I know hockey is a Canadian sport, but as a Blackhawks fan I have to take issue with the majority of the coverage in this series! J ust give the Blackhawks their due, and stop providing the Flames excuses. Throughout the entire series the media has given the Hawks backhanded compliments at best, while pointing out every break that didn't go the Flames' way. Can anyone actually justify the hue and cry for a suspension heard when Adam Burish cross checked Rene Bourque, but only called Cammellari's elbow to Martin Havlat or Todd Bertuzzi's elbow in the early minutes of game six as undisciplined? Undisciplined? Are you kidding me? Cammellari's elbow bordered on criminal!
The Blackhawks simply had more talent, composure and better execusion than the Flames. But their success is being explained away as being a result of Calgary's shortfalls - not Chicago's capabilities/ By the way, the Hawks had their share of injuries too. Sopel has been out; Sharp came into the series following scratches due to a bad wheel; Versteeg had a bum shoulder; Kane was sidelined; Towes was dinged up (which is why his ice time went down); Walker's hand was mangled, but he only missed a couple of shifts and Pahlsson had mono! Did you read anything about that in the hockey media coverage - except for Kane's missing a game, and not being able to clearly say why?
Nevertheless, this team plays the game with levels of commitment and discipline that belies their youth. Keith, Seabrook and Barker are outplaying the $56 million investment in Brian Campbell, while Hjalmarsson is playing huge minutes despite playing most of the year in Rockford! Where's that story line? Then there are the forwards. Five of the top six have 3 years or less in the league, plus two rookie starters! Where's that storyline?
So what if Chicago isn't in Canada - at least they're an Original Six team that is playing the game - right. They're already in rarified air - and judging from the regular season tilts may not do well against Vancouver - but they deserve better coverage, and that change shouldn't only come if they play Detroit! Just give the young, inexperienced, - not expected to go anywhere in the playoffs - Chicago Blackhawks their due.
As a Chicago sports fan - I think I understand loyalty. Hell, the Hawks haven't been this far in the playoffs since 1996. What I don't understand is the why throughout most of the "national" broadcasts the announcers feel compelled to point out the Hawks' Canadien backgrounds. This has already become an international sport - so why their Canadien roots is more of a story line than their capabilites? That said - if that's what's needed for these kids to get the credit they so richly deserve - then fine, let's all get fully behind Towes, Sharp, Versteeg, Kieth, Seabrook and Barker getting invites to play for Steve Yzerman's next team Canada!
But until then, they represent Chicago - and we're proud of the way they play the game - with grit, discipline, skill and as a team. Or simply - they play the game as it should be played, which is why they deserve better from the Hockey media. GO HAWKS! And if Canadians want to boo our national anthem - or the hockey media wants to slight our team because it's from south of the border - then I suggest they collectively put down the Molson's and try an Old Style - or even a cold Bud...at least that's Belgium-owned and shouldn't confuse their national pride!