As I watched the Blackhawks extend their points streak to thirteen games against my Canucks, I realized I was happy there was no lockout so I could watch the best rivalry in the NHL again.
Then I remembered how much I hate the Blackhawks. Here are reasons 1 through 10 (of 2.7 million total):
1. Patrick Kane – Kane has all three of my least favorite hockey player qualities (one of the very, very few). Firstly, he is American. Secondly, he is one of the few players I would really, really like to punch (before he soundly thumped me of course). Thirdly, he is really, really good. Does that take away from his douchebaggery or add to it? It may be too early in his career to tell.
2. I love Jonathan Toews – This pains me a lot because every time I watch his play I wish the Canucks had someone on his level and then realize again that we do not. Toews in a player who can carry a franchise to a title, someone who steps up big when the moment demands it and someone who can do every single thing on the ice. He is pretty good at the hockey. When the Canucks and Hawks played in Game 7 of the First Round in 2011, I knew, without a doubt that Toews was going to score in the third period to tie the game. He powered through three Canucks defenders, fought off another checker and scored to send the game to overtime. Name me one other player in the league as good as Toews (aside of course, from Sidney Crosby). I would trade both Sedins for Toews and still come out ahead in the deal.
3. They won a Cup – The young guns of the Hawks led the team to a Stanley Cup, defeating none other than the Vancouver Canucks on their way.
4. All the (dirty) hits – Take a few things within context: yes, I understand Raffi Torres hit a couple of years ago was dirty. I accept that. Everything that has spiraled out afterwards however requires some attention: Seabrook’s hit on Daniel Sedin (dirty), Hansen’s hit on Hossa? Clean. He just did not stop himself, and did not intentionally hurt Hossa. Wait? Why am I defending myself? Chicago sucks and the hit on Daniel Sedin was easily worse than the one on Hossa.
5. I actually have to think about it when asked which team I hate most in the NHL – It should be the Bruins right? They brutally ended our chance at the Stanley Cup when our shoddy goaltending fell apart. However, as explained in the reasons above and below I really dislike the Blackhawks. Freaking Blackhawks even ruin what should be the simplest of sports rivalries.
6. They are really, really good – With their core or Toews, Kane, Hossa and Sharp as well as their two young defensemen Keith and Seabrook, Chicago has one of the best young cores in the NHL. They are deep, and have won a Cup already. Pencil them in as a contender for the next five to seven years. Hopefully they are already peaking too early this year.
10. For some reason the Canucks are hated league wide! – I blame the Blackhawks rivallry, at least partly for the league’s hatred of the Nucks. The Torres hit was blatent and dirty, but does not excuse the fact that everyone just hates Vancouver because it is the best city in the world.
Yet another reason to dislike Chicago.