Even though the Hawks are fading badly in their playoff pursuit, they are at least riding high in all other departments. First they brought back Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita a few weeks ago. Last night they brought back Tony Esposito and unbelievably, Tony O donned his old creepy mask for a few moments and the crowd went insane.
That's one of the best pictures of the year right there. The crowd was so pumped that they cheered through the national anthem like they used to at the old Chicago Stadium. I'm even finding myself hitting the Hawks games on Centre Ice more than any other Western team other than Anaheim.
To top it all off, Nikolai Khabibulin slammed down a shutout on Ovechkin and company.
From the Chicago Tribune (Bob Verdi):
"The notion of the Hawks exploring a brave new world involving ambassadors—let alone goodwill ambassadors—still feels a bit revolutionary. But this gesture is not about living in the past, only appreciating it in proper context. That's what makes Chairman Rocky Wirtz and President John McDonough so different. They're contemporary throwbacks.
"It's not only their ideas that are good, they're good people," Esposito said. "What's exciting for me, besides being a small part of the Blackhawks again, is how the team is getting better, along with the crowds. Detroit used to be a terrific hockey city. Then it went down for a while but came back big. Well, it feels like Chicago is