This was our guest column last night in the gameday program, sent to us by Cyndi B., @spintheiryarns on Twitter.
The last time I saw Patrick Kane play live was on December 3, 2014. It was a great night, a rivalry game against the Blues. St. Louis had just signed Brodeur, and I was hoping extra hard for Jake Allen to get pulled, so I could say I’d seen Marty Brodeur in net just once. Allen didn’t get pulled, but the PBK line chewed him up and spat him out anyway–three goals in five minutes. Kane had two in under three. The guy sitting next to me was a patronizing tool and insisted on hugging me after every Chicago goal, but it was worth it. There was no feeling quite like being there on a night when Kane was really on, when the crowd was already halfway to its feet every time he touched the puck.
On October 7 this year, when the Blackhawks opened against the Rangers, I was working late and watching a shitty livestream from my desk–nothing new there. Sure, Chicago fell down early and couldn’t make it back up, but it was fun hockey. Clean, evenly matched, fast-paced. I was pleased–except every time the crowd cheered a goal I started crying instead, because I remembered what that felt like and I don’t know how to ever get it back.
I think we can guess what happened in between.