Andrew McGilligan | Out of Writefield
Two of the best things to happen to television and hockey have collided this year. The Chicago Blackhawks are the best and most fun team to watch in the National Hockey League. Same goes for the show Justified. Both have been unbelievable this season and are eerily similar.
Here’s an unscientific look at how the Blackhawks and the show set in rural Kentucky have been mirroring each other for the past few years.
Jonathan Toews and the Chicago Blackhawks = Raylan Givens and the cast of Justified
With each passing episode Justified just keeps getting better. Same goes for the Blackhawks with each passing game.
Both Justified and the Blackhawks seemed to peak in 2010 as the show – specifically Margo Martindale won an Emmy – and the Hawks won the Stanley Cup. At the time, it was hard to think either would surpass those lofty heights.
The fourth season of Justified keeps getting better with every episode and could – so long as the final episodes continue this trend – replace Season 2 as the best in the series.
How do you top winning a Stanley Cup? How about setting a streak for the best start in NHL history by not losing a game in regulation for 24-straight to open the season. If they win the Cup, it will cap off one of the most remarkable runs in NHL history.
Interesting Comparison: The protagonist of Justified is US Marshal Raylan Givens, a throwback type of lawman to the old West days who has a clear vision of good and bad. He’s a no-nonsense kind of man.
To describe Jonathan Toews as no-nonsense would be an understatement. The young captain of the Hawks’ nickname is ‘Captain Serious.’ He goes about his business with a workman-like approach but has unbelievable skills with a hockey stick (coincidentally, Raylan is the quickest draw in all of Kentucky).
Toews is what you would envision when creating an old-school type player: tough, plays both ends of the ice and leads by example.
Second in Command: The second lead in Justified is Boyd Crowder. Just as confident and skilled as Raylan; but on the other side of the law. Patrick Kane is just as talented as Toews, but possesses a great wild streak (just google Kane and Cinco de Mayo) and a flare for the dramatic. Both Crowder and Kane manage to keep their cool in tense situations (see Kane scoring in final minute to tie a game in Detroit then notching the shootout winner during the streak; Boyd has himself in countless perilous situations, but never seems to sweat). When Boyd and Raylan are in a scene together, its TV gold as both know how to push the others buttons. Kane and Toews have a similar dynamic (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCMaOKr7bPs).
So let’s enjoy some good TV while it lasts. Justified only has two more episodes left this season. As for the Hawks, watching them play in late May would be the best way to cap off the hockey season.