The Chicago Blackhawks snapped a 49-year Stanley Cup-less drought in 2010 and have become the National Hockey League’s premier club. With superstars like captain Jonathan Toews, all-world winger Patrick Kane and arguably the game’s best two-way forward in Marian Hossa, the Blackhawks have become arguably the league’s best team, top to bottom.
Although it hasn’t been an easy run to being one win away from the Western Conference Finals for the third time in the last five seasons, the Blackhawks have answered every challenge and overcome adversity at every corner. That adversity includes a poor first period in Game 5 on Sunday night. The Hawks were out-shot, out-hustled and trailed 1-0 after 20 minutes of action.
Blackhawks beat writer Mark Lazerus covered Sunday’s game and tweeted this interesting tid-bit out after the first period:
I haven't heard boos here directed at the #Blackhawks in some time. Just heard a smattering before the organ drowned them out.
— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) May 12, 2014
Blackhawks fans are booing a team that has won two of the last four Stanley Cups? You’re joking, right?
Sure, there could have been other reasons why Blackhawks fans were booing. ESPN Chicago’s Scott Powers has a theory:
Did Hawks fans actually boo them last night? I swear they were booing the Wild for holding the puck as the first period ended. Am I wrong?
— Scott Powers (@ESPNChiPowers) May 12, 2014
Of course, the Blackhawks played a tough and rugged 40 minutes to rip Game 5 away from the surging Wild and Hawks fans went home from the United Center happy and content with a 3-2 series lead.
Even with a Blackhawks win, that doesn’t change the fact that the Hawks fans who booed as the teams left the ice gave Chicago a bad image last night.
The old adage is, “When you win, they love you.” That’s extremely true in today’s age of sports (Google “Drake”). The point is, there are plenty of Blackhawks fans that sat through the dark era of Bill Wirtz owning the team. There are plenty of Blackhawks fans that sat through losing season after losing season. During that time, there were plenty of boos thrown around in that era.
Personally, I’m a late-arriver to the Blackhawks party. I became a Blackhawks fan during the 2008 season, where the Hawks were eliminated by the Detroit Red Wings in five games in the Western Conference Finals. The conference finals appearance was the first for the Hawks since the ’94-95 season.
I didn’t really understand the buzz that surrounded the Blackhawks run that season. I was still relatively learning the game and I grew up only watching the Bulls and White Sox when it came to Chicago sports teams. The more I watched the Blackhawks, the more I realized how important the Hawks were to the city of Chicago.
It may not be my place to say this being a new-school fan and all, but Blackhawks fans booing the team is completely unacceptable and rather pathetic. Spoiled fans ruin my day every time.
How can you boo a team who has won two Stanley Cups in four seasons, two division titles, a President’s Trophy and had 10 Olympians skate in the 2014 Winter Olympics?
Whatever your reason was for booing the Blackhawks after the opening period on Sunday was, just know that the last seven seasons have been a part of the best era in the history of the Chicago Blackhawks since their inception in 1926.
Yes, the Hawks had just finished their ninth-straight period of bad playoff hockey, so frustration was setting in once again. That’s understandable as a player and a fan.
But to throw boos down from the upper deck for a team that’s had as much success as the Blackhawks have had, is disgraceful and further shows how spoiled the city of Chicago has been since 2008.