I’ve always believed that the fun part of watching hockey is caring about its players. Trades and injuries and losing streaks are agony because we are disappointed in–and achingly sorry for–the boys on the ice. A team is just a hallowed-out exoskeleton without personalities to animate it. The Pens are the Pens because Sidney Crosby is the captain, because Evgeni Malkin constantly looks like an adorable 8-year-old with a head cold, because Marc-Andre Fleury is terrible when he’s bad but blindingly brilliant when he’s good. The Blue Jackets are the midget line and Jack “I’m Really, Really Not the Jack Johnson You Think I Am” Johnson and Sergei Bobrovsky, the number one cop on the force.

I can watch a hundred thousand Hawks games, but those boys are never going to be my boys if I don’t bother to learn anything about them other than their numbers.

Now, given that my options are fairly limited in terms of getting to know them–I’m reasonably sure that Quenneville isn’t going to let me waltz into the UC and take everybody out for lunch (also I’m too poor to take a group of fully-grown hockey players out to lunch, I’ve seen those dudes eat)–I’ve decided to play a little game called “Speed Dating with the Internet.” It’s a totally real game that I in no way made up a minute ago while stuffing my face with Tostitos.

The rules of the game are as follows: pick five players. You have two minutes to Google their names and find out as much about them as you can. Wikipedia is not allowed. NHL.com is not allowed. Use discretion when determining the legitimacy of a source–“mollyhalleatsalotoftostitos.blogspot.com” probably doesn’t fact check (though, you never know, some fans are more meticulous in their facts than accredited news outlets).

Now, in the name of honesty, I do already know a bit about some of these players thanks to last year’s Cup run, but this is a game about getting to know them on a level that is deeper than “Jonathan Toews is freakishly good at face-offs.” (And by “deeper,” I mean “sillier.”)

Ready, Internet? Okay. My five players are: Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Brandon Bollig, and Patrick Sharp.

On your mark. Get set. Go.

Jonathan Toews

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What I Learned in Two Minutes on the Internet

  • People have really strong feelings about him being the Canadian captain instead of Sidney Crosby
  • He did not like the Canadian jerseys, according to his super bummed out face
  • He really wants to stop getting called “Captain Serious,” so he can be the Hawks’ Cool Dad
  • Wow, Chicago really loves this dude
  • Looks like an actual Disney Prince with his hair long, what is that
  • Hockey-married to Patrick Kane? Or maybe hates him? They shout at each other a lot, but also seem to hug disproportionately
  • Spends the majority of his life weathering torment from Patrick Sharp
  • He on-purpose wore plaid-on-plaid to the Cup Ring ceremony and nobody stopped him
  • Speaks French! 
  • Seriously though, his face-off stats.

Patrick Kane

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What I Learned in Two Minutes on the Internet

  • Holy bananas, can this dude handle a hockey stick
  • He punched a cab driver and got really drunk in Wisconsin, which is disappointing, but he also…
  • Stayed with Stan Bowman’s family during his rookie year, and apparently stuck around and helped out and was generally an A++ dude during Bowman’s cancer, so as it turns out humans are complicated and can’t be measured by one mistake (or one good deed)
  • Claims to be 5’10, which I’m not even going to address
  • Once said, “I guess Tazer’s my Larmer” in reference to their hockey marriage
  • An actual news source once called him a heartthrob, which is bewildering because he made the conscious decision to grow a mullet and shave stripes into the side
  • Really loves his sisters
  • Basketball??? This can’t be right.

Duncan Keith

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Sorry. I had to. Here’s a better one:

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What I Learned in Two Minutes on the Internet

  • “Duncan Keith lost his teeth, but not his heart”
  • He put his baby in the Cup and it was super adorable
  • Didn’t invite his BFFL Brent Seabrook to his wedding
  • It’s possible that he gave his teeth to Seabrook? Like. As a gift? I couldn’t definitively confirm this in two minutes on the Internet, but it was suggested at least twice
  • Goes fishing a lot
  • Apparently one time he spilled a protein shake on his floor and decided to cover it with a box instead of cleaning it up so it made the whole house smell like a fraternity house after a frat party
  • Seriously, 90% of these articles are just called “Duncan Keith has no teeth but he has a big heart.” I GET IT.

Brandon Bollig

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What I Learned in Two Minutes on the Internet

  • Brandon Bollig doesn’t grow playoff beards, he grows Manly Dude beards that he just maintains during playoff season
  • His goal in the Hawks opener this season was his first career goal!
  • Oh my God, I accidentally looked at the Wikipedia sidebar and he is a former child actor
  • This is so legitimate, he was in Defiance! That’s such a real movie! It has a 46% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes!
  • “Jim Freivogel stars in this 2002 Western that follows the life of a vengeful young man. His father gunned down by the local heavies, the boy grows up focused on settling the score. But as he sets out to enact his own brand of justice, it becomes clear that it may never be enough.”
  • That’s enough out of you, Brandon Bollig, you beautiful moonbeam.

Patrick Sharp

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What I Learned in Two Minutes on the Internet

  • Patrick Sharp isn’t a model, the camera just went off
  • He’s an enormous troll who lives to make Jonathan Toews cry
  • Fully plans on missing a game if his wife goes into labor, which is making me kind of emotional
  • Deadspin thinks his baby is the cutest baby in sports, so apparently all Sharps have mutant DNA for being aesthetically pleasing
  • He is not the same Patrick Sharp that started a White Student Union at Georgia State University
  • He once met the lead singer of Pearl Jam and was super pumped about it.

 

1 COMMENT

  1. I write on this site, covering the Islanders, they are my number one team, the Hawks however, are my number two…they have quickly become “my boys” 2.0; Once you internet speed date these guys it’s hard not to love the Blackhawks even more. Welcome to the Hawks fanbase, it’s wonderful mix of disturbingly comical tumblr posts and some of the best hockey fans you will ever encounter.

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