Puck the Media’s Top Ten Hockey Stories of the Year, #6: Re-Birth in Boston and Chicago

I have to be the 400,000th person to comment on the Blackhawks revival.  This is out of about 800,000 Chicago NHL tributes, because I’ve praised the Hawks before.  Anyway, there’s not much more that can be said about the team that hasn’t been said by the mainstream media, bloggers, or some ESPN guy yesterday, who used the Hawks as a hope bearer for other franchises in a state of arrested development:

The Hawks have played through their hockey dark ages and now find themselves on center stage — or center field — come New Year’s Day. They’ll get national and international attention. They’ll get the great Red Wings. They’ll get Wrigley, the world’s largest beer garden.

 

Most of all, they’ll get momentum. 

“I probably have more people approach me about the Blackhawks in the last year than any year at all with the Cubs,” said McDonough. “I think it’s a rebirth of a franchise that people never thought was going to come back.” 

 

Hear that sound, Lions? It’s called hope.

Now let’s not get carried away.  The Hawks NEVER lost 16 in a row during their dark ages.

Since we’ve covered the Hawks so many times, let’s talk the NHL’s other revived Original Six franchise, the Boston Bruins.

The Bruins gave hockey a place in Titletown’s spotlight this year, with it’s Game 6 comeback vs. Montreal in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series.  It was easily the best non-OT game of the first round.

Things got better from there.  The Bruins surprised everyone and became a four-line scoring attack under, of all people, Claude Julien.  Zdeno Chara anchored a nearly no name defense.  Tim Thomas and Manny Fernandez have become a two-headed contract year goaltending monster.  All this has led the B’s to a 27-5-4 record so far.

It’s turnarounds in Boston and Chicago that have the league chiming in anywhere they can about the health of it’s big market clubs.  There’s a great chance that five of the Original Six will be playoff-bound, and that’s a terrific thing for this league.

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