How COVID-19 Impacted the Chicago Blackhawks
By Colin Schwartz
Sports are ramping back up in Chicago! It’s about time, right? Well, let’s take a look back at the dramatic time this all started, and what happened in between then and now.
Close your eyes and take yourself back to March 11th, 2020. The Chicago Blackhawks had just finished up a big 6-2 win against the San Jose Sharks, and if you’re like me, you were probably flipping through some college basketball games.
Then it began.
The NBA suspended their season due to a virus known as COVID-19. The next morning the NHL suspended their season, and almost all college basketball came to a halt. It seemed like the world stopped spinning.
As I said, the Blackhawks had come off a win to keep their playoff hopes alive. They were 6-4-0 in their last 10 games and seemed to be in for a battle until the end of the season.
After the season was suspended, no one knew what was going to happen to the season. Especially after a two-week quarantine turned into an almost four-month quarantine. Things, including sports, got politicized in the news. There were riots in Chicago. Seemed like things would never return to anything even close to normal.
As the summer went on, the continuation of the 2019-2020 season looked bleaker and bleaker. Which, for the Blackhawks, had to be disappointing. It was fun watching guys like Kirby Dach and Dominik Kubalik continue to develop as rising stars on the team.
Then the 22nd of May came, and the NHL announced a format for a 24 team playoff. Which included the Blackhawks. The NHL came forward a little bit later and announced the two hub cities in Canada, and the playoffs, and Blackhawk hockey, was back on.
We were all excited when the Blackhawks returned to Chicago for their summer camp on July 13th. There was, however, one big thing wrong.
Corey Crawford was labeled “unfit to play” by coach Jeremy Colliton and missed a majority of the summer camp. We later found out the Crawford had tested positive to COVID-19. We have now seen Crawford play in an exhibition game and were encouraged, but it still has to be scary for the Blackhawks.
The Blackhawks also had another scary moment when Jonathon Toews left the ice early one day and was then labeled “unfit to play” the next day at practice. This ended up being no big deal.
The Blackhawks are now done with their one exhibition game, a 4-0 over first-seeded St. Louis Blues, and ready to start their five games round-robin series against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday at 2 PM.
Sports being back is awesome. Baseball, basketball, and most of all, hockey is all now back and I couldn’t be more excited. We should all be excited. I don’t care that there are no fans. After a four-month sports hiatus, it was time for it to be back.
Even though the Blackhawks start playing again, we can’t forget everything that got us to this point. This country, and the world, have been through a lot. Too much to talk about in this. So, no matter how the Blackhawks do over these playoffs, take a minute to think about how lucky we are to just have sports back. Think about it, and then enjoy it.