By Rich Lindbloom
Many moons ago, I somehow managed to graduate from St. Anne’s grade school. I’m reminded of this amazing feat due to a scathing review in response to a recent article of mine that was posted on the SecondCityHockey.com website. At first, I thought about replying to my critic, “Cliff Koroll” with a diatribe of my own. However, upon reflection I realized the former #20 car had many valid points. Certainly, my meanderings can no way be construed as contributing anything remotely connected to “insight,” on the Blackhawks.
If it’s insight you’re looking for, Fels, McClure and Killion are a much better option. Actually, if Koroll thinks I’m stupid now, it’s a good thing he didn’t know me before I started reading Chris Block’s in depth analysis on TheThirdManIn website. Chris’s “The Hawks record when various players are in the top five in ice time during a particular game,” obviously will increase your hockey intelligence quotient much more than I could begin to imagine. Personally, I like to take a more “impressionistic” approach to the game.
Please accept my apology for wasting 10 minutes of your life. Cliff, in your case, they would have been better spent analyzing the new feature on the Fantasy Hockey website dailyfaceoff.com, called The Cycle. I started reading it but realized I might as well be trying to figure out just what and the hell Immanuel Kant was trying to say. If you think the Hawks are hard to figure out this year, spend 10 minutes trying to figure out one of Kant’s run on sentences. I’m more confused the 10th time I read the sentence than the first time. Unfortunately for fans like Cliff Koroll, most of my knowledge emanates from my serious studies of MAD Magazine.
One classmate I knew during the St. Anne’s days, Tom, could understand Kant, probably in 5th grade. I’m quite certain at this age he was smarter than our teacher, Sister Bernadine. While most of us we’re standing in line, waiting for our turn to stand on top of the urinal to peer through a BB sized hole in the opaque glass partition that separated the boys and girls bathroom, Tom would be contemplating the meaning of life. (We obviously weren’t smart enough to realize that the girls could see our shadows from their side. I’ll never forget Sister Bernadine barging into the boys bathroom.) Tom turned out to be the Valedictorian at our high school and his graduation speech he emphasized the meaningless of the diploma we were about to receive. Believe it or not I received one, so obviously there was some verisimilitude to his observations. The last I heard of Tom he was asked to become a Professor of Philosophy at Knox College. Obviously, we had a hard time relating to each other.
However, the one area where Tom and I were equals was on the skating rink at Oak Hill Park. I’ve always been of the opinion that hockey may have been good for Tom’s sanity. When we first started playing, I was much better than Mr. Egg Head. I could even get him to react violently when I’d sneak up out of nowhere and deliver a blindside mad hipper that would send him flying. I’m not sure if he went home and got a book on how to skate, but within a month or so I could no longer get around him. I’ll never forget the satisfied look on his face when he acquired the ability to stop me. I guarantee it gave him more satisfaction than his straight-A report card. As he increasingly frustrated my offensive thrusts, I started launching slap shots at his shins. Like Koroll, I’m pretty sure on most occasion’s Tom was thinking, “Lindbloom is a prime example of why the Irish desperately needed birth control.”
In a reproduction of a recurring nightmare for the Hawks last Sunday, Big Bad John was resurrected from the bottom of the mine for the Flyers game. When I mentioned to Sam Fels and his brother Adam that if there was ever a game to play Big John, they responded immediately in two part harmony, “There is never a good time to play John Scott!” One of the funniest things Sam wrote all year was blurb before the Dallas game on 1/5 – “Y’know, I was just thinking to myself. “You know what me? I need more John Scott in my life.” And then Q gave me that tonight. I’m going to go punch a wall.”
Sam’s explanation was that there are 8 thugs on the Flyers. My reasoning for starting Big John was that they would be down to six in no time. You have to remember, the Flyers do not play well with others. For the first time this year, I thought Leddy was ineffective do to the physical play of the douche-nozzles in orange. The # 8 car looked a little tentative coming out of the corners. I’m thinking Cullimore would have worked out a little better in this game.
Big John was not tentative when he lined up with Philly’s biggest meatball, Danny Carcillo on a faceoff at center ice. (Carcillo got the best of Jake Dowell in a second period bout, although the U.C. crowd greatly appreciated Jake’s efforts.) As they awaited the drop of the puck, with Carcillo trying to look tough, I’m pretty sure Big John asked him to dance. I know they were talking to each other – and I’m quite certain they weren’t discussing Kants Critique of Pure Reason. The # 13 car wisely rejected Scotts offer to drop them. Smart decision, Danny Boy. If you had accepted, they would probably have written a song about you – “Oh Danny boy we miss you so.”
In a scene straight out of Brokeback Mountain, Bryan Bickell had Scott Hartnell bent over in a compromising position directly in front of the Flyer bench. Matt McClure actually had a great post game write up that included the observation of the much needed physical play from our 6’3”, 224 behemoth. Keep banging Bryan. After the Predators game, I tuned into the post game show with Judd Sirott. A fan in Wisconsin, (that explains it), called in and bemoaned the fact that we weren’t a tough team – that we were much more physical last year. Judd quickly noted that he got calls all of last year from fans stating we weren’t, (you’re not going to believe this), physical enough. I remember those calls – actually a lot of fans were saying Kane needs to play tougher. The more things change, the more they remain the same I guess – whoa, that was deep for even a mental midget like me!
Matt also made a great observation of Carter’s goal that I failed to notice. (It clearly points out what Cliff Koroll found objectionable concerning my aggravating existence.) On the Flyers third goal, all I saw were two guys in white and orange jerseys flying in on two guys with red jerseys, with the one on the right side banging home the pass from the guy on the left the left side. Da bode of em made a nice play. What McClure noticed was Carter picked Giroux’s pass out of the air, banging it home for the third goal. Ring the bell on that one. I didn’t read that anywhere else in any of the newspapers. Observations like that are why I like to read how the boys at Second City saw the game.
Two last things; first off, do we have to dive into a sea of negativity every time we lose a game. Yes, I know, there’s a chance we might not make the playoffs. The flip side of that equation is there’s a much better chance that we will make the playoffs. We just finished playing 5 games against teams in first or second place in their divisions, finishing 3-1-1. All of them, (I still have no clue how the Pred’s do it – although every time I look at Barry Trotz I’m thinking Bolshevik Revolution.) were against teams with records at least 7 games above .500. Dawg, for all our shortcomings we’ve been playing some good hockey lately. News Flash: We ain’t gonna win em all. The game against the Flyers was in reality a 3-1 game. With time winding down the Hawks put on unrelenting pressure, with Keith getting stonewalled from about 10 paces. His rebound went to the banged up # 19 car who rifled a shot over the crossbar. The effort in this game wasn’t as lackadaisical as was reported.
Secondly, “Cliff Koroll” also noted, with great acumen I must say, my ludicrous use of the “first person plural,” or something like that. (Sheeeeit!) When I write I do tend to use the word “we” a lot when describing what transpires on the ice. Cliff, you might be glad to know, I do realize I’m not an actual member of the Hawks – although I might be faster than Scott. (Of course if Scott looked cross-eyed at me I’d drop dead on the spot.) However, ever since that Oiler game in 07 when Martin Lapointe turned his gaze to a packed 300 section and applauded us while we went bonkers, I must say – there are times when I feel like I’m part of the team. I’ll try to curb my enthusiasm in the future.
Lastly, if “Cliff Koroll” comes to one of the games in the near future, I’d like to give him a free copy of my book. I feel responsible for wasting 10 minutes of his life and for my stultifying effect on his brain. If you read a little Immanuel Kant, I’m told that the lost brain cells can be regenerated. I’ll even rip out the article where I tie The Carpenters and the Hawks together after a Red Wing game. C’mon Cliff, I know you want to know what Karen Carpenter has to do with insight into that game– then again, maybe not. Admit it #20 car, more Rich Lindbloom might not be as bad a s more John Scott!