Ah, things looked so calm and promising before the game...
It was nice sitting center ice (section 301) even if it was nosebleed. Didn't get too many pictures mid-game, mostly because there was a woman in front of me who kept 1. waving her beer around, and 2. kept leaning way forward every time there was good action going on, so about half my shots have her big head in it. The dude's head you see on the left in this shot pretty much eliminated all my shots of action going on at the east end of the ice.
National Anthem. For honoring the Canadians, there was Kevin Burke of the Canadian Forces; and for the U.S., Glenn Latronico of the U.S. Army, as well as WWII U.S. Air Force veterran Robert Rose.
There are those who complain about the fans at the UC cheering and applauding wildly during the singing of the National Anthem. Since my father was in the Marine Corps and I was raised the way I was, I always put my hand on my heart and sing along with Jim Cornelison (or whoever is singing it, if I'm not at the UC). I would rather hear people sing the anthem than cheer it. But I will not deny the enthusiasm gives me chills, especially the surge when it reaches "land of the free".
Chicagoans are about as diverse as it comes; this city was built on immigrants, and to this day, is ethnically and racially mixed. And while each community has its own national pride, there is also a lot of pride about being American and a strong sense of patroitism. In addition to the Anthem, when the military personnel are re-introduced later in the game, the entire crowd gets to their feet for a standing ovation for them.
So for those of you who think Chicago fans "aren't being respectful" to the National Anthem or to the military personnel in attendance (yeah, I'm looking at you, Otto): you don't know what you're talking about.
Some people last night were definitely trying to sing along to the Canadian national anthem, too, but we just don't know the words. Maybe it would be helpful if the UC actually threw the lyrics to both anthems up on the Jumbotron in addition to the pretty flag graphics.
Because you know what? One of the most amazing renditions I've heard of any national anthem being sung was after the Canadians won the gold in hockey at this year's Olympics. I would love to hear 22,000+ fans' voices raised together to sing the National Anthem - that would really send chills down my spine!
And oh - my ears are still ringing from from din during last night's Anthem. I could barely hear Cornelison by the time it got to the final lines.
Hint, fellow Hawks fans at the UC - you need to stay THAT LOUD for the entire game. Not just when things are going well. Home teams feed off building energy.
Crowd just after puck-drop.
Crowd, early 3rd period. Notice all the empty seats (and it got a lot emptier long before the final horn).
If you're a true fan, keep your butt in your seat and stick around, even when it looks hopeless. Support your team.
Like these guys! I say thumbs up to fans in the competitor's house that show their team pride.
We saw five of these.
And only one of these. Hope to see more of this on Monday.
A penalty for you, and a penalty for you...
And too much of this crap in the 3rd period.
Several more pre-game pictures of both Blackhawks and Canucks players over on my Flickr photo steam.
It's one game. Hope to see better the rest of the series. Let's go, Blackhawks!