Good morning, Chicago Blackhawks fans, and hopefully you didn’t dream about last night’s game in Washington, D.C.
If you’re reading this post, you’re very likely aware the Chicago Blackhawks dropped a major-league goose egg in the nation’s capital Friday night. Their four-game win streak came to a close with a 6-0 loss against the Washington Capitals, now winners of eight straight games.
The Blackhawks as a whole didn’t show up for this game, and it left guys like Jonathan Toews and Niklas Hjalmarsson pretty upset after the contest.
So, obviously, there wasn’t much positive to talk about after this result. The Blackhawks face the Minnesota Wild on Sunday for the first time this season, knowing they hold a two-point advantage over the Wild in the Central Division with Minnesota carrying five games in hand.
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But you didn’t really open this post to read more about a terrible loss. So I’m going to offer something else. Some of you might not want to read about this topic, either, but it’s too late for me to turn around in writing it.
“Mascot beatdown” causes reactions
If you haven’t seen the video of Chicago Blackhawks mascot Tommy Hawk taking a baseball bat beatdown at the hands of Minnesota Wild mascot Nordy, have a look here.
For those video impaired, here’s the story. Nordy, the Minnesota Wild mascot, was having a birthday party during one of the intermissions. Various other NHL mascots were invited — Tommy Hawk, Louie of the St. Louis Blues and NJ Devil of the New Jersey Devils, the most noticeable.
There was a cake for Nordy, and Tommy Hawk apparently shoved Nordy’s face into it. That’s not very nice, Tommy. But Nordy would have his revenge … in the form of a baseball-bat beatdown.
Nordy was blindfolded while Tommy Hawk held a pinata for Nordy to swing at. Instead, Nordy hit Tommy Hawk multiple times while being egged on by the in-rink announcer.
OK, so without the sound on, I thought this was pretty comical. Even with the sound on, I still thought it was harmless enough (although a grown man egging on one mascot to beat down another mascot is a bit weird).
Not everyone agreed, however. Chicago Blackhawks/Bulls beat writer Chris Kuc, of the Chicago Tribune, was not amused by the act and wrote a story about it. Naturally, this brought Twitter folks out of the woodwork to insult the daylights out of Kuc.
While I might not be on the same wavelength as Kuc regarding this skit, here are a few things I know (or at least think): 1) Everyone is entitled to an opinion; 2) Having an opinion is OK in the realm of journalism; 3) Speaking out against a mascot-on-mascot beatdown has zero to do with a person’s capability of covering hockey, let alone any other spot.
People went absolutely crazy in bashing Kuc for his opinion, as you can see if you pop up his Twitter timeline. People calling for Kuc to find his “safe space” are particularly noteworthy, considering they’re the ones appearing offended by what someone else has said.
Look, you don’t have to agree with everyone, on your computer or off it. But it’s so disappointing to see hockey fans — no doubt there were Blackhawks fans among them — bashing a reporter over an opinion that changes their lives in no way whatsoever.
Some of these Blackhawks fans spitting venom at Kuc will probably be back on his feed Sunday asking who’s starting in net for the Blackhawks. I don’t want to tell anyone how to live their life or express their opinion, but it’d be great to see Blackhawks fans and other hockey fans try to be less sensitive and outrageously angry toward opposing viewpoints. (I realize I’m seeking a ton here.)
The NHL, among the four major U.S. leagues, is the one that needs the most propping up due to its own inner struggles. Fans being doofuses on social media over someone’s thoughts on a mascot skit does nothing to help its image.
So now that I’ve got that thought out of the way, let’s get to some Chicago Blackhawks morning links.
Chicago Blackhawks morning links
— Some reaction from Friday’s setback. Chicago Sun-Times
— Unhappiness from coach Joel Quenneville. Chicago Blackhawks
— Fans appreciate Martin St. Louis. NHL.com
— Spotlight on a defenseman the Blackhawks will see Sunday. NBC Sports via Twitter
— Booing during an opposing national anthem? RT.com
— Rockford IceHogs fall short in overtime Friday. Rockford IceHogs
That’s all you get for today’s Blackhawks morning links. Check back with the site later today for a question-and-answer post with a member of FanSided’s Minnesota Wild team ahead of Sunday’s tilt at the United Center.
Until then, please be nicer to the beat writers.