After crisscrossing the United States, and Canada, the Chicago Blackhawks finally made it home to officially welcome the 2023-24 regular season on United Center ice.
It also revealed a truth for many fans at the game and those watching from afar–the Madhouse, for at least a night, had returned. For Blackhawks fans, the earsplitting noise following months of buildup since Chicago won the draft lottery culminated with Connor Bedard opening the scoring in the game.
As many pointed out, it was the loudest it had been in some time. Though the outcome wasn’t the desired one, the Blackhawks falling to Vegas 5-3, it was the reaction after Bedard’s goal that was the exclamation point. It reminded many, whether they were partisan or not, just how loud that roar is and it will once again be.
The Chicago sports scene has been devoid of a winner for some time. Some successes have peeked their way through–but it’s been quick but not without the sting that accompanies a playoff berth only to see it vanquished quickly.
Think about it: name the last team to play in a championship series or game, of the “big four” sports. You’d have to go all the way back to 2016 when the Cubs ended their century plus long drought.
The Blackhawks were champs a year earlier. And in 2013 along with 2010. The White Sox in 2005. The Bulls in what felt like the entire decade of the 90’s.
For a big market city, it’s been an eternity of watching a lot of bad teams. It’s dulled the senses to the point that getting close to .500 for some teams is considered a win.
Saturday’s game showed that the roar, though a bit under the weather, is very much still there. It also revealed just how badly this city wants to cheer for something, anything, that holds sustainable success.
The Blackhawks are one of the surest bets the city has–and it’s only a matter of time that the iconic phrase Sweet Home Chicago becomes synonymous once again for a city of champions.
CHN Top 10
- Bedard gets his first goal in Chicago–on the powerplay
- A half dozen thoughts after a half dozen games–Blackhawks schedule doesn’t get any easier
- Shoot? Pass? Coin Flip? Luke Richardson says to go with what works
- Big Goals from the Big 10 Blackhawks Prospects
- The Avalanche show the Blackhawks what they can be someday–especially since the blueprint looks awfully similar
- The young Blackhawks core is slowly finding its way–whether its staying out together, holding up the bus or creating opportunities on the ice
- After a pair of games, Arvid Soderblom certainly looks like he’s going to be a Blackhawks mainstay
- A closer look at how the Blackhawks finally buried a power play goal
- Yes, Connor Bedard is the one who the majority of people are watching. But it’s the team-first approach that is truly standing out
- Any bunk indicating that Bedard isn’t good enough is simply that. A look at fellow generational talent Auston Matthews and how he stacked up throughout the season (through 41 games)