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STUDIO: Warner Home Video
RUNNING TIME: 700 minutes
•Five complete games, each showcasing a specific Blackhawks player at their finest. (Jeremy Roenick, Tony Amonte, Denis Savard, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane)
•Final 14 minutes of the 1961 Stanley Cup Final vs Detroit with post-game interviews.
•Bobby Hull Retirement Ceremony from 1983
•Glenn Hall and Tony Esposito number-retirement ceremony from 1988
•1991 All-Star Game from Chicago Stadium starting lineups and anthems
•Closing ceremony of the Chicago Stadium following game 6 of the 1994 playoff vs Toronto
•Pierre Pilote and Keith Magnuson’s #3 raised to the rafters in 2008
•Denis Savard retirement ceremony – 3/19/98
•Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita Night – 3/7/08
Blackhawks hockey, cold steel on DVD.
Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, Jeremy Roenick, Chris Chelios, Tony Amonte, Ed Belfour, Denis Savard, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane
After ten years of darkness, the past couple seasons have seen the Hawks transform from one of the worst teams in hockey to a consistent contender for the Stanley Cup. This DVD set focuses mainly on the golden age of the 90’s and the current team of today, with just enough tips of the hat to franchise legends Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita and the Madhouse on Madison. If watching reruns of old sporting events is your deal and you happen to be a Blackhawks fan, prepare to crap your pants with delight at Chicago Blackhawks – Great Moments and Classic Games.
This set is pretty much geared towards fans in their late 20’s/early 30’s. Guys that grew up watching the team in the 90’s, got fed up and stopped giving a shit from 97′ to 07′, and then found a reason to get excited again after Dollar Bill died and his son took over the franchise. I think if you look at it from that perspective this set is an overwhelming success. Being an Original Six team there’s a lot of history there, but fortunately Chicago Blackhawks – Great Moments and Classic Games sticks to the shit we can remember fondly from our own lifetimes, with nary a mention of Wirtz within earshot.
“And I looked, and behold, a pale 57′ Chevy Convertible! And its rider’s name was Bobby Hull, and Stan Mikita followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth…“
The Roenick disc features a game against the Jet’s from 94′. Winnipeg was playing rough as fuck that night and the Hawks lost two players in the first period alone to injuries. The game’s pretty close until about half way through the 2nd where Roenick just explodes, scoring 4 of the Hawk’s 6 goals and even taking pause to get into a rare scuffle. This is the only ice time Alexei Zhamnov see’s on the entire set, albeit playing on the side of Winnipeg. There’s also a great moment during the game where the announcers quote from Blackhawk’s coach Darryl Sutter regarding how Chelios is one of the biggest dickheads in hockey.
The Amonte game is from the Western Conference quarter finals from later that season. Despite a first minute goal from Amonte the game ended up being a real nail biter with the Hawks finally besting Toronto 5-4. An unfortunate side effect of wanting to choose games that were close in score and thus exciting, is that you have to show Blackhawks goaltender Eddie Belfour playing at anything less than his best. Makes total sense when you think about it, but this game in particular Eddie was just having a bad night. Not very fair treatment for the 3rd all time best NHL goaltender. But this is Amonte’s disc, so the prevailing theme is “Amonte out scores the Maple Leafs”.
Savard’s game is not very Savard-centric on it’s own, in fact he only scores two goals during the course of the entire 5-2 game against the Red Wings, but it’s a good snapshot of the team back in 95′. It also fufills a couple of requirements if you’re putting together a package on the franchise. You gotta have a classic Wings/Hawks battle with the Hawks emerging victorious, and you gotta do something with Savard. The man was the old familiar face that reintroduced us to the Blackhawks and the new guard when the TV cameras finally came back on and we all started giving a shit again. Daze and Chelios also featured prominently in this game, begging the question once again; Where the fuck is Chelios’s disc?
Discs 4 & 5 feature Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews in games that are from last season. Even bandwagon jumpers will remember these games, but their inclusion shows that the front office really has faith in this current team. Yeah it may seem a little premature right now, but a couple years from now Hawks fans will be able to look back on this set and see those two games as the opening shots of our current dynasty. The Hawks are going to be serious contenders for the Cup over thes next few years (they’re currently engaged in a playoff series against the Canucks) and these games will act as a reminder of the year we finally got our team back.
If you think these guys are bad, you should see the trash that floats around a Wolves game.
Noticeably absent from the set? Chris Chelios easily deserved his own disk. We could’ve done without two games from the present day lineup (sorry Toews) and paid a little homage to the former Blackhawk captian and oldest active player in the NHL. I suspect his defection to the Red Wings and the fact that he’s so hated for personal reasons had something to do with his snubbing. And although the dark years were exactly that, pretty fucking dark, Alexei Zhamnov was the face of the Hawk’s for awhile and it would’ve been nice to see him get a nod. The gap from 95′ to 09′ is too noticable.
Also gone from the set is Bob Probert, whom was always a favorite of mine as a kid. The DVD set narrowly skates around Probie, with the game against the Red Wings on the Savard disc taking place the year he was between the two teams and chilling out in rehab somewhere. I’m sure lots of older fans will feel some of their favorite players missing or misrepresented here, but that’s the risk you take when putting together a set like this. Trying to sum up a franchise in 6 discs is damn near impossible, as the reasons sporting enthusiasts are drawn to a team are just as different and varied as the makeup of the fanbase itself. We all find different points of connection, points that make the Chicago Blackhawks our Chicago Blackhawks. But like they say, history is written by the winners.
“Stay away from the parallels” -Uncle Chip
Since not a lot of footage from the old school games exist, it’s the job of the speacial features to provide key moments regarding the Blackhawks’ first 70 or so years. We get a couple of number retirement ceremonies, the final period of a game against the Red Wings in the 60’s, some stuff from the 91′ All Star game, and the final moments of the last game at the old stadium. Like I said, hardly a comprehensive look back at the franchise history, but a decent enough look back at the modern era of Blackhawks hockey. More on ice stuff pre-90’s would’ve made for a much better package.
7.5 out of 10