Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Blackhawks Close Out a Forgotten NHL Campaign

If you were glued to your TV sets over the last week plus watching the Stanley Cup Finals battle between the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks, you were likely not alone.

While the ratings for the respective American and Canadian networks were not in yet when the Blackhawks captured their fifth title Monday evening with a wild 3-2 comeback win over the Bruins, they were likely going to get the attention of the league.

Keep in mind that this was a rare meeting of Original Six teams for hockey’s most precious prize.

Keep in mind too, this was a 2012-13 season that almost wasn’t.

Yes, you remember that little thing called a lockout last September? Between the players, owners and the less and less popular Gary Bettman, the league nearly shot itself in the foot and then some.

Chicago, Boston Were Evenly Matched

Much like the NBA Finals, the championship on ice was a meeting of two evenly matched teams, two teams that have their share of star power. That said, one might doubt if the Bruins and Blackhawks are loathed across much of America as the Miami Heat are, but that is a story for another day.

As the Bruins and Blackhawks did the traditional handshake at center ice (still the greatest post-game tradition in all of pro sports). many (myself among them) could not help but be happy this season is finally over.

While I will not put an asterisk next to Chicago’s title, I will say that this season was a forgettable one for several reasons, including:

* The lockout - After coming off of a fantastic 2011-12 season, one in which the L.A. Kings won their first-ever crown, the league (commissioner, owners, players) nearly threw it all away for the sake of greed. You would think they would have learned their lesson by now, but stupidity is apparently a tough thing to shake;

* Bad calls or non calls by the league - What exactly should be a suspension and what should not seemed to be a common topic among fans during the shortened season. At times, it seemed like even league officials did not truly have a firm grasp of the subject. Hopefully this off-season will involve some soul searching among league executives so that there is more consistency with such decisions next season;

* East did not meet West until the Finals - Due to the lockout, both fans and players were robbed of seeing some longtime traditional meetings from East and West. The lockout meant no Montreal vs. Detroit (two of the Original Six), big market battle between New York and Los Angeles (Rangers vs. the Kings), or Pittsburgh vs. Vancouver/Calgary/Edmonton (Both the cheers and boos for hockey’s golden boy aka Sidney Crosby were missed out on).

In the end, hats off to both Boston and Chicago for an entertaining Stanley Cup Finals matchup.

And in the end, though, this truly was a season that many hockey fans would like to forget.

About the Author: Dave Thomas covers a variety of subjects which includes small business, the sports world, and personal reputation.

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