After qualifying for the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since 2002, the Hawks released a pair of playoff ticket commercials* that perfectly capture the attitude of this year's team. On the one hand, you have the goofball whimsy of stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews as baby-faced postseason virgins wearing fake playoff beards. On the other hand, you have Adam Burish building on the team's reputation as a scrappy underdog taking on the conference establishment -- with a shot directed right at the Detroit Red Wings.
Somewhere, Al Sobotka weeps quietly for the second straight postseason ...
In a word: awesome. Rivalry is the lifeblood of the Stanley Cup playoffs, and this sort of thing speaks perfectly to that tradition. Take it even further: Give us RJ Umberger throwing blue paint on a bright red wall of Calgary Flames logos before the Blue Jackets face them in the playoffs. Give us images of the desecrated Rocky statue if the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers meet again. Have Milan Lucic of the Boston Bruins put out a flaming Montreal police car with a fire extinguisher. That sort of thing.
Hell, just let the Blackhawks management and marketing department run the NHL already. They've got the Midas touch this season.
* (Ed. Note: One of the readers in the comments notes that the ads have been running, although they were just added to the Blackhawks' Web site yesterday. So we adjusted the headline.)