MORRISSEY: With all key players in the fold, Blackhawks have potential for dynasty
BY RICK MORRISSEY email@example.com June 27, 2013 10:15PM
Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) celebrates his goal with right wing Patrick Kane (88) during the second period in Game 6 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals against the Boston Bruins, Monday, June 24, 2013, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Updated: August 27, 2013 2:14AM
As far as I could tell, it wasn’t a media gathering for the Blackhawks so much as it was two hours of detox.
Some of the players hadn’t stopped chugging from the Stanley Cup since Dave Bolland’s game-winner on . . . what day was that again? I’m not sure these guys could tell you.
“The last few days have been almost more tiring than playing in the playoffs,’’ said Conn Smythe Trophy winner Patrick Kane, who appeared on the “Late Show With David Letterman’’ on Wednesday.
To the victors go a lack of sleep. Kane wasn’t the only one who seemed very, very tired Thursday morning.
“Do I look like it?’’ captain Jonathan Toews said.
He looked like he had been subjected to 48 straight hours of interrogation and the same question over and over again: “You want a glass with that bottle?’’
I asked Toews about the YouTube video of someone who looked very much like him crowd-surfing on the hands of well-wishers at a local drinking establishment Tuesday.
“That wasn’t me,’’ he said with a smile. “No comment.’’
That’s how it was Thursday for the happy, bleary-eyed Hawks, one day before Friday’s downtown victory parade and rally. That will be the party to end all parties, until the next party to end all parties for the franchise. If you think I’m getting ahead of things here, you might want to consider the team’s two Cups in the last four seasons, as well as the fact that almost all of the key players will be back for 2013-14 and beyond.
A hockey player would never say what the Heat’s LeBron James said about his goal for league titles — “not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven” — but there’s no reason for the Hawks to be shy. This could be a dynasty in the making. Yes, bad things can happen. Injuries can happen. Weird puck bounces can happen.
But with Toews, Kane, Duncan Keith, Marian Hossa, Corey Crawford, Brent Seabrook, Patrick Sharp and lots of other talented players on the roster, it’s permissible to think, “not three, not four . . .’’
“I don’t see why we can’t do it,’’ Kane said. “We had a great year this year, from the winning streak to winning the Presidents’ Trophy to the way we played in the playoffs.’’
It’s good to be the Hawks. Coach Joel Quenneville was on the hot seat before the season, having failed to get his team out of the first round of the playoffs the previous two seasons. Now he’s going to get a contract extension. Now there’s radio chatter about a possible spot for him in the Hall of Fame.
“There’s no one else I’d rather have coaching this group than Joel,’’ general manager Stan Bowman said.
It’s good to be Bolland, whose Cup-clinching goal is captured on the cover of this week’s Sports Illustrated.
It’s good to be Bryan Bickell, who will get a huge pay raise, from the Hawks or another team.
It’s good to be Andrew Shaw, who was sporting stitches on his cheek and at the corner of his eye. They went very nicely with his black eye, all courtesy of the puck that hit him in the first period Monday night. That beaten-up, stitched-up face has become the symbol of this team.
“It looks pretty cool,’’ he said.
His teammates agree.
“They said, ‘That’s the face of a champion,’ ’’ said Shaw, who also played the Stanley Cup Final with a broken rib.
Yes, it’s good to be the Hawks, who are still having trouble understanding how they scored two goals 17 seconds apart at the end of Game 6.
“We watched it on the plane’’ home from Boston, Quenneville said. “It was such an amazing two minutes what just happened. It was like, wow.’’
If any of these guys have had to buy a drink in Chicago since Monday night’s victory, it’s a bigger wow. They’re the toast of the town. They’re also toast, having gone almost nonstop since knocking off the Bruins. Shaw said he finally went to sleep at 8 a.m. Tuesday.
Now the parade and rally await. The Hawks did this in 2010, when an estimated 2 million people lined downtown streets to catch a glimpse of the team riding past on double-decker buses. No rest for the weary. Again.
“I think it’s going to be crazier than the last one,’’ Bolland said. “I’ve got to make sure I’m sober for it.’’
Good luck with that.