Despite losing a series to the Rockies yesterday afternoon, the 9-3 Cubs have started the season off pretty damn well and are flying high. Therefore, as a Chicago baseball fan, I couldn't possibly be happier right now.
However, as a Chicago hockey fan, things are quite different.
The Blackhawks are down 2-1 against the St. Louis Blues in the opening round of the playoffs and have lost a couple of very winnable games courtesy of mental mistakes and lack of execution. As of right now, the Hawks appear to be circling the drain.
Here's hoping they can get their act together on Tuesday and turn this series around, come back on the Blues and send them home early (as is tradition 'round these parts). As a means of picking myself up out of the hockey doldrums, I picked up a Fairfield hockey repack from the local Target:
Of course,the first card I needed from the 100 card, 1:4 hit-type box was a damn Blue. I almost missed this need because of the 90's gratuitous usage of foil for all of the text on this card and my instinctive reaction to immediately flip past the St. Louisan.
However, my curiosity got the best of me and I realized that Igor Korolev was a name required for my Blackhawks All-Time Roster Collection. The Russian native was imported to America by the Blues, but bounced around the NHL for most of his 13 year career, which he wrapped up with three seasons in Chicago (2001-2004).
Afterwards, he went back to the motherland and played for several more seasons in the RSL & KHL. Tragically, Korolev was one of the victims of the 2011 Locomotiv Yaroslavl Air Disaster, an airplane crash which killed the entire roster of the Locomotiv hockey team.
Suddenly, a bad playoff series has been put into perspective. Life ain't so bad,
Meanwhile, the Korolev card wasn't the only need to be found within the Fairfield box.
Accompanying Igor, was another Russian import and a member of this season's Blackhawks squad. Although, Tikhonov has had no hand in Chicago's lackluster play in the playoffs, seeing as he was claimed off of waivers by the Coyotes after just 15 games with the team in December.
He wasn't really around long enough to make much of a mark, though it should be noted that he was signed along with his KHL teammate and rookie sensation Artemi Panarin and that his grandfather was a famed Russian coach of the same name.
Believe it or not, despite the much-maligned proliferation of Pro Set card, there are still cards from the checklist which I need, like this here single of Mark Janssens.
Much like Igor Korolev, Janssens was a hockey journeyman who wrapped up his 16 year long career with three campaigns in the Windy City (1998-2001). The center didn't really do anything notable in his time spent here.
Mark went into business after the completion of his hockey career and while traveling to Columbia University in New York, he witnessed one of the planes hit the World Trade Center on one of the darkest days of American history.
Lots of tragedy to be found in this pack of cards, huh?
All three as members of the Blackhawks
So, in researching the players found in my repack, life has been put pretty squarely into perspective; it could be a helluva lot worse than witnessing a lackluster hockey playoff series. A LOT worse.
Definitely didn't expect to be getting a life lesson from Fairfield when I picked this up.
Anyway, here's hoping that the Blackhawks can wake up and mount a timely comeback against the Blues, starting this Tuesday at the Scottrade Center. While there might be a lot more serious things in life I could be dealing with, I would still like to see my hockey team win.
However, it's hardly the end of the world if they don't