Since it’s a pretty slow Sunday and since my brain can’t comprehend a defensive combo of Zdeno Chara and Chris Pronger, we’ve decided to treat our readers to a little throwback article. In the middle of January, Bobby and I wrote an article for ‘The Committed Indian’ recapping the mid-point of the ‘Hawks season to the theme of lines from the movie ‘Slap Shot’. When we wrote the article it was game number 42 for the ‘Hawks, so if any of our explanations seem a bit dated, that’s why.
And speaking of ‘Slap Shot’, is there anything more sacreligious than Hollywood remaking that movie? How the hell could anyone possibly make that movie better. My prediction is they cut half the storyline from the original (forget about seeing any of the players’ lives away from the rink) , focus squarely on the Hanson brothers, and turn in a turd of a movie that will result in half the viewing audience wanting to stab their eyes out with plastic forks. Why don’t they remake ‘The Godfather’ with Vin Diesel as Michael and Anthony Hopkins as Vito next. Without further ado, here you go:
Wow, so this is what the Committed Indian smells like. What an enjoyable scent. We at the Fifth Feather would like to express our appreciation by presenting you with the fifteen quotes from ‘Slap Shot’ that have helped to define the first half of the Chicago Blackhawks 2008-‘09 season. Why fifteen? Because that’s all we could fit into 1200 words.
‘What did the old man trade for these assholes? A used puck bag?’ – A favorite punching bag of Hawk fans, Dale Tallon scored a coo when he stole Martin Havlat, Patrick Sharp, and Kris Versteeg for the corpses formerly known as Mark Bell, Matt Keith, and Brandon Bochenski. Bell and Bochenski can both be found at an AHL rink near you, and if you want to watch Matt Keith, you better have racked up some frequent flyer miles.
‘You guys gotta stop losing, why don’t you get the power play together?’
‘Yeah, we’re working on it.’ – All Paul Newman was missing in this scene was a cigarette dangling out of his mouth and he would be a dead ringer for Denis Savard. Savard had plenty of time to prove his coaching worth by improving the power play but the ‘Hawks never finished higher than 24th in the league. Now, with Coach Q at the helm, the puck moves from side to side quickly and gone is the hideous breakout of skating Brian Campbell or Duncan Keith full speed to center ice and leaving a drop pass for a hungry penalty killer to pick up.
‘You want ice time, you come and tell me when you want to play it my way.’ -Following penalty problems, Quenneville benched stars Kane and Sharp in Phoenix after each took penalties. The ‘Hawks responded, decreasing penalties and losing only twice from mid-November until January 1.
‘There goes Jeff Hanson in the corner. I think it’s Jeff, no it’s Jack, it’s 17, I’ll have to check that later.’ – Look, we’re all thrilled to have Pat Foley back in our lives. The sound of his voice brings us to tears on a nightly basis. Also, we’re glad Dan Kelly’s demon eyes aren’t trying to possess us. But would it be too much to ask for Foley to be able to tell the difference between Dustin Byfuglien, Kris Versteeg, Dave Bolland and Troy Brouwer? The new drinking game du-jour among young ‘Hawk fans has become ‘Foley’s Follies’ and we’re tired of waking up after games in our own vomit.
‘Hey Walt, what are you doin?’
‘Makin’ it look mean!’ – This one goes out to Barry Rozner and the rest of the meatballs who thought the best solution for the ‘Hawks ’08-09 roster was to add Reed Low, Tony Twist, Reid Simpson, Bart Simpson, or any other knuckle dragger. The days of carrying fighters who can do nothing else other than fight are long gone.
‘I don’t like the way they cover their jugs, all up with the feathers, ya know Reg?’ -We all love cute ladies in skates and tight clothing, but for the ladies’ sake, perhaps they should be trained to wait for the TV timeout light and the end of whatever brawl may be in progress. What we don’t need to add to any possible Boogaard-Eager fight is chicks with shovels.
‘The boys and I want you to have something – a memento. It’s a Chiefs key ring; you can’t buy these in stores.’ – Whether John McDonough is a sports “marketing whiz” is up for debate, but whether he’s among the luckiest men on Earth is not. Taking the Blackhawks’ presidency after Jonathon Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Patrick Sharp and Brent Seabrook were ‘Hawks made McCub’s job a lot easier. The CEO of General Motors could get 20,000 people to ‘Hawk games every night. (But, kudos to Pres. for his role in bringing the Classic to Chicago.)
‘You injured your knee in the Peterborough game?’
‘No? I thought you had?
‘Cold, the runny nose, sore throat, all that.’ – When James Wisniewski and Adam Burish returned from Long Term Injured Reserve list in December, ‘Hawk management did the most sensible thing: they added Brent Sopel to the list for … well, we have no idea what it was for. The move underscores a relative luxury for the ‘Hawks: at least six NHL-caliber defensemen.
‘You know your problem Dunlop? You’re too old to play this f&^$#@ game’ – Note to any impending free agent: When you’re negotiating with a team and are demanding $7 million, don’t try and pull three other teams into it who don’t have the cap room to sign you. We’re looking right at you, Mats Sundin.
‘Dave’s out. Who’s going to take his place?’
‘Is the answer Jesus?’ – He isn’t Jesus but with a beard as beautiful as his, the Metrosexual Czech, Martin Havlat, is a close second. When Kane got hurt just before the Winter Classic, Havlat responded with five points in three games and was an offensive force whenever his blades touched ice. A lightning rod of criticism from ‘Hawk fans in his first two years, Havlat has been everything promised in the final year of his contract and much more.
‘I have a personal announcement, though. I’m placing a personal bounty on the head of Tim McCracken – a hundred bucks of my own money for the first of my men who really nails that creep.’ – Nearly four weeks after The Great One vowed revenge against Kris Versteeg and the Blackhawks for the savage beating Kyle Turris received at the UC in December, Wayne Gretzky sent 250 lb. Todd “Steel Face” Fedoruk careening into defenseless goaltender Cristobal Huet. Fedoruk – and his bromance counterpart Daniel Carciollo – did the brave thing, though, and waited until Blackhawk enforcers Patrick Sharp and Brian Campbell were out on the ice to settle the score.
‘Those guys are f*&^$#@ retards!’ – Yes, goalies are different, but what started as a total salary cap quagmire in net has morphed into a goaltending success story. The $13 million tandem has been rock solid nearly all season long, and as great goaltending often separates teams during the playoffs, here’s hoping the ‘Hawks keep both goaltenders for the stretch run.
‘Johnny always says you can just drink so much, screw so much.’ – The ‘Hawks best winning streak of the season is over, and the stretch run is upon us. The ‘Hawks nine-game streak ended, and they’ve gone 3-4 since. To make the playoffs as a top-four seed, they’ll need to limit losing streaks and group wins together through April.
‘Call Detroit, tell them bullshit.’ – After beating the Red Wings five times last season, the ‘Hawks have only captured two of eight available points during this season, and the teams’ only two remaining match-ups are the last two games of the campaign.
‘Sergeant, I knew Eddie Shore, Toe Blake, and the Rocket.’ – Even though he hasn’t had any impact on the team whatsoever this year, the thought of Bob Pulford sitting in some office on Lake Shore Drive screaming at any passersby, “I drafted Everett Sanipass! I traded for Mike Eagle” is enough to keep us warm on the coldest of winter nights.