After a tough stretch playing sub-.500 hockey, the Blackhawks find themselves just behind the Anaheim Ducks in the Western Conference. The team isn’t worried, but there is one problem: many of the younger Hawks have never experienced not being in first place.
“I saw some team above us in the standings and thought I was holding my phone upside down,” said forward Brandon Saad. “So I turned it around, but the picture flipped with it! This went on for like 45 minutes.”
Following the episode, Captain Jonathan Toews sat the youngest members of the team down and gave them a brief lecture on the history of the Blackhawks, including several seasons in which the team experienced places other than first. He also explained that most seasons are 82 games long, do not include extended breaks and that there is a second conference in which a different team is also in first place.
“The kids did not enjoy the ‘What happens when teams lose?’ part of the speech,” said Toews. “I honestly cut it short. Shawzer already knows the next dozen cereals he’s going to eat from the Cup.”
Many young Hawks took solace in the fact that the team in second place also makes the playoffs. Toews was extremely selective with who he told what happens after that.
“Bollig actually thought that teams eliminated from the playoffs were, you know … eliminated,” Toews chuckled. “We just let that one be. That could actually be helpful.”