We’re sticking with the wrestler theme and going away from our normal drummer post on a possible clincher. It is not just a season the Hawks look to bury tonight. It is an entire era of an organization. So we summon The Phenom, The Dead Man, The Best There Ever Was. St. Louis, the Creatures Of The Night request your demise.
Guess we’ll stick with the wrestler theme, worked on Thursday. Kevin Owens is something of the true wrestling fan’s wrestler on the main roster. While he certainly doesn’t look like the true Greek God that the WWE would prefer, Owens made his name on the indie and Japan and NXT circuit by simply being better than everyone else in the ring. There isn’t an Owens match that doesn’t have you completely riveted, and his NXT title match with Finn Balor last August is considered one of the best of the year anywhere. He also cultivated the perfect heel personality, which certainly is something the Hawks are working towards. Few are better on the mic, or carrying their persona and telling a story through a match than Owens. Oh, and he’s had the same blood feud with Sami Zayn for years now, much like the Hawks and Blues. If the Hawks are going to extend this, they’ll need to Fight Owens Fight.
You can change your name, you can change religions, you can disavow your past and give up on what made you famous. But you can’t change your DNA, and you’ll eventually come back to doing what you do best.
Over the past eight years, the Hawks have watched their rivals time and time again try and thrash and bash their way past them. They have remained above the fray, trying to play an elegant game. Well, no one in any sport has played a more elegant game than Andrea Pirlo. Sure, he barely moves these days. But the thing is, he’s never been able to move. He’s never had to. Pirlo simply sits in the midfield, stroking passes everywhere with the ease and touch of some sort of god. And there is no doubt that he carries not just soccer’s, but perhaps sport’s most divine beard. For the Hawks to advance, they’ll have to keep their composure, their nerve, and continue to play the game on a higher level. Just like Pirlo has done for seemingly 108 years now.
As frontman for two of the more beloved (if under appreciated) Chicago based emo-ish bands of the late 90s and early aughts in Braid and Hey Mercedes, the ginger bearded Bob Nanna has flown consistently under the radar as one of he genre’s more prolific and inventive song writers. While Braid’s hallmark was (and still is) tempo changes, odd time signatures, and Nanna’s interplay between co-vocalist Chris Broach, Hey Mercedes’ focus was more on sweeping choruses and Nanna’s baritone croon of a voice. Braid’s style can’t help but seep through even when covering an oddball 80’s one hit wonder from a band named after an obscure Star Trek character. And even after 16 years in between proper releases (1998 to 2014, during which Hey Mercedes’ was Nanna’s focus), Braid returned with a worthy entry to their catalog with No Coast; a rallying cry for a midwest-based series such as this if there ever was one.
If nothing else, this bit has served over the last eight playoff seasons as a compendium of “Oh, THAT guy” character actors. And one of the most active over the past 25 years has been the ubiquitous and often bearded Donal Logue.
Of course, looking like a casting agent’s dream of a quintessential first-generation Irish-Canadian (born in Ottawa) helps Logue’s case, and has kept him busy with 103 IMDB acting credits to his name, and even those don’t include all his work with MTV as Jimmy The Cab Driver or hosting 120 Minutes with fucking Greg Dulli back when that network gave a shit about music. A young Logue also provided a pivotal and scene stealing performance in 1992’s Sneakers among such Hollywood royalty as Robert Redford, Sidney Poitier, and Ben Kingsley as Dr. Gunter Janek, who makes a cryptographic breakthrough of Gaussian proportions.
Recently, he has been found all over the place on Law & Order: SVU, Vikings, Gotham, and Sons of Anarchy, but his starring vehicle of Terriers remains one of the greatest shows in television history that literally nobody watched. And if that isn’t a metaphor for hockey fandom, nothing is.
While not the biggest guy, much like the Hawks (at least in the past) WWE NXT champ Finn Balor uses his speed, flair, and creativity to better his opponents. While Balor is a great wrestler and watch in his normal gear, for the big occasions he has to “unleash the demon” and comes out possessed and unpredictable.
As we’ve seen with the Hawks, when the chips are down and they have to have it, they find their own “demon,” and generally no one can stick with them. At some point this series we’ll see it, and the Blues will know they have a true fight on their hands.