EDITOR’S UPDATE: THIS OP-ED IS NO LESS RIDICULOUS AFTER THE HAWKS BEAT THE BRUINS IN THE 3RD OT OF GAME 1.
Well hell has frozen over. Chicago, the city I am now thrilled to call home, will face Boston, the city where I was born and raised. I grew up with Bobby Orr’s flying goal over my pillow. I bleed black, yellow and white. I am living a wet dream in this series, and look forward to the date, a little over a week from now, when I will have bragging rights over my Chicago friends, acquaintances and coworkers. The Blackhawks aren’t going to win, and it probably won’t be all that competitive. I may have written many glowing articles about the Blackhawks this year, but this is one time (well, there will be four more) that I simply have to say it straight no matter how painful or offensive it might seem to my newfound fellow Chicagoans. The Bruins will beat the Blackhawks. And it won’t have to go seven games.
I brought this to the attention of my editor by saying that, in good conscience, I cannot lie and tell my readers that the Blackhawks will win. I told him that I owed them the truth. He said, “Go for it,” with a smirk on his face that implied that he sees in me a fool, and a fool who will not have a job soon. Well, I may not have this platform for long, but while I do I plan on using it to my fullest advantage to explain your loss in advance. The difference is this, folks: you’ve been the front-runner all year, but you haven’t played anyone of note. The Western Conference schedule hasn’t prepared you for what you’re about to see tonight. Your city is going to have a date with a man by the name of David Krejčí and while I haven’t gotten to mention him in my brief time while living here, you bet your ass I’m going to mention him now.
David Krejčí’s the best player in this series and over the next fortnight he’ll be the only thing the NBC broadcasters will talk about. I know your beloved Toews and Kane are primetime players, but the Bruins have #46 and you don’t. Simple as that. Your goaltender is not who you think he is and that’ll also be brought to light as early as the first period tonight. Now I hope we can still be friends after this, but I hope you understand that I have no reason to fear your team. Patrick Kane is a dynamic scorer with dazzling offensive prowess, but the minute 6′ 9″ Zdeno Chara steps out on the ice with him, the Kaner should no longer be a problem. I hope this series goes the distance because I believe that I love hockey more than anyone else in this city. In addition to Orr’s legacy, I grew up a huge Cam Neely fan. The idea that Toews and Kane are going to derail the Bruins juggernaut isn’t in the realm of possibility.
The Bruins come in winners of 9 of 10 playoff games. The Hawks have won 7 of 8 and have the President’s Trophy to bask in, but it doesn’t matter. The Hawks even start at home. But the Bruins want to be on the road, they relish taking away the advantage. David Krejčí wants to silence the “Madhouse on Madison” and that’s exactly what he’s going to do. The fact that I’m predicting the Bruins in a short series takes nothing away from what your team’s done. You’ve had a great season and one that’ll go down as the most dominant in recent memory. The Blackhawks are the odds-on favorite in Vegas, but if you’ve been watching the hockey pundits on the national networks, no one else is thinking that. Vegas is simply going by the numbers and while typically numbers never lie, they should be looking at the playoff numbers because as of right now those are heavily in the Bruins’ favor. David Krejčí has 21 points this postseason in 16 games. He scored twice as many goals as the entire Penguins’ franchise last round, and unless you break his wrist like Mike Richards did in 2010 you’re going to lose.
I love my team and I don’t hate the Blackhawks, I’m just aware enough to know what’s going to happen. If the Bruins lose then I’ll be the first to graciously accept defeat. As it stands right now the Bruins are salivating for tonight’s game. They’ve known they’d be playing the Blackhawks since the final buzzer sounded in Boston after dispatching the Pens in straight games. They’ve used the time to study and prepare for the Hawks, and if anyone in this city watched the Red Wings, they’d be fully aware that what Pavel Datsyuk did to Toews is exactly what Krejčí’s going to do as well. Crawford gave up a bunch of questionable goals, and almost lost the series. The Bruins are going to step on the throats of the Hawks and it’s going to start tonight. Just be happy you’ve made it this far, because winning the conference is no small feat. But when it comes to this series the best player in all zones plays for the “Hub of Hockey”.