Cubs’ curse dooms ‘Hawks
By Jim Litke
Associated Press columnistCHICAGO ó For all the bad blood between the Red Wings and Blackhawks, and all the novel ways they’ve come up with over the years to spill it, maybe the only surprise is that no one ordered them to “take it outside” before this.
Seven hundred times previously, more than any two teams in pro hockey, these “Original Six” members met and yet rarely raised this kind of ruckus. But a hometown crowd unused to seeing anything stirring in Wrigley Field from September until spring didn’t have to wait long to find their familiar ballpark transformed into the “Unfriendly Confines.”
Just two minutes in, Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook lined up Detroit’s Dan Cleary, bounced him into the boards and then deposited him headfirst into the Hawks’ bench. It was payback for the bruised leg Cleary gave rising Chicago star Patrick Kane during the Red Wings’ 4-0 thrashing in Detroit two nights earlier.
“It wasn’t just another game,” Chicago coach Joel Quenneviile said. “We had to bring our best game against them. But they played some very important games the last part of last season, and they know what it’s like to play a big game.
If the game wasn’t a success for the Blackhawks, it was a near-perfect showcase for the NHL, venerated Wrigley, the city of Chicago and perhaps even its quest to play host for the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Commissioner Gary Bettman was coy about where he plans to take the game next, but he won’t be hurting for invitations. There was talk this year’s classic would be the last event played in the old Yankee Stadium.
“It’s something that we know can be a special part of our game if we do it right,” Bettman said.