A little contribution from Rich Lindbloom.
No one likes us, I don’t know why.
We may not be perfect, but heaven knows we try.
And all around, even our old friends put us down.
Let’s drop the big one and see what happens. – Randy Newman
The song “Political Science,” penned by the short people discriminator, is as poignant today as it was when it was penned 38 years ago. Transcending the acid test of time, it’s as still as relevant as it was during the anti war protesting days of the 70’s. The signing of the “whatever” treaty in Prague yesterday by presidents Obama and Medvedev, having something to do with reducing the big ones in our respective arsenals, has me thinking. First, I’m somewhat terrified at the prospect of Obama changing the national anthem to Cat Steven’s “Peace Train.” Somehow, our incredible baritone belting out, “I believe something good has begun,” will not have quite as stirring an effect than, “the Bombs bursting in air.”
Secondly, is it possible we’re finally getting it in this “mixed up, mumbled up, shook up world,” as Ray Davies would put it? Perhaps the lamb can lie down with the lion. Was Patton’s mistrust of the Russians misguided? Shall we drop our big stick and just walk softly while humming “Cumbaya, my Lord, Cumbaya.” Or, should we “Drop the big one and see what happens.”
In a few days, the hockey equivalent of all out war will commence. The problem with the aforementioned No Nukes Treaty is that it was signed with both participants having the fingers of one hand crossed behind their back. It really isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. As hockey resembles life in so many ways, we can draw some parallels when it comes to wishful treaties. When you’re battling for you playoff life against a team full of thugs like Cam Janssen, you better have a couple of the Hansen brothers from the Chiefs on your bench. Perhaps if Pres. Obama was a hockey fan he might understand the real ways of the world. Can you imagine him sitting down with Coach Q and saying, “I think you need to set an example for the rest of the league. I think you need to play more spin-o-rama type players in the playoffs.”
While observing Wednesday’s slugfest, I couldn’t help but draw a comparison between Iran’s Ahmadinejad and that whack job on the Blues who wears #55. (Don’t let my screams of “hit em, kill em, you suck ref,” fool you. The wheels on the bus are always turning while I observe the controlled mayhem on ice.) Unstable and nozzle are two words that fairly accurately describe those Neanderthals. Janssen is the type of player you hate, unless he’s playing for your team. However, even if Janssen played for the Hawks I’d hate him.
It’s one of the reasons I think Sean Gallagher from St. Louis Game time, (The blues cheap knockoff version of the Committee Indian.), is also mentally unstable. In the know thy enemy section of the C.I., Sean once stated he liked the way #55 played and wished all the Blues played as hard. Are the Blues fans aware that Janssen would be perfectly ok playing this game without a puck? If you dissected his stick, I’m sure you’d find lead in it.
Actually, Wednesday’s tussle with the thugs from St. Louis could only be described by three words; WTF. If nothing else, we got our moneys worth. From Janssen’s first shift on the ice, until the final seconds when Toews tried to hatch the puck, the game was action packed. I was brought to my feet more than Nancy Pelosi at Obama’s State of the Union address. Sam Fels brother, Adam, wrote a thought provoking piece on the Hawks next big rivalry when the Wings are finally admitted to the Old Folks Home. While recalling the great Blues/Hawk donnybrooks in years gone by, he sagaciously speculated the Kings might be the next team we love to hate. (Would that be considered an oxymoron?)
The Kings could be our first round opponent, which would no doubt accelerate our antipathy for them in a hurry. While mentioning some of the better Kings knuckleheads, he failed to mention Wayne Simmonds who is so dark he resembles Darth Vader on skates. He’s a Janssen with talent and would quickly become one of the players you’d like to launch a beer bottle at. As the saying goes though, if you like goons, he’s a good goon. Hey Wayne, you’re in LA, try a little 30 sun block would ya.
While not totally disagreeing with Adam, next year when we split up season tickets, I’ll be sure to secure a couple of Blues games. They always seem to be a “bang” for your buck. I’m sure the refs and linesmen are not clamoring for work at these games. Also, with the Blues jettisoning some of the dead weight on their team, Tzachuk and Kariya, it should leave them some salary cap room. Hawk fans probably shouldn’t be too concerned about this because the Blues organization would probably sign some more goons – how about Too Too or Jared Boll? Can you imagine those two players joining Janssen on a line? The Armageddon line comes to mind.
Sam Fels is my guru when it comes to gaining insight into the deeper meaning of hockey, however I “slightly” disagree with his assessment of Buff’s defensive abilities. His tomahawk chop at the end of the game showed me some fire that for the past two seasons we all wished Dustin had. It was Buff’s Teddy Roosevelt’s moment – skate softly but carry a big stick. Besides, from my angle, he appeared to be going for the puck. I can’t believe I’m advocating this, but I wish Byfuglien had a little more Janssen in him. A mean, dirty, 260# thumper is not something other teams look forward to going into the corner with. Can you imagine what a monster we could create if Burrish inhabited Buff’s body?
Besides it appears that he’s no more a defensive liability than Campbell or Barks inadequate replacement. Don’t get me wrong, the Campbell/Hjarlmarrson tandem has been sorely missed since Ovechkin’s dastardly deed. However, moving Buff to the blue line has proven to be his “Free Willy” moment. He just seems to have more fun back there.
Despite missing an open net that would have eliminated Buff’s gaffe that resulted in the penalty shot, Steegs looked like Mighty Mouse on the pond against the Blues. He may be the classic example of a puck hog, but at least he’s a grease lightning puck hog. While realizing his reluctance to relinquish the puck can lead to some bad transitions for the opposition, Kris is most alive when the puck appears to be super glued to his stick. He resembles Dale Earnhardt Sr. the way he recklessly flies about the ice, a yee-ha, ride-em cowboy approach to the game. To hell with the knowledgeable hockey people, keep going one on five Kris. You can do it!
A friend of mine recently dropped me a note, admitting that he was a bandwagon jumper. He confessed that up until last year, his excitement for the Hawks or knowledge of the game was non-existent. I loved his statement though that hockey was “a new side of sports that he didn’t know existed.“ He went so far as to say, “May our mothers fear that we have all become hockey fans!” I only bring this up to say to all of you diehards in the 300 level and the remnant in Sec. 101, take it easy on these new converts. My old boss used to say, “There are 18000 Hawk fans and they go to every game.” Admit it, it’s kind of nice to see the Hawks on page one in the sport section every now and then. Or talk to someone like my friend who has discovered a hidden gem. I realize they weren’t checking to see who won last nights Sharks/Canucks game at 5:30 this morning, but it’s a start. It won’t be long before they realize more than Toews and Kane play for the Hawks. And a word to the wise for you newcomers; if someone tells you to meet them at the Hawk statue, don’t go to the Jordan statue!!
One last thing I’d like to mention about Wednesday’s Blues departure party. I was fortunate to get to sit in the companies seats with some customers. My personal season tickets are up in boonies, lined up with the goal that the Hawks shoot at for two periods. Row 16 between the benches gives you quite a different perspective. While you don’t see the action at the nets with as much clarity, you often are privy to some peace negotiations that take place as the players change shifts. Colin Fraser’s discussion with Janssen was a classic example of why I don’t trust the Russians. No matter how much Colin tried to reason with Janssen, he just didn’t seem to get it. It’s always close to a “drop the big one and see what happens” moment.
So, while Pres. Obama continues to try to reason with the goons of the earth, take heart Hawk fans. As long as there are Janssen’s in the league, we’ll be keeping our “nukes,” those Ambassadors that negotiate in front of the benches – the Burrish’s, Frasers and Eagers. Hockey is war, let the battles begin.
In the semi immortal words of Martin Mull;
Might be those Red Chinese drop it first,
Or those screwball friends of Patty Hearst,
Excuse me if I seem a touch blasé.
No, I never worry, bout getting bombed,
I’m, usually bombed, anyway.
Bombs away! Drop the puck ya moron – don’t make me go all Lysiak on you. Let’s see what happens.