My Dearest Blackhawks,
I need a favor from you; a big one. I try not to ask for huge favors because I never want to be a burden, but desperate times call for desperate measures. What I am asking of you will not only benefit me, but the thousands of other Blackhawks fans out there.
I need you to win at least one more game. I would love for you to take the series to seven games, but we’re not looking too far ahead here. Remember, one game at a time. If you don’t leave it all out on the ice tonight and the Wings punch their ticket to the Stanley Cup Finals, I will miss Game One, which will begin on Saturday. Why? Well, because a friend from college is getting married on Saturday. How do you tell your friend that you are skipping her wedding to go to Detroit for Games One and Two of the Stanley Cup Finals? You don’t, unless you want to get bitch-slapped and de-friended on Facebook. Do you know what it will do to me to miss a game during the Cup Finals?! I missed one, ONE Pens game the entire season. If I have to miss a STANLEY CUP FINALS GAME my soul will die. Do you want that to happen?! You know you don’t.
My lovelies from Chicago, you don’t want to do this for me or for your fans, you want to do it for yourselves and each other. You want to push yourselves further than you ever thought possible and relish the sweet taste of victory as you collapse into your beds in the wee hours of the morning, knowing that you've lived to fight another day. After the horn sounds at the end of the game tonight, you want to know that you left everything you had on the ice, that you played for each other, that you won together.
Around these parts, we like to make bets with the universe, so here is mine. I’ve been saying for awhile now that I need some Hawks gear, which obviously includes one or more player t-shirts. If you do me this one favor and win this game for me, I will purchase the shirt of whoever scores the game-winner. If one of you has a stellar performance but did not score the game-winner, I will buy two shirts. I will then wear it (them) with pride when I venture to the United Center for a Hawks game (roadtrip, anyone?!).
I know some of you are new to this whole playoffs thing, can’t even grow proper playoff beards and may be wondering, Can we do it? Do I have anything left? The Wings are the defending Cup champions. Can we dig ourselves out of this hole? Do you think Max Talbot was asking himself that when he tied Game 5 of the 2008 Stanley Cup playoffs with 35 seconds left? Max Talbot, who was drafted in 8th Round, 234th overall. No, he was thinking about stepping up, putting his team on his back, and not going down without a fight. That’s what you need to do tonight, Chicago Blackhawks.
I am not asking too much of you. You have gotten yourselves this far because you know how to win. You know how to fight. You know how to play as a team. It's go time, boys. It's now or never. It's win or go home. Leave your clubs dusty for a few more days and shock the world.
I'm looking at you guys....
Khabby and Havlat are both out tonight. That means I expect even more from the rest of you!