GOODBYE, OLD FRIEND: Blackhawks 5, Blue Jackets 2

There are chance meetings that can be transformative. Such was the night in the 2007-08 season when I entered the United Center for Bud Light Blackhawks Hat Night. It was your basic baseball cap with an adjustable back.

As a rule, I don't much go for the adjustable back hats, I generally prefer fitted ones. But this one seemed to fit pretty well. In fact, it became my go-to, even as I had dalliances with others.

It was a good rain hat, and the red color was great for going to crowded places. Made me easy to spot.

It went with me to Mexico, Jamaica, Disney World, New York, California, and even the exotic locales, like Glenview.

There were times it was in jeopardy, when Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, or maybe Patrick Sharp had two. Every night I wore it to the United Center, I always knew there was a chance I was leaving bareheaded.

As sure as I was the Hawks were going to drop a nickel on the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight, that's how little I expected the way those 5 goals would come to be.

Sure, I knew Jared Boll would be a penisloaf, and he didn't disappoint. I also figured I'd wind up ranting about how much the instigator rule sucks. I did.

I figured the Blackhawks' power play would right itself against the woeful Blue Jackets. It still sucks. Until they straighten this out, teams will be more likely to take liberties, knowing there will be no retribution taking place on the scoreboard.

But I never expected the Blackhawks would be propelled by Viktor Stalberg. And when Stalberg tucked the puck into an empty Columbus net to achieve his first-ever NHL hat trick, the hat that has been with me through rain and shine for the last four years was returned to whence it came.

Next up is a Thursday night tilt against the always-electrifying Minnesota Wild. Time to break in a new hat.


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  • 1/11/2012 1:46 AM JDNoceChicagoTough wrote:
    For reasons only madness can understand, I threw my hat from section 325 after Patrick Kane's hat trick in Game 6 of the amazing Vancouver series in 2009. Second favorite game in Hawks history.
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  • 1/11/2012 10:42 AM parshallnet wrote:
    For years I've imagined what it would feel like firing my hat from the 300 level after a Blackhawk hat trick. The experience has always eluded me.

    But on this night, through the fortune of my girlfriend and her business connections, I was six rows off the ice, behind the net.

    As Stalberg's third goal horn sounded after he tucked the puck into the empty net on the other side of the rink, I took my hat off only to see the protective netting above the glass in front of me. So I fired it to my left, hoping for some assistance from the next section or two over to get it onto the ice.

    My hat did eventually make it there with a little help, just as it would have needed to get to the ice from my normal vantage point up high.

    I'll be back in 313 on Thursday night with a new hat as well. Kaner, you're overdue.
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