Off to see some ice hockey tonight at the United Center. I've not been for a long while so I'm looking forward to it, although unfortunately last night Chicago Blackhawks
' very slim play-off hopes ended after tonight's opponents, Nashville Predators
grabbbed the final Western Conference spot
after beating St Louis 3-2. If Nashville had lost, it would have set tonight's game up perfectly. With just two games of the regular 82-game season left, Chicago's famous but long time rubbish Blackhawks can at least look back on a much improved campaign. This being no coincidence after the ownership of the franchise passed to Rocky Wirtz, brother of long-time owner "Dollar" Bill Wirtz, probably one of the most hated men in Chicago before his death last September.
Bill Wirtz was known for his frugality and for forbidding Blackhawks home games to be shown on TV since the early 1970's, unless they were picked up by national broadcasters, which only happened when the Blackhawks made the playoff's and this has only happened once in 10 years (16 teams reach the NHL play-off's so its hardly exclusive). During a minutes silence to respect Wirtz's death, Blackhawks fans apparently booed throughout. Rocky Wirtz recently announced that all of their regular games next season will be shown on local TV
Back in the day the Chicago Blackhawks were one of the most successful franchises in North America and are one of the NHL founders, however it has been 47 years since they last won the Stanley Cup, the longest drought of any team in the NHL.
The last time I went to a match, they were terrible and I didn't even know the rules, but even I could tell they were bad and the notorious Blackhawks fans booed from very eary in the 1st period. On that basis as a Charlton fan I will probably get in free tonight, but in all seriousness from what I've read the players and new owner should get a good reception from a sell-out crowd at what will be the last home game of the season.