During the Stanley Cup playoffs, you can't afford to miss a game. As the Vancouver Canucks consistently prove, a team can have one bad week and it's tee time instead of hockey time. Every single second of Twitter-mashing, mouth-frothing, under-your-breathing-swearing-because-kids-are-around action is precious.
So what do you do, Blackhawks fan, on the nights when your team isn't playing?
For the greater good this year, you need to suck it up and root for St. Louis, Detroit and Raffi Torres (San Jose). Yeah, that scumbag.
As the Blackhawks tore through the Western Conference en route to a 36-7-5 record, the three teams that caused most problems for the top seed were Anaheim, Vancouver and Los Angeles. The Hawks had a rare regulation loss against the defending champion Kings, were 1-1-1 with only a shootout win against the 'Nucks, and went 0-2-1 versus the suddenly mighty Ducks. It'd be awesome if none of these teams appeared on Chicago's road to the Stanley Cup finals.
So you should stay up late Tuesday, sit on your lucky couch cushion and hope Raffi Torres scores an overtime goal for the Sharks like he did in Game 2 (seriously, ha ha Vancouver). And Wednesday you should bone up on your pronunciation of "Datsyuk" and somehow try to overlook the fact that Blues captain David Backes is a cheap-shot artist.
Because it's the Cup, you gotta do hard things.
Should either Detroit or San Jose achieve an upset (and at least one will) and the Blackhawks finish off the Wild (and they will), NHL reseeding rules would pit Chicago against one of those two teams in the West semifinals … and Chicago was a perfect 6-0-0 against them this year. Ain't nothing wrong with making the toughest championship road in sports a little less bumpy.
Go ahead and buy an octopus. Throw it on your kitchen floor when the Red Wings score and don't feel guilty about it. The enemy of your team's enemy is temporarily your friend, mah frenz.
But don't you dare buy a Torres jersey. Unless you plan on burning it.
RedEye special contributor Alex Quigley can be heard on WGN Radio 720.
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