“Some people like to go out dancing
And other people’s, they have to work, just watch me now
And there’s even some evil mother’s
Well, they’re gonna tell you everything is just dirt
You know that, women, never really faint
And that villains always blink their eyes
And that children are the only ones who blush
And that life is just to die…” – Lou Reed
By Rich Lindbloom
Sweet Jane, (“whoa –oh-oh,” I heard you out there!), might be at the top of my all-time favorite songs. It is a serendipitous moment indeed when you’re flipping through radio stations and you’re fortunate enough to hear the Rock and Roll Animal sing ‘Standing on a corner…” If you don’t immediately crank the volume 4 or 5 notches, you clearly inhabit a world that is “just dirt.” The song comes as close to perfection as humanly possible. My favorite part in the song is when the background harmony comes in when they sing “And anyone who ever had a heart…” The song is the Sistine Chapel of music, Kaner’s overtime dagger in the sixth game of the Stanley cup finals. Clearly, it’s the smile on Mona Lisa’s come hither countenance.
Not many Hawk fans found much to smile about after getting mauled in consecutive games by those pesky ‘Hicks with Sticks,” the Nashville Predators. Barry Trotz coached teams are perhaps the most compelling evidence available that socialism works. Watching the Hawks play Nashville can often turn out to be a hurtin’ thing. If you read the comment board at secondcityhockey.com you would have been intimately acquainted with the line “and that life is just to die.” A two game losing streak has brought out the wrist slashers and self-mutilators. Obviously, despite being three points out of first in our division, and fifth in the Western Conference, wholesale changes must be made, and made now!
“Get something for Kaner while you can;” “Leddy must sit next to Scott-maybe we should have kept Barker;” “Hjalmarsson should pay admission if he’s just going to stand around and watch the opposition bang a way at rebounds in the crease. Jeesh, it looks like we paid $3 mildo for a Swedish meatball on skates;” “Crawford, (notice how no one calls him Crow when he’s struggling), is at best a basket case, at worst Three Mile Island,” “If we don’t acquire a top four defenseman, my head will explode.” Oh, I almost forgot, “Just mail in the season if Toews is out for any length of time.” Of course they are expecting Stan Bowman to pull a rabbit out of his hat, but most of the trade suggestions involve packaging Bickell/Frolik/ Scott and maybe a #5 draft pick for Perry, Nash or Parise. As Rocky would put it, “Again?”
The cartoon character depicted above is from a cartoon show called The Adventures of Gulliver. His name, quite appropriately, was Glum. He was known in the show for such uplifting statements as, “We’re doomed,” “We’ll never make it,” ‘It’s hopeless,” “we’ll never get out of here alive,” and “we’re done” or “It’s over.” He seemed to be described by a quote from Sarah Dessen; “If you expect the worst, you’ll never be disappointed.” Let’s explore some of his negative reinforcement coping techniques, heretofore known as NRCT. As we try to find answers to the question, “Why so glum,” let’s consider a few of the Lilliputian’s less than uplifting comments. I urge you to pick up some lighter reading material, but clearly the solution lies in first stating the problem. And it’s a long list of grievances we harbor.
“We’ll never make it,”
is foremost on the minds of many Hawk fans, with the mouseketeer between the pipes, Corey Crawford. It’s rather apparent to even the most casual observer that Crow must go. Thanks for last year when you almost singlehandedly carried us the last two months of the season, but what have you done for us lately? We’re tired of holding our breath every time someone dumps one into our zone from the center line. Cor-dawgs rebound control could best be described as trampoleenish at the moment. I read somewhere that Mr. Big is starting to resemble a walrus out of water when trying to gather in loose pucks.
Sugar Ray has been solid, however many fans still feel he should be playing basketball or boxing-it’s causing a lot of confusion in the 300 level. (“Has our goalie been going to the tanning booth, or has affirmative action gotten out of control.) The NRCT for this dilemma? As Chicago Native Son so cleverly depicted, GoalDorf the Grey to the rescue. While Huet became a four letter word to many cash paying customers who demanded he be beheaded, he currently has a 2.00 GAA and 0.932 SV% for Fribourg-Gotteren. He actually is reported to be a fan favorite in that hockey hotbed of the world, Switzerland. The fact that this option is even being discussed clearly reinforces Glum’s poignant observation. Seriously though, y’all are going to be eating a lot of “crow” this spring.
“We’ll never get out of here alive,”
unless we can acquire a shutdown, top four defenseman. Laurel and Hardy just are not cutting it. Just wondering, is it possible some of those top four d-men we might be coveting, could be being bailed out occasionally by a top four goalie? I suspect our record would be much worse than it is if #4 and #8 were as bad as the lynch mob claims they are. One of my bosses noted the other day that Hjalmarsson isn’t physical enough in front of our crease, throws way too many blind Hail Mary passes around the boards and is no help offensively. (For it’s one, two three strikes…) Leddy gets treated like a boy-toy in the corners and needs to get on steroids, now!
Clearly, our second d-pairing is “just dirt.” Unfortunately, there aren’t that many defensive saviors on the market. If you peruse the web sites of other NHL teams, it seems every team in contention is looking to pick up this seemingly scarce commodity. Apparently we’re not the only team that has a diminutive d-man like Leddy getting pistol whipped in the corner. Perhaps the best NRCT for this dilemma is for both of them to have a seat in the press box for a few games. Maybe this would help to “snap them out of it.” Make them wear dunce caps while spectating. Our ace in the hole, Big Bad John, doesn’t seem to be the answer yet, but at least he’d “Hit someone.”
“We’re done for,”
unless Patrick Kane starts caring again. Despite 41 points this season, many of them lucky and undeserved, he’s the most overrated player in the league; ever. Dipsy doodle and spin-o-rama type hockey is for panty waists who long ago lost their man cards. When’s the last time you saw Kane “Hit someone?” The natives on the web sites are certainly getting restless, suggesting that we dump Kane while he still has some value. Reportedly the Hawks have inquired about Rick Nash, (certainly something to ponder), but when Columbus said they wanted Kane in return Stan Bowman hung up the phone. Think about this for a second; Nash, with his physical style of play, is much more likely to be injured. Kaner, who cleverly avoids any contact at all, will most likely never get injured other than from a bad hangover. Playing in the All-Star game will only reinforce his notion that hockey is a non-contact sport.
A fellow by the name of “nextgame” on at the secondcityhockey.com website noted in response to my statement that Kaner is a “hold your breath” type player – “as down of a year as he’s had so far, every time he has the puck on his stick in the O-zone, I edge up on my seat a little and fully expect him to score or set up a score with some ridiculous (no look), pass. And I’m surprised every time it doesn’t happen.”
I recall a question my boss asked me during the Cup run way back in 09/10. “Who would you rather have, Toews or Kane?” Immediately I thought Toews, and then I stopped to think. While the answer for most fans, probably correctly so, would be Toews in a landslide, the fact that I had to pause to think about it speaks volumes. So what’s the NRCT for the negativity surrounding Kane and his lack of point production? Patience and appreciation of one the most creative players in the game. If that doesn’t work, throw him up to the press box with Laurel and Hardy. Most fans would quickly discover a new found appreciation for this much maligned trio. In his defense, at least Kaner still “likes to go out dancing.” Now if he’d only work a little harder. Alas, as the “dump Kane train” picks up steam I’m afraid the Joni Mitchell song, “Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you got till it’s gone,” will be a hard lesson to learn.
and all for naught if Toews is seriously injured. Just call it a season. The Hawks couldn’t beat their way out of a wet paper bag without Captain Marvelous. That statement that “there’s no such thing as an irreplaceable man” is complete and utter poppycock. Not even Andrew Shaw could fill those Bauer’s. The only plausible NRCT to this dilemma is to jump off the Sears Tower, hollering “Kane, Leddy and Hjalmarsson, you suck,” just prior to hitting the ground. (Willis Tower my ass.) As Lou Reed sang, “Life is just to die.”
with four games each left with the Blues and Wings, as Roger Daltry sang, “The song is over.” Both the Blues and Wings have no holes on their rosters, and you can pretty much be assured we’ll go 0-8 against those two formidable clubs. (Gag me with a wooden spoon) My hands are starting to shake just thinking about how much better they are than are braves of four feathers. At this crucial point in the season, we head out on a long road trip, which unfortunately includes a game in Edmonton- an automatic, humiliating loss. To complicate matters, it appears there won’t be enough time to chill out in Vegas to sort things out.
As we limp into the pre-playoff, playoffs, (pretty much every remaining game), we appear to coming in on a wing and a prayer. The only possible NRCT for this dilemma is to be found James 5:16b “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” Hopefully they are a few righteous men among the Hawk faithful. We certainly can’t make or go deep into the playoffs with the current collection of ragamuffins.
Is it our dismal lot in this season “that life is just to die?”
I prefer the chorus to Lou Reed’s wonderful song;
“And anyone who ever had a heart
They wouldn’t turn around and break it
And everyone who ever played a part
Oh, wouldn’t turn around and hate it.
Sweet Kane, Whoa-oh-oh”
The Blackhawks have their suitcases in their hands; what do you say we go out dancing? You poets, start studying rules of verse, you ladies-roll your eyes. All you protest kids out there- chill – Kaner got this thing.