Soak in the good times, Blackhawks fans

Soak in the good times, Blackhawks fans

February 26, 2013, 8:15 pm
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John Schippman

My first memories of the Blackhawks were walking up what seemed like 10 flights of stairs to the first balcony of the old Chicago Stadium. As a kid I would have trouble keeping up with my dad as we moved with the herd of other fans to reach our seats before the National Anthem.

Balcony 1. Section G. Row B. Seats 1-4.

I received my first jersey when I was 6 years old. No. 24: Doug Wilson.

Denis Savard, Murray Bannerman, Steve Larmer, Jeremy Roenick, Tony Amonte. These names were tossed in everyday conversation around my house because I breathed hockey.

This was my youth. And I now realize some of my greatest memories were made with the Blackhawks.

Watching Wayne Gretzky and the mighty Edmonton Oilers of the early 80s, a pregame fight between the Minnesota North Stars and Blackhawks years later, the 1991 All-Star Game followed by Mario Lemieux and the Pittsburgh Penguins raising the Stanley Cup in 1992, the excitement of J.R. and the final game played in the “old barn” during the 1994 playoffs.

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As the franchise moved to the United Center, the memories continued: overtime playoff battles against the Colorado Avalanche, the retirement of Savard's No. 18 and the resurgence behind Rocky Wirtz.

These were all great memories, but I don't know if anything compares to what I've witnessed over these past few years. The Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup in 2010 is something I will never forget.

I will always remember where I was when Patrick Kane scored the game-winning goal in overtime. Some people will never forget where they were during certain events in their lives, good or bad. I'm the same way, but when it comes to my team winning the championship, it lines up right behind my wedding day.

As we flash forward to present day, even though I have so many great memories of the Blackhawks, this 2013 season is something that I could have never imagined and never will forget.

It started with a win over the defending-champion Los Angeles Kings and continued with the overtime victory against the Oilers on Tuesday night. What the Blackhawks have accomplished so far this season is such a unique circumstance, it's not the type of thing you can predict or talk about before the season begins.

Now that we're 19 games (almost 40 percent) into the season, it's something you should embrace as a Blackhawks fan, if you haven't already. Really...take a step back and realize what they have accomplished.

And don't worry about the streak ending. Instead enjoy the ride as long as it lasts. Do I want the Blackhawks to continue their hot streak? Yes. Do I think it will happen? Inside my head I'm telling myself that it will eventually end, but why does it have to? Great goaltending, contributions from all four lines, defensemen sacrificing their bodies and bounces going your way is a recipe for winning games.

What makes this fun is that while some may expect it to end, the Blackhawks are finding ways to win, even on nights when they may not be the best team on the ice. As my mom told me, everything happens for a reason. And right now there's a reason why the Blackhawks sit here with a record of 16-0-3. Some may say it's luck, but others say you make our own luck.

So soak it up, Blackhawk fans, and enjoy the journey. Hopefully you'll be asked to keep your hands and feet inside the ride until it comes to a complete stop in late June, complete with a Stanley Cup championship.