Earn This: Scum 4 - Hawks 3, Stars 3 - Wild 5

The funniest thing about this picture is I actually grabbed it off a German version of the Simpsons.

I've written this wrap in my head about seven different times since the Hawks game ended. Then I considered doing a Masters one because that seemed more fun, and then I went through three or four more versions between the ears as the Stars-Wild game see-sawed back and forth.

I thought about going totally angry, but that didn't seem right. Aside from the fourth line, and Crawford having some funny angles on goals, I didn't think the Hawks were that bad today. Detroit played a great game that I didn't see coming, and more credit should go to them then blame to the Hawks. And yes, I schtuggeyed Pavel Datsyuk across the finish line, as he was Zeus's brother today (and I know that would make him Poseidon or Hades, whatever), but I wasn't wrong in saying that he wasn't very good on Friday. My anger stemmed from a season long list of ills and missteps, not what went on today.

Then I thought after it was all said and done that I would go happy that we're in, but that didn't seem right either. After all, you shouldn't need the Stars taking the 2nd period off inexplicably in a game they needed to win, and then losing consciousness while the Wild's one dangerous line was on the ice, and then having Adam Burish kick out what would have been the equalizing goal (he still loves us!).

I guess right down the middle would be the optimum track here. But I think judgment on all of it is probably reserved to see how it all plays out. You're in now, you have a chance to defend what you hold. Yes, it was fortuitous. Yes, it's debatable whether it was deserved, But it's here now. And losing to the Wild on the last day is probably a bigger crime than losing to a spirited Detroit team.

Are we likely to beat Vancouver for a hat trick? No, certainly not. But what if you sneak Game 1 and the gremlins all come out to play again? What if Kesler and Burrows are more worried with settling scores than scoring goals, as they have been the past two years? And here are four words we should all keep in mind when this all kicks off again: Alain Vigneault, Roberto Luongo.

No, the Hawks didn't really earn this berth today. But they can earn it now. They can prove they belonged the whole time right now. You were going to run up against Vancouver anyway at some point, and Anaheim really wouldn't have been that much easier. The Hawks have been given a gift, but no one will care if they make it count.

And there's this. We still get Hawks hockey to write about. You still get Hawks hockey to talk about. We get to rock the foundations during the Anthem again. Maybe we'll get to hope again, or maybe we won't. And we won't have to watch the fucking Cubs for at least 10 more days, so there's that.

Anyway, I should have known this would go our way when 10 minutes before the Stars game I found out I don't have jury duty tomorrow. It was always in the cards, right?

It's all done now. That's why there's no wrap of today's game. The Hawks can start over, so can we. Let's do that.

Earn this.

(And I realize how cheap and unfair it is to take something that was a story about saving someone in WWII and apply it to our silly little game, but take my word for it it's on a severely smaller scale and importance. Thank you.)