It's an exciting time to be a sports fan in Chicago. The Sox are pushing to win the AL Pennant and hopefully another World Series. The Cubs are setting up for yet another disappointing exit in the NL Playoffs. The Bears are shuffling between two garbage QBs. The Bulls are...
Okay, wait, let me start over.
It's an exciting time to be a Chicago Blackhawks fan.
With the changes that have been made within the last year (Tyrant Owner "Dollar" Bill Wirtz dies, Son Rocky takes over, John "The Man" McDonaugh is named Team Prez, Kane and Toews, Dale Tallon signs two great free agents in Cristobal Huet and Brian Campbell) this is going to be a huge season for the West Side Hockey Club. They've made it clear that their "one goal" is to win the Stanley Cup.
Here are my top five Hawks games to watch in 08-09:
No. 5—Hawks vs. Pittsburgh Penguins, Friday, Feb. 27
Sidney Crosby and Evegni Malken vs. Patrick Kane and Johnathan Toews. Pittsburgh's first trip to the United Center since before the lockout will be nothing short of explosive.
It's a near shoe-in to be picked up on national TV. If the world doesn't know about Kane and Towes yet, they will after this game.
No. 4—Hawks vs. St. Louis Blues, Saturday, Oct. 18
The Blackhawks-Blues rivalry is back, and with the same hatred and fire of the matchups from the '80s and early '90s. Thanks to the new and improved schedule, these teams will only meet six times, making it more imperative to earn two points and maybe leave a message for the next game.
Expect some bloodshed in this season series.
No. 3—Hawks vs. Boston Bruins, Wednesday, Nov. 12
This will be a special night at the UC, for the No. 3 will go up to the rafters to honor two of the greatest defencemen in Blackhawks history, Keith Magunson and Pierre Pilote. After this surely emotional event, the Hawks will face-off against an Original Six team in the Boston Bruins, who have played them tough in their last two meetings.
No. 2—Hawks vs. Nashville Predators, Monday, Oct. 13
Are you ready for some...hockey? That's right folks, the Home Opener on the West Side is on a Monday Night, and thanks to the elimination of the Bill Wirtz Rule (ALL Home Games are now on TV!) I'm sure few TVs in the Chicagoland area will be tuned to ESPN that night.
No. 1—Hawks vs. Detroit Red Wings @ Wrigley Field, Thursday, Jan. 1
The Winter Classic. Hawks vs. Red Wings. Defending Stanley Cup Champions. New Year's Day. Nationally Televised. Outdoors. At Wrigley Field. Sentences aren't even necessary to describe the Biggest Game in Chicago Blackhawks history.