Wednesday's Game 7 against Detroit is the Blackhawks' biggest showdown of the season.
Winner moves on, loser starts summer vacation. So you can be sure that prior to puck drop, as fans listen to music blaring throughout the United Center, the Hawks will rev up the locker room with their favorite tunes.
Odds are they won't be jamming to the Rolling Stones' "Start Me Up," even though Mick Jagger and the boys played the Madhouse on Madison on Tuesday. Considering that they've come back from a 3-1 deficit in the series, however, they might want to include Pearl Jam's "Alive"—aka Patrick Sharp's favorite song.
What's on the Blackhawks' pregame iPod and who's the best DJ? RedEye investigates.
Who's the best DJ in the room?
Jamal [Mayers] usually plays some music and Razer [Ray Emery] and Car Bomb [Daniel Carcillo], as well.
What usually gets played?
Uh, it's a lot of house ... . Tazer [Jonathan Toews] likes the house music, so he also handles the music sometimes. We listen to pretty much everything. Maybe in the mornings we listen to something calmer, but before a game it's more like modern house and some pop, as well. We'll listen to, like, Swedish House Mafia and stuff like that. We'll play some of their songs and I get excited.
Do you guys listen to The Hives too? That's another Swedish group.
No, we haven't actually. Maybe I should ask the guys if they can put that on. I don't know if they even know who they are. They're pretty big [in the U.S.] though. I think they're bigger here than they are back home, actually. They played here with Pink, I think. That was pretty cool. I got to see them. I just came in here to grab some stuff from the locker room and they were in here.
Marcus Kruger says there's a lot of house music being played in here before games. True?
Yeah, well, Krugs doesn't know anything. There's a lot of hip-hop … from Rihanna to Jay-Z and God knows what else, I don't know half of their names. We've got the morning skate, too, and we like to have a country song or mellow music for those.
Is there one song that you guys have to play every game to feel like you'll win?
We did play certain songs when we were on that [record point streak] to start the season, but I don't know their names. What's that movie, "Project X?" There's a song in that one that we always play. That's a popular one. That was always the last one during the streak that we'd play before we turned off the tunes.
If they had individual goal songs in hockey, like hitters in baseball get, what would yours be?
Well, let's see, what's my No.1 song right now? I don't know. I'm not a big music listener. Maybe it'd be "Springsteen" by Eric Church.
Who's the best pregame DJ in the room?
It's usually Carcillo, [Jamal] Mayers, Emery and Toews … but Toews' iPod isn't very good.
What's on his iPod?
Uh, they're all pretty similar to be honest with you. Everyone kind of has the same tunes.
Is there a lot of dance music?
Yeah, a lot of dance and like, techno, and stuff you'd kind of hear at the club.
Does that actually work?
Yeah, it gets everyone pumped up a little bit. There are certain songs you'll hear that get you pumped up a little bit more than others, but I guess that's the thing these days.
Who gets you fired up most as a pregame DJ in here?
It's probably Dan Carcillo because he doesn't have just one genre. He kind of mixes in everything. He tries to please everyone. You can't like all of his songs, but sooner or later he's going to play something that you like.
What gets you going?
I'm more of a rock guy. I like Pearl Jam. That's my favorite band. I like some of the not-so-heavy rock, but just kind of like … rock and roll. Gets me fired up.
There's house music being played in here, isn't there?
That's when you know you're a little old, when these kids come in and they want to listen to techno and dance music. I feel like it's a Saturday night at the club. A lot of the Europeans and some of the younger guys, that seems to be a big hit with that crowd. I'm kind of dating myself with the rock-and-roll. I don't know. Maybe I'm crazy, but I like a guitar and a drum and a bass rather than listening to a computer play music to me.
What's your favorite from Pearl Jam?
"Alive" is my all-time favorite song. I started listening to music maybe [in the] early '90s. My generation was like, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, they burst onto the scene and kind of changed things. That's what I grew up with and that's what I kind of find myself listening to even to this day. You can't go wrong with Pearl Jam, though. I was just a little punk kid when I started listening to them. My parents would get mad at me because I would try to dress like, grunge, and they couldn't quite figure out what I was doing.
As a goalie, do you listen to music before games or do you need to be sequestered in a dark room?
Yeah, I enjoy music. I listen to whatever's playing in the room, pretty much. The guys throw on some good stuff, some good jams. It gets you going. There's some dance music or some hip-hop, rap … whatever. I usually listen to Octane in my car.
Bickell says during the points streak, you guys listened to a song from the movie "Project X" before games.
I think it was called "The Pursuit of Happiness" by Kid Cudi. … I wish we played more hard rock. Car Bomb [Carcillo] likes to play the rock. I enjoy when his iPod's on. He likes to mix a little rock in there for the boys. He's good. He likes to please everyone. Great DJ.
Brian Hedger is a RedEye special contributor. @brianhedger
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