhawks weren’t any kind of juggernaut that season, but they had a solid team that actually boasted a better record than the Phoenix outfit. They managed 101 points, which was only fourth-best in the Central Division. Meanwhile, Arizona managed 97 points but won the old Pacific Division. Of course, thanks to seeding rules at the time, Phoenix’s division title earned it the No. 3 seed while the Blackhawks slipped to No. 6.

More from Blackhawks News

Blackhawks fans might have been licking their chops at the matchup despite not having home ice, but Smith made sure those wearing the Indian Head and their fans were seeing his ghost for years to come. Smith posted an obscene .950 save percentage in six games while seeing 241 shots compared to the 159 faced by Corey Crawford. Considering the eighth-seeded Los Angeles Kings went on to win the Stanley Cup this season, the championship really was up for grabs. If Smith doesn’t pull off his best Tony Esposito impression, the Blackhawks just might have won that title. But we’ll never know, thanks to the ghost of Mike Smith.

Oct 26, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Arizona Coyotes goalie Mike Smith (41) warms up before playing against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Campoli, Chicago Blackhawks defenseman

Why he’s a Blackhawks ghost: It’s not what he did over a career, a season or a series. Not even over an entire game. It was one shift. One stinking shift in Game 7 of a Western Conference first-round series against the Vancouver Canucks in 2011. The Blackhawks had taken playoff series from the Canucks in 2009 and 2010. But Vancouver was the top seed while Chicago was seeded eighth entering the 2011 postseason, and the Canucks started the series by winning the first three games.

But we know how it went from there. Brent Seabrook is injured by a dangerous Raffi Torres hit. The Blackhawks respond in offensive force. Roberto Luongo gets pulled. Dave Bolland annihilates Dan Hamhuis to create a goal. Michael Frolik obliterates Cory Schneider‘s groin on a converted penalty shot. Luongo returns and gives up an overtime goal to Ben Smith. Jonathan Toews finds twine late in regulation in Game 7.

It almost seemed like destiny that the Blackhawks would find a way past the Canucks for the third consecutive season, a season in which the Canucks had the better team and the league’s best record. And then, Chris freaking Campoli.

His stretch-pass/clearing attempt up ice was picked off by Alexandre Burrows, and as Campoli skated backward toward Crawford and did essentially nothing to prevent a shot, Burrows let loose an absolute bomb that beat Crow high and ended the series. Campoli thankfully went away after this, but his ghost does remain for Blackhawks fans.

Next: More Ghosts, Further In The Past

More from Blackhawk Up