Blackhawks Rules are in Effect!

You can probably tell by looking at the pictures of Richard standing in front of the green screen at the Blackhawks Store at “tree-tirty-tree” N. Michigan Avenue, we’re huge Chicago Blackhawks fans.

Niklas Hjalmarsson!
Niklas Hjalmarsson!
Patrick Sharp!
Patrick Sharp!
Andrew Shaw!
Andrew Shaw!
Patrick Kane and  Jonathan Toews!
Patrick Kane and
Jonathan Toews!


Notice what Richard is wearing?
Notice what Richard is wearing?

Because we are such big fans, we have big rules. Our Blackhawks rules, as stated below, have been agreed upon by all parties who live in our household:

1. No Chicago Blackhawks merchandise may be purchased during the entire season. If one receives a gift of a Blackhawks item, it must immediately be confiscated by a family member who shall wrap it, and then hide it in the garage for the remainder of the season. Addendum: If one receives a gift purchased or procured at The Madhouse on Madison, the rules do not apply, and said gift may be displayed on our Blackhawks Wall of Fame.

Our Chicago Blackhawks Wall of Fame
Our Chicago Blackhawks Wall of Fame

2. We try to watch hockey together as a family, and will DVR the game if Richard is running late. However, if Richard knows he will miss an entire period, a Delay of Game is granted beforehand so that we may begin to watch the game without him.

But, stop it right there! Until he has fast-forwarded to catch up to the live game, no one may speak, make direct eye contact, check the app, or be anywhere near his aura. He claims he will know how the Hawks are doing by the tone of our voices, the looks on our faces, and patterns of our brain waves.

2 a. So as not to draw a penalty, Lucas and I checked with The War Room in Toronto and were granted a Power Play: If Richard will miss an entire DVR’d game, we may watch the game without him.

After the game, Lucas and I quickly retire to our respective locker rooms before Richard gets home so as not to divulge any clues he will most definitely detect by sensing our heart rates, and/or reading our minds.

3. During power plays, Richard sits on a stool placed just to the side of the TV and yells at the players, telling them what to do. His record is most impressive. Therefore, when the team listens to him and scores on the power play, Richard must remain on the chair for the remainder of the game.

Richard's Power Play Stool
Richard’s Power Play Stool

4. There is another chair of utmost importance: “The Grandma-Elija Chair,” named for the chair my mother was glued to (we really did glue her to the chair!) during a Hawks playoff victory. That chair has not been moved, and shall remain in place for the rest of the season, whether Grandma’s tush is in it, or not.

The Grandma-Elija chair
The “Grandma-Elija” chair
While my mother sat in the "Grandma-Elijah" chair, I remained in the kitchen eating chicken thighs. Why?  Because it was working. Here I am, on the floor, stuffed with chicken. We do whatever it takes.
While my mother sat in the “Grandma-Elijah” chair, I remained in the kitchen eating chicken thighs. Why? Because it was working. Here I am, on the floor, stuffed with chicken. We do whatever it takes.

5. When things are going in our favor, everyone must continue to do whatever it is they were doing, and sit wherever they were sitting, barring extreme bathroom emergencies.

6. Speaking of extreme bathroom emergencies, my friend, and Phoebe’s in-house physical therapist, Patti Triola,  is THE most loyal Blackhawks fan I’ve ever met. Patti rescues and rehabs Dachshunds, who are prone to back problems. All dogs in her house, whether they’re her own, or patients, must wear Hawks shirts during the games.

Patti works on Phoebe's Bassett foot to keep it strong and flexible
Patti works on Phoebe’s Basset foot to keep it strong and flexible

If you think our rules are strict, wait until you hear Patti’s:

1. No barking

2. No passing of gas

3. Dogs must wear “man pants” (diapers) because bathroom breaks are only allowed between periods. Apparently Dachshunds have bladders the size of Dachshunds.

Patti Triola's Dachshunds and patients wearing Blackhawks gear and "man pants"
Patti Triola’s Dachshunds and patients watching a game in their  Blackhawks gear and “man pants”

Everyone knows our Blackhawks rules, so Veronica waited until between periods to send us this text:

"So...I'm engaged!"
“So…I’m engaged!”

Our mothers didn’t call to congratulate us until after the game.

As of the publication of this post, the Chicago Blackhawks and the Tampa Bay Lightning are tied two games to two in the Stanley Cup Finals. Do I think the Blackhawks have played their best hockey? No. 

Spoiler alert:

Or, I should say, not yet. 

I think they’ve been chasing the Lightning around the arena, causing them to lose opportunities when they do have possession. The Hawks just need to start playing their game. Slow it down, set it up, and slam it in. Lightning has already struck twice. I don’t think it will happen again.

I don’t want to give the Blackhawks a “kenahora,” so, poo, poo, poo a million times (I spit through my fingers onto a paper towel as I say this. I’d spit through my fingers while typing, but try explaining THAT to the guy at the genius bar!)

If all goes as I predict, we will win the next two games straight and reclaim the Stanley Cup at the Madhouse Monday night. And, best of all we’ll get to hear Jim Cornelison belt out The National Anthem while the flag “was still there,” and “yet waves,” one more time this season.*

*Or twice, in case I mis-spat.

Special thanks to my mother, Lorraine Chase,

for being my proofreader extraordinaire.

Some of the Best Quotes After the Chicago Blackhawks Beat L.A. in Game 5

Tommy Hawk“A lot of times you thought the game was over,  especially for us…” — (Who else, but?) Patrick Kane

“The whole game was some pretty good hockey…” — Corey Crawford

“But a funny thing happened on the way to elimination: The Blackhawks tapped into the championship heart that led them to titles in 2010 and 2013.” –Shawn P. Roarke, Editorial Director

“Handshake line at the United Center? These defending Stanley Cup champions wouldn’t do that to their fans…” — Bob Verdi, Blackhawks Team Historian

“… Coaching staffs might have aged, but if it was the first hockey game you ever watched and you are not hooked, consult your doctor immediately.” — Bob Verdi

Tommy Shaking his Tail Feathers“Handzus…who didn’t really need to shower after Game 4, clicked on the winner after being provided the puck by Saad and Kane.” — Bob Verdi

“Michal Handzus, that Slovakian speed demon you all know and love…” — John Greenberg,

“…they won the old-fashioned playoff way, with shifts getting shorter and beards growing longer.” — Bob Verdi

“Handzus stars in ‘The Old Man and the See I Told Ya so'” — Chicago Tribune headline by Steve Rosenbloom

“But reliable Ben Smith snatched it back early in the third period, making it 4-4, and as time passed, not a creature was stirring the UC parking lots, not even a mouse.” — Bob Verdi

“How athletes on either side found the gumption to produce such stellar theater is a marvel, but now you know why you never see a fat hockey player.” — Bob Verdi

Blackhawks Hall of Fame
Our Chicago Blackhawks Hall of Fame


And, just in case you missed this from last week, I think it’s only fitting to run it again:


1. They wear “Glamour-Don’t” uniforms and make them look great. I’m sure they never ask any of their teammates if their pads make their butts look big.

2. They are the definition of teamwork. At least publicly, no one acts like a star without whom the team would fall apart. And, even when one of the players that’s particularly good and whose presence is missed is out due to an upper or lower body injury, another player steps up and gets the job done. And, if a player from another team hits one of our guys in a particularly unnecessary or malicious way (legal hit, or not), one of our guys will see to it that justice is served.

3. They are the definition of humility. I’ve never heard a player take all the credit for a goal or even an assist. When interviewed they’ll say the only reason they were able to make that goal was because of a great pass from someone else.

4. They’re manly enough to wear helmets and mouth-guards.

If he can't be at the game, Richard gets as close as he can.
If he can’t be at the game, Richard gets as close as he can.

5. They take naps.

7. They talk to the press anytime and anywhere, and are gracious about it.

8. They have wives and kids.

9. The team is a family and their families are part of the Chicago Blackhawks extended family. (Notice the absence of the word “dysfunctional!”) Look, I don’t know what goes on behind closed doors, but unlike other athletes who live their lives like a reality TV show, the entire Chicago Blackhawks family is classy in public. (There might be exceptions, but that’s not my point.)

10. Moms and Dads are invited on trips with their sons and get to see what goes on behind the scenes.

11. Statistics. I learn something new from Eddie Olcyzk, Pat Foley, or Doc Emrick every time I watch or listen to a game. Someone keeps track of each player’s statistics, but someone also keeps track of how many years a trainer, physical therapist, doctor, equipment manager, and anyone else who has any affiliation with the organization has been with the team; and they are appreciated and their dedication is celebrated.

I LOVE Tommy Hawk!
I LOVE Tommy Hawk!

12. To my knowledge, there are no plastic surgeons in the locker room. These guys get slashed, get stitches, and get back out on the ice to play. As a Jewish Mother, I’m not saying I necessarily agree with this practice, but it does deserve to be mentioned. Each player wants to make a difference and knows he can’t do it sitting on the bench.

13. They give back to the City of Chicago in more ways than I can list here.

14. They know how to have fun. Check out BMO Harris Bank’s #TeamAlwaysWithYou commercials starring the Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks on YouTube. (

More fun: The team voted Patrick Sharp as the Biggest Prankster. (

15. They all grow beards during playoff season, some more manly than others, even though some of them are only 19 or 20 years old and still practically going through puberty.

16. They beat each other up on the ice but act in a very dignified and sportsman-like manner when shaking hands with the opposing team after a playoff series, whether they lost or won a few minutes prior. It’s especially nice when two guys who had just practically knocked each other senseless shake hands, slap each other on the back, and say, “Good games, eh?”

17. When one of the team members has a family crisis, the entire team offers support, as if whatever happened affected each of them personally.

18. Which brings me to their Alumni Association: (


In 1987, a group of retired Blackhawk players got together to discuss their future in the Chicago community. Their main objective was to “give something back” to Chicago and to the sport of hockey. In that meeting they developed a three-fold mission statement for the non-profit Chicago Blackhawk Alumni Association.

• To provide a scholarship fund for the “most deserving” high school hockey players in Illinois.

• To become involved in community affairs and charitable causes.

• To protect and take care of their fellow alumni: “Players helping Players.”

19. The Chicago Blackhawks love their fans, and show it by raising their sticks in salute to them after every home game. Check out The Fan Zone (

20. They honor our county’s veterans at every home game.

21. Two words: Tommy Hawk. ‘Nough said.


22.  Two more words: Jim Cornelison. Nobody sings our National Anthem better and no   stadium shows its appreciation more than Chicago Blackhawks fans. The United Center is called The Madhouse on Madison for a reason.

23. I don’t think any of the team members are from Chicago, yet they are great ambassadors of The City.

24. In short, they make Chicagoland proud.

25. And the best reason of all: I’m going to the playoff game tonight!!!

We didn’t win that night. BUT WE WON LAST NIGHT!