Its that time of the year again, when the Cubs have meaningful Playoff games the same time as the Blackhawks have regular season games. How should that be managed?
When I realized the Chicago Cubs had a do or die game the same time as the Chicago Blackhawks vs Minnesota Wild game, I had an immediate conflict. My heart said Blackhawks, as it does in every circumstance. My head said Cubs, and that’s the choice I made.
Coming off of the Chicago Cubs exhilarating Game 5 NLDS win in Washington, many fans may not want to miss a game the rest of the postseason, fearing that they’ll miss a game of that caliber. But, I’m here to tell you why you shouldn’t completely neglect the Blackhawks during the Cubs quest to go back-to-back.
While the Cubs have Game 1 of the NLCS on Saturday the 14th, the Blackhawks are also playing host to the Nashville Predators. Including the potential return of Nick Schmaltz, who seems to be the catalyst to this new Chicago Blackhawk offense, you won’t want to miss a rematch of last season’s Western Conference Quarterfinals. While both teams have a somewhat different roster than when they faced off last spring, there’s no doubt that the players who participated in that series haven’t forgot about it. Look for the Hawks to come out fast, hungry, and physical.
Game 4 of the NLCS is Wednesday the 18th, and again, the Blackhawks conveniently have a can’t miss matchup against the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center. I don’t think I need to do any convincing here, every single game these two teams play feels like a playoff game, whether it’s in October or May. The bad blood undoubtedly will carry over to this season, and seeing new physical additions to the team, such as Connor Murphy, John Hayden, and Lance Bouma make their mark on this rivalry will surely be exciting.
Connor McDavid. Need I say more? This kid has taken the league by storm, and already is considered by some to be the best player in the world. Yet again, the Blackhawks have a can’t miss matchup the same night as an NLCS game.
This one is against the Edmonton Oilers at home, the same night as a (potential) Game 5 of the NLCS at Wrigley Field. What a night for sports fans in Chicago, right? Making a trip to your local Buffalo Wild Wings or Sports Bar may be necessary, as both games provide can’t miss entertainment. The Oilers are young, fast, and tough to play against, and it undoubtedly will be interesting to see how the revamped Blackhawks match up against them.
Okay, fine. Maybe I’ll contradict myself a little. The Blackhawks play the Coyotes the same night as a potential Game 6 of the NLCS, which is guaranteed to be a potential clinching game, if the series makes it that far. Unless you’re interested in watching Niklas Hjalmarsson and Connor Murphy play their old teams, or Chicago native Christian Dvorak play his hometown team, I would say tune into the Cubs for the night.
If you need a good spot to watch both games at once, check out the list of Official Blackhawks Bars. I recommend Pequod’s if you haven’t been there. Not necessarily for the environment, but for the Pizza. The Ogden is located a few blocks from the United Center, and it provides a pretty cool environment to watch a game at.
During the Cubs playoff run last year, any time both the Blackhawks and Cubs had a home game the same night, the Blackhawks tickets were ridiculously cheap. I often find myself checking secondary markets to see if I should make any impulse purchases on cheap tickets, and I always come across tickets to a game against Edmonton at the UC being overly expensive. It makes sense, people want to see Connor McDavid play hockey in person, myself included. Who wouldn’t? Especially when he’s this young.
Because both teams have home games the same night, tickets to the Edmonton game at the United Center are extremely cheap (comparative to usual prices). Standing Room Only is going for as low as $30, and you can get a seat for $67. If you aren’t much of a Cubs fan, or you aren’t normally willing to pay resale price for Blackhawks tickets, this is a huge opportunity.
Blackhawks and Cubs Relationship
While I myself have not been to a Blackhawks game during a Cubs playoff game, it is pretty well publicized that the United Center is willing to update fans on their beloved Cubbies.
On top of score updates and showing the game on the jumbo Tron during intermission, the game is shown on some TV’s on the concourse throughout the whole Blackhawks game. Obviously the Blackhawks are their first priority, but the United Center staff caters to the obvious needs and wants of their fans very well.
My TV will for sure be using the Picture in Picture a lot the next few weeks.
It’s a great time to be a Chicago sports fan, embrace it.
Go ‘Hawks, and Fly The W, Chicago!