I was fortunate enough to attend the Chicago Blackhawks home opener Tuesday night. The United Center was the loudest I have ever heard it. 22,000 fans were as hungry for Blackhawks hockey as I was.
The night started off with a red carpet entrance from all of the players and coaches. I unfortunately did not make it down to the Madhouse on Madison early enough. But, from what I heard, it was amazing. I was at the stadium in plenty of time for the lineups. The stadium booed loudly when the lineups were announced for the St. Louis Blues. I could tell many fans have been to Rockford Icehogs games during the lockout. This was because many fans yelled “sucks” after each Blues’ player was announced. Just like Icehogs fans do for the opponents’ lineup.
After, there were 10 minutes of intro videos. Fans howled and screamed as they waited for the Blackhawks lineups. Then, all of the Hawks’ players came out onto the ice as they were announced. Captain Jonathan Toews was announced last, and the stadium roared.
The National Anthem had the loudest fan response I’ve ever heard. Jim Cornelison nailed the singing as the fans roared. Many fans were recording the anthem on their phones.
Then the puck was finally dropped. The Blackhawks had many odd-man rushes early on, and the fans were on the edge of their seat. Typical hockey protocol has fans sitting with their backs against the seat, but Tuesday was an exception. During the three on zero rush the Blackhawks scored on, Hawks fans were out of their seats as Patrick Kane crossed center ice. The Hawks would take a 3-0 lead early in the third. Then, the Blues struck twice. Corey Crawford stood on his head late in the game to preserve the victory. It was a very awesome night for Blackhawks fans.