I had hope.
Tonight the Dallas Stars and Chicago Blackhawks will play their final games of the season against one another tonight and oh would you look at that, they’re my two favorite teams. Both teams have missed out on playoffs and although I am sad about that, I am happy I don’t have to be stressed about them in the playoffs.
This season was a whirlwind for both teams.
For Dallas they came off a Stanley Cup Final run and barely had time to get refocused. The team had to lick their wounds while reeling with the news they would be without Tyler Seguin or Ben Bishop for a long time. Seguin went through a long 6 month recovery but was able to come back for the tail-end of this season, while Bishop was unable to return at all. The Stars, as they do every season, had to deal with a lot of adversity outside of injuries. To start the season, most of the team had COVID so they had to postpone their first 4 games of the season. Then in February, there was a horrible winter storm that hit Dallas and left them with a lot of problems. The Stars cancelled their games as a result. Their injury problems did not pertain just to Seguin and Bishop. They ruled out Stephen Johns before the season started due to his past with concussions, better to be safe than sorry. In March, they lost Alex Radulov due to a lower body injury. Then, the final knife in the leg was Roope Hintz. Hintz has apparently been dealing with an injury since last season but he played through and had a career season. He’s going to have surgery and recover for next year to be better than ever.
It was an unceremonious end for Dallas as they were eliminated on May 8th by Nashville.
Then for Chicago, they had a better season than anyone expected. The Hawks were projected to be dog shit. They were without their Captain Jonathan Toews, Brent Seabrook, Kirby Dach, Alex Nylander, and Zach Smith to start their season. We saw the end to the icon careers of Brent Seabrook and Andrew Shaw. The roster was glued together by rookie after rookie and by the end of it, it all kinda worked in some weird way. We lost playoff hopes soon but it was better than being Detroit. By the end of the season, the injury bug hit hard, taking Adam Boqvist, Brett Connolly, Kirby (once again), Calvin de Haan, and Duncan Keith. By the end, it’s better to have missed playoffs rather than continuing and risking more injury.
It’s hard to see both of my teams end this tragically but at least I am saving myself the heartbreak of playoff elimination. The Hawks will play the Stars in their final game of the season tonight and regardless of the outcome both of their seasons will end. Both teams have battled adversity since day one but I am proud of them. I’m sure we’ll see the teams change a lot over the off-season – both with Seattle and trades – but it’s not a complete wash for both. Regardless tonight I will be drinking and cheering my boys.
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