Photograph: Chris Sweda/ Chicago Tribune
At this point, it seems like everyone—your younger brother, your high school Facebook friends, the conductor on the Red Line this morning—is talking about the Blackhawks, especially after last night's nailbiter of a game. (We won.)
If you're feeling clueless, don't worry. It's easy to become a Blackhawks bandwagon fan. Here's a quick and easy guide to getting caught up before the really big game tomorrow night.
There's a hockey game?
To recap, the Blackhawks are currently facing off against the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference Semifinals. The series is tied at 3-3, meaning Game 7 tomorrow night is the final one of the semifinals. Players take the ice at 7 p.m., meaning that you should be planted on your couch, seat, or bar stool by then, with a brew gripped firmly in your hand.
Keep in mind these are the Semifinals. The winner will go on to face either the San Jose Sharks or the Los Angeles Kings (TBD in another Game 7 out in California tonight). The winner of that round goes on to play for the Stanley Cup. You can track the standings here.
The players you need to know:
Expect to see big plays from gamechangers like Jonathan Toews, the two Patricks (Kane and Sharp), and Marian Hossa.
Where to watch Game 7:
The full list of official Blackhawks bars has quite a few options, but here are some great ones in different areas around the city:
- The Stanley Club at Johnny’s Icehouse West: 2550 W. Madison Street
- Red Ivy: 3525 N. Clark Street
- The Anthem: 1725 W. Division Street
- Crew Bar and Grill: 4804 N. Broadway Street
- Murphy's Bleachers: 3655 N. Sheffield Avenue
- Cork & Kerry: 10614 S. Western Avenue
Where to definitely not watch Game 7:
Several city bars cater to Red Wings fans. Unless you're itching for a fight, you should probably steer clear of:
- Hi Tops: 2462 N. Lincoln Avenue
- Avenue Tavern: 2916 N. Broadway Street
- Tin Lizzie: 2483 N. Clark Street
- Grand River: 3032 N. Lincoln Avenue
What you should say to sound like you know what you're talking about:
That gamechanger from before, Jonathan Toews? He's the team captain. His name is not pronounced 'toes.' It's actually pronounced 'Taves.' Get it right, and nobody will suspect that this is the first game you've watched all season.