Thursday’s game four wasn’t so much painful as it was devastating and heart-breaking. “Painful” implies that what happened is easily walked off; what happened in game four was more like your mom telling you that Santa isn’t real followed by an atomic wedgie from dad. Game four was painful if you elevate the definition of “painful” to “everything that happened in ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre.'”
But I digress.
The game was strong and tense through the first scoreless period. However, the tight tapestry of the Blackhawks playing began to unravel halfway through the second period. With three penalties on Captain Serious (read: three power plays for Detroit), Toews spent six minutes of the second period in the penalty box, a place where it is actually impossible to score goals. Whereas the Blackhawks were strong in keeping out of fights when Detroit tried to take advantage of the quick tempers and flying fists of Bickell and Shaw, they did not clean up on power plays and their tired defense allowed for the empty net goal that resulted in the shutout game.
The blogosphere, radio shows, ESPN, local news programs, people around the water cooler, and everyone else you know will be spending every minute from now until puck drop on Saturday dissecting what went wrong in game four and how we can repair what we have in order to claim victory at the Madhouse this weekend. Whereas the Blackhawks do have a shot (they spent the majority of this shortened season undefeated, remember), the shot comes with acquiring discipline. They were more focused and disciplined in game four than they were in game three, but what everyone seems to have forgotten (well, until last night) is that the Red Wings have absolutely stepped up their game, and it did not come out of nowhere. Yes, the Blackhawks swept the Red Wings in regular season, but the Red Wings defeated the Anaheim Ducks in the first round of the playoffs; the Anaheim Ducks were the only team the Blackhawks could not beat in regular season. Detroit is a serious threat. Winning the next three games isn’t impossible; the Blackhawks are a great team. However, in order to do it, they need to focus on Detroit being a legitimate threat and play them with discipline, heart, and impeccable skill. This is not impossible, but no matter what happens the city of Chicago will be on the edge.
Let’s move on to happier Chicago sports news. The headline “Chicago Bears Retire Mike Ditka’s Number” may be a few decades late, but we’re glad that it’s finally here. Iron Mike Ditka’s number now retires to the hallowed land of retired Chicago Bears numbers with Dick Butkus, George Halas, Gale Sayers, Brian Piccolo, and Walter “Sweetness” Payton. Read more about Ditka’s retired number here, and be sure to pick up our Superfan Ditka tee to make sure you have the proper attire to celebrate on December 9th when the retirement ceremony takes place at Soldier Field.
The Chicago Tribune reports that Ditka’s number will be the last one that the Bears will retire, which is upsetting to the Urlacher fans who were not only sad to see #54 retire this week but would also like to see his number hang with the rest of the legends. A thirteen year career at Soldier Field that was spent being a reliable, talented, and unique asset to the Chicago Bears certainly deserves major recognition. However, since it took decades to honor the man who is the face of the Chicago Bears to many, only time will tell what honors can and will be bestowed to the greatest linebacker since Butkus.
Finally, Memorial Day weekend is here! As we all watch the clock so our three day weekend can begin, many of you will be braving the chilly spring weather to see the White Sox take on the Florida Marlins or the Chicago Cubs play the Cincinnati Reds. Though it may be cold for baseball, the weather reports are saying that perfect eighty degree weather will be here for the Crosstown Classic. If you don’t have the perfect shirt to show your baseball fever, don’t fret! We’ve got plenty of White Sox and Cubs gear to choose from. Visit our website or check out one of our shops as you enjoy a weekend of shopping, brunching, and relaxing this holiday weekend.