June 9, 1978
In the clearing stands a boxer,
And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of ev’ry glove that laid him down
And cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame
“I am leaving, I am leaving”
But the fighter still remains – Paul Simon
By Rich Lindbloom
Something dawned on me as I watched the post-game interviews after Saturday’s thrilling, if not discombobulated, victory over Ducks.
Toews, Kane and Crawford all appeared to be exhausted, almost zombie like as reporters peppered them with questions. Although they won the thrilling overtime game, their countenance and words belied a group of warriors who were physically and mentally exhausted. The core group of this Blackhawk team is playing in their fifth Conference Finals in seven years. The Hawks are well aware of the self-sacrifice it takes to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals – it’s akin to climbing Mt. Everest without oxygen. (Keith could probably do it, and Toews would die trying no doubt.) Herculean efforts, battling through pain, taking themselves “to the limit one more time,” is a steep price to pay through one deep Stanley Cup run, let alone five.