With the Sabres in Chicago tonight to take on the Blackhawks, we thought it would be interesting to get a Hawks fan's perspective on some issues facing the Sabres now, and far into the future. We spoke to Sam from The Committed Indian for his take on our questions.
1. How are Chicago fans balancing Patrick Kane's off-ice controversy with his on-ice dominance this season?
An overwhelming majority of Hawks fans would ask you, "What off-ice controversy?" sadly. The reaction by the fans and organization, for the most part, was disconcerting to say the least. There are some like us, I wouldn't dare guess a percentage, where it's been an uncomfortable watch at times. You can't help but marvel at what Kane has done on the ice this season, he's essentially carried a just ok team at even strength to one of the best wore cords in the league (along with Corey Crawford). He's been one of the best players on the ice this year. Unfortunately, there's a section of the fandom that thinks that completely erases everything that happened in the summer and fall. Or that it makes it ok. I think most just want to be Hawks fans and enjoy hockey and not think about it, which isn't evil. I think some like me aren't the fans they once were because of the other section of fans who see Kane's on-ice performance as some sort of "victory" over feminism or rape culture or whatever you want to call it. Let's just say it's been an interesting time around here.
2. What's it like to root for a team that's in contention every year? The Sabres hope to be in that position over the next few years, so how does it change you as a fan?
Well, obviously it's better than the alternative. It's a little weird now, because the past two seasons the Hawks have just kind of floated through at least half the season, and then basically moved it into 5th gear in the playoffs. One ended in a Cup, the other was a bounce off Nick Leddy's chest from another. So at this point, most fans have come to realize the regular season, for this team, doesn't mean much. Especially with this ridiculous playoff system where the Hawks are basically guaranteed a playoff spot thanks to the utter shiftiness of the Pacific Division. So I guess the one thing we've lost is getting excited about any game before April, aside from the occasional game with the Blues just because they're fun to toy with. That's the only downside though. Well, that and any criticism you levy at the team during the season is met with howls because a large portion of this fanbase is just around for the party. But that comes with the territory.
Thanks to Sam for his time, and you can check out his work at The Committed Indian.