Our Love/Hate Relationship with the Blackhawks


I all-out hate the Minnesota Wild (in case you didn’t notice). I also don’t have too much good to say about the St. Louis Blues except captain David Backes supports animal charities.

When it comes to the other Colorado Avalanche division rival, the Chicago Blackhawks, I tend to have a love/hate relationship with the team. Judging by hockey fans at Pepsi Center and just around Denver in general, I gather I’m not alone.

What is it about the Blackhawks that prevents us from hating them outright?

Record in Recent Years

Last season, the Colorado Avalanche owned the Chicago Blackhawks, going 3-1-1 against them. The season before that, the ‘Hawks bested the Avs two out of three times, but Colorado’s claim to fame in a dismal season was ending Chicago’s win streak. The year before that, the Avs took the ‘Hawks for 2-1-1.

No matter how bad the Avalanche’s season is going, or how good the Blackhawks season is going, a meeting with the Chicago Blackhawks seems to spell a real opportunity for a win.

Stanley Cup Champions

It’s human nature to want to follow winners. And despite their individual record against the Avalanche, the Blackhawks have been winners in recent years. They won the Stanley Cup for the first time in almost 50 years in 2010, and repeated the victory in 2013.

The Avs haven’t won the Stanley Cup since 2001. The St. Louis Blues haven’t won since… oh, never. The Minnesota Wild? Please.

Toews and Kane

More from Mile High Sticking

If you’re a hockey fan, it’s hard to ignore Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews and star winger Patrick Kane.

Toews, of course, won gold at the Olympics (with Avalanche center Matt Duchene). Actually, he was on the 2010 gold medal team as well. He’s a regular at the All Star games. He’s also won both the Conn Smythe Trophy and the Selke Trophy.

Kane, of course, did not win a medal in Sochi — famously did not. In fact, he dinged the post twice on penalty shot attempts in the Bronze Medal game. He also was so distraught after Team USA failed to qualify for the Gold Medal game that he appeared to be, well, weeping. (Personally, I liked him better for those reasons.) He did, however, earn Olympic silver in 2010, along with Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson.

Kane, however, is also renowned for his hockey skills. He’s another regular at the All Star games. He won the Calder Trophy his rookie year and has also been the recipient of the Conn Smythe.

Plus, Toews and Kane are known for being a little goofy. You’ve got to like a guy who laughs at an extremely unflattering mural of himself (Toews) and a guy who looks like a pink Grinch come the playoffs (Kane).

Eliminating the Wild

We, the Avs Nation, were devastated when the Wild eliminated the Avalanche at the conclusion of the 2013-2014 season. We had hoped for so much more.

I don’t know about the rest of the Avs Nation, but I was rooting for the Chicago Blackhawks to do the same to the Wild. Well, not only did they eliminate the Wild, they did it with utter disdain. Kane in particular seemed to view the Wild as an unworthy opponent. My personal favorite was his “Showtime” jeer:

Though it didn’t stem from anything the ‘Hawks themselves did, I also love how Wild goon — sorry, I guess he’s just a forward now — Matt Cooke allowed Kane to waltz into the slot during the Game 6 overtime. Kane “showtimed” Cooke all over again, thus

eliminating the Wild from the playoffs


Naturally, there’s plenty to hate about the Chicago Blackhawks. They are division rivals for the Colorado Avalanche. It’s terrible when Jonathan Toews practices his two-way skills on the Avs. It’s awful when Kane goes “showtime” on our goalie. And that time winger Patrick Sharp gifted himself with a birthday hat trick against the Avs… *shudder.

So, Avs Nation, it seems it’s time to give up on the love part of our relationship with the ‘Hawks. Time to start focusing on what our Colorado Avalanche can do.