Bernstein: Reviewing Blackhawks’ “Sequel”

By Dan Bernstein–

“The Godfather II,” it was not. Were it, the Blackhawks would have ended up in another parade, showing off hardware and long playoff beards, wearing big sunglasses over sleepless eyes as they drunkenly freestyle-rapped inane lyrics to a sea of red-clad celebrants.

It also wasn’t “Caddyshack 2,” thankfully. If that were the case, they would have won maybe 14 games. Actually, now that I think about it, more like six. And some players would probably have lost limbs or succumbed to a rare, tropical disease.

But it was a sequel, make no mistake. Enough of the main actors were back for another go-round, and enough new faces joined the fun. And just like the cinematic experience, we entered the theater knowing, somehow, that it couldn’t possibly be as good as the first one, but still held out hope.

The 2010-’11 season was the equivalent of a 2 ½-star movie following a 4-star triumph. Not entirely horrible, moderately amusing as our familiar heroes become involved in new twists and turns, but ultimately a letdown. We walk out unfulfilled, even if that’s what we really expected, somewhere in our heads.

The offseason roster moves were a message to many to adjust those expectations. The departures of Kris Versteeg, Andrew Ladd, Dustin Byfuglien and Antti Niemi, in hindsight, were similar to when Michael J. Fox was replaced by Jason Bateman for “Teen Wolf Too,” if not Paul Newman and Robert Redford being supplanted by Jackie Gleason and Mac Davis in “The Sting 2.”

(Sorry to even bring that last one up. It was, indeed, a dark chapter in the history of our great nation)

“Ocean’s Twelve?” Not nearly that bad. And at least we could understand what was going on in front of our eyes when watching inconsistent hockey. I still have no idea what happened in that movie, what was supposed to be happening, or why the actors seemed to have so much breezy fun making something so utterly incomprehensible.

“Rocky II” merits some consideration, but it was probably too good. It benefited from both the inherent plausibility of title-belt rematches and a full returning cast, and ended with the protagonist finally winning. Not the best equivalent of nearly missing the playoffs and losing in the first round.

I thought about “Ghostbusters 2,” but I’m having trouble making an adequate judgment because of the time-lag before it opened. I was 15 when the original came out in 1984 – the perfect age for it. By the time they convinced Bill Murray to sign on for the next one and get it made, I was 20, and pretty much over the whole thing. It seems mediocre enough to mirror the ‘Hawks’ season (if slightly slimier), yet I’m just not feeling it.

So I think it’s this, the film most congruent to the 2010-’11 Blackhawks: “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.”

The exhilaration of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” was impossible to replicate, but George Lucas tried, using new screenwriters (just as this season was the first real chance for GM Stan Bowman to construct his own roster). Harrison Ford was still there, the “core” of the franchise now surrounded by new linemates – the plucky, young, Chinese sidekick and blonde damsel representing the likes of Viktor Stalberg and Fernando Pisani.

And it looked and sounded like the original, but you knew the whole time something was missing even as you mostly enjoyed the experience. The ending was exciting, and then it was over.

The silver lining of the comparison is the fact that the next film in the series, “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” recaptured some of the magic.

There’s reason for hope.

bernstein 90x130 Bernstein:  Reviewing Blackhawks Sequel

Dan Bernstein

Dan Bernstein has been the co-host of “Boers and Bernstein” since 1999. He joined the station as a reporter/anchor in 1995. The Boers and Bernstein Show airs every weekday from 1PM to 6PM on The Score, 670AM. Read more of Bernstein’s blogs here. Follow him on Twitter @dan_bernstein.
Listen to The Boers and Bernstein Show podcasts >>

More from Dan Bernstein
  • Lovie's Shiny Chin Scar


    • mitchee

      I would say Kill Bill (Wirtz) 2. Lots of hacking and slashing, some more than amusing moments, but you kind of knew how it would end from the beginning.

      I would say you are right with 2.5 stars at this point, with the possibility of moving the grade up or down depending on how the next few years turn out. Let’s remember this was a rebuilding year. I thought I would not judge this team until February and right on cue they win 8 games in a row. I expect that the Hawks would have finished much higher had not Sharp, Bolland, and Brouwer been hurt in March, and they just might have beaten the Canucks if Bolland plays the whole series.

      These excuses aside, my bigger concern is that Stan Bowman doesn’t turn into Kenny Williams, ever in search of castoffs who don’t reach their potential (Stalberg = Quentin) or older guys who were good once, but are on the downside of their careers (Pisani = Manny)

  • Larry Horse's Arse

    Not a bad metaphor Bernsie.

    And as the hockey jihadists would have it, stop tawking kawk-key.

  • Larry Horse's Arse

    um that was supposed to be hawk-key

    • Limburger

      Hawkey mawkes me hawney

  • Murphs Upper-Lip

    Talk More Hawkey!!!

  • Glockster

    I think that Dan definitely makes a good point here, and I don’t think that the Hawks ultimate fate was out of line with their talent level.

    And, was I the only one who didn’t hate Ocean’s 12? 13 was better, but I didn’t think 12 was bad in absolute terms.

    • Chris in Scottsdale

      I liked Ocean’s Twelve, though the musical score could get annoying at times. It sounded like a toddler got a hold of the CD player or something.

      Ocean’s 13? Far better movie, if only for the fact that Eddie Izzard got a featured part. Eddie Izzard makes everything better.

  • Mr. Pouty Pants

    This sounds like a Damaniel article.
    Anyone else think it’s funny / sad that Connery played Fords father even though he is only 12 years older than Ford?

    • Chris in Scottsdale

      How about Back-to-the-Future, where Michael J. Fox was older than Crispin Glover, and about a week younger than Lea Thompson?

      I know it was just during the early and end parts of the movie, but… yeah, I’m gonna go lie down now.

  • Bob from Accountemps

    It’s Empire Strikes Back.

    Good guys win the first time around. The bad guys overcome the pluck of the protagonists who are defeated, but not finished.

    I guess Patrick Kane would be Luke Skywalker, the impetuous hero who’s learning on the job. Luke did have a little-discussed penchant for late nights in the cantine drinking mysterious, smoke-emanating drinks.


    • Murphs Upper-Lip

      Difference is that “Empire” is considered by many as the best of the original trilogy.

      • Bob from Accountemps

        indeed but I was going on plotlines. Also I’m assuming the hawks win next year. Hard to imagine, frankly. They’re still in cap hell.

      • Murphs Upper-Lip

        I’ll go with that… Kaner will start next season as a full blown Jedi, as with the beginning of “Return.” His youthful ways will be gone and he’ll have one thing on his mind… revenge. (Hopeful thinking.)

      • Chris in Scottsdale

        How about episodes 1-3, where the Hawk plays the part of Anakin?

        Episode 1- young, full of potential, win.
        Episode 2- arrogant, somewhat jaded, hand chopped off.

        Episode 3- gets a mean streak, slaughters all the younglings… Yeah- that may not work.

  • Thatoneguy

    Four game sevens with two ending in overtime. The first round has had games go into overtime nine straight days. This has been the best NHL playoffs I have seen in a long time and a far better watch than the basketball playoffs or the two baseball teams we have so please Dan, continue to talk hockey.

  • Denver Deadite

    Well, color me shocked: this wasn’t all doom and gloom.

    The future for the Hawks is indeed bright. Like I said in another thread, I’m not really putting any blame out there for this, and perhaps our expectations after all the trades were far too high.

    But they made the playoffs, they took the top team in the NHL to the brink and came up just short. Next year, they’ll have the right guys back and can spend some money again.

    Next year, there’s no reason they can’t be primed for another run. (And Vancouver still isn’t winning the Cup this year. ;) )

    • Beverly Brewmaster

      You’re right, Deadite. As I harped on all season, the Hawks’ goal differential suggested that they were still among the NHL elite, and I think their series against Vancouver bore that out. Nonetheless, this was still a rebuilding year and given the development of rookies like Crawford and Leddy, the talent in the pipeline, the fact that Chicago remains a top destination for free agents, and the fact that the salary cap should make a nice jump thanks to the new Versus deal, I think this team is going to be much deeper next season. It would’ve been nice if the Hawks could’ve grabbed those last two points at the regular season and made a deeper playoff run, but it very well would’ve ended the same way just a couple weeks later. The future is still quite bright indeed.

  • pulseczar

    Ghostbusters II at least had a Bobby Brown song. The only good thing going for it. To call it an awful movie would be an insult to awful movies.

    Too hot to handle too cold to hold…..

  • Bill Simmons

    Dear Diary:

    I wish I had thought of working in movie references to my sports columns.
    If only I had went to duke.

    • webmaster

      So witty. You should start a column yourself.

    • the hole in Adolfo Soriano's gold (iron) glove

      john wayne isn’t alive; so you can’t go to duke to learn about movies, how they don’t relate to the Hawks’ season and how to force the two to intertwine in a pointless column. You really call this a review of the Hawks’ season? You shoulda got a hockey fan to ghostwrite the column for ya, Bernsie!

  • pulseczar

    Grease and Grease 2 anyone?

    Maybe if the Hawks went winless this season. It’s that bad.

  • Bob in San Diego

    I know during overtime of game seven I was chanting “Om Namha Shivaye, Om Namha Shivaye, Om Namha Shivaye”

    • Chris in Scottsdale



    Just like most actual movie sequels, the 2010-11 Blackhawks’ season wasn’t nearly as good as the original. Chances are, next season might be not be much better, because I thought I heard that the Hawks are still very much in hard salary cap hell and General Manager Stan Bowman still has some tough decisions to make during the offseason in hopes of making ends meet.

    Changing the sports backdrop just a tad, if it were up to me, I’d seriously consider sending both 2B Gordon Beckham & 3B Brent Morel down to Triple “A” Charlotte due in large part to their subpar batting averages of late. Here’s the problem, White Sox fans. There’s no one worth calling up to replace Beckham, starting the night at just .198 after an 0-for-3 night in a 3-1 loss to the Yankees in the Bronx last night. Morel’s not much better hitting just .206. Weather permitting, I expect to see Beckham & Morel in tonight’s likely right-handed heavy lineup vs. Yankee lefty C.C. Sabathia in the Bronx, but Ozzie’s got to be wondering how much longer he can continue to rely on two guys in Gordon & Brent who appear offensively challenged at the plate and appear to be automatic outs in a Sox lineup starving for offense.

    • Denver Deadite

      I really don’t know the specific numbers, but the NHL salary cap was expected to go up next year even before the Versus/NBC deal was announced. And that deal was what, $2 billion over 10 years? That should help a bit as well.

      • Hawkey

        Also the Hawks won’t have to be paying 4 million in bonuses.

  • mike in davenport

    Look at it this way – at least it wasn’t Conan the Destroyer.

    You could say the dead years for the Hawks were all the Police Academy sequels.

  • MiamiKevin

    Dan, your gay is showing. I agree with the analysis though. You guys talked a lot over last summer and the early part of the season about the possibility of the Hawks “fad” quickly dying off after the Cup season. It was nice that the Vancouver series reminded everyone what that was like before the off-season. Even though they fell short of the Goal, they really do have a bright future with all of the young talent on board.

  • bobstone

    I think it’s so cute when Dan tries to talk about hockey. It kind of reminds me of my wife talking football with her girlfriends.

    • the hole in Adolfo Soriano's gold (iron) glove

      That’s a bullseye, Bob! Or would that be a basketball metaphor? Now I’m confused … can one of your wife’s girlfriends straighten me out?

  • Meatless Meatball

    Teen Wolf 2 is amazing, Dan. Seriously. It contains such seminal lines as, “Did you just hit me with a dead frog?” Also, the most absurd “romance” maybe in cinematic history.

  • Erik Childress

    I actually think the best comparison is Spider-Man 3. The 2008-09 season showed a lot of potential but ended less than spectacularly. 2009-10 was Spider-Man 2 and all kinds of awesome. Then 2010-11 was part three, a real disappointment from one of the best seasons ever.

  • Larry

    I can’t believe this guy is paid to write this drivel. I stopped reading after the second bad analogy. I continued to skim and saw that he continued to use the movie analogies. I think a fourth grader could have written a better article.

    What did you say about choking the day of game seven? Right. NIce job, chief.


    A couple of non-Blackhawk sequel stories to report. First, Major League Baseball is reviewing Ozzie Guillen’s tweets following his 26th career ejection as manager last night in the White Sox 3-1 loss to the Yankees in the Bronx for arguing balls & strikes in the very top of the 1st. A fine and/or suspension for Guillen could be forthcoming. Second, Ozzie’s lineup is primarily right-handed vs. the Yankees’ C.C. Sabathia, if they get the game in due to rain in the New York area today. It goes like this…

    Lillibridge LF
    Ramirez SS
    Quentin RF
    Konerko 1B
    Dunn DH
    Rios CF
    Castro C
    Beckham 2B
    Morel 3B
    Edwin Jackson does the chucking for the White Sox, should they get the finale of four in at Yankee Stadium, currently with the tarp on the field.


    Spiderman 3, Ghostbusters 2 (they even had more money for the sequel).

    Temple of Doom is one I’ve never bothered with after the first viewing.

    How about The Evening Star? The 15 year-old sequel to Terms of Endearment?
    No? I’m kidding I’ve never watched either.

    Definitely NOT Highlander 2. Beverly Hills Cop II? Beverly Hills Cop was no Trading Places, but it was big. Then came II. Carlos is Spanish for Charles? Thermopolis? No Serge? Victor Matlain was a bad guy. The sequel had a bunch of vague bad guys. It did have it’s moments.

  • Mr. Pouty Pants

    Could this season have been The Matrix: Reloaded?
    Hopfuly next season will not be The Matrix: Revolutions


      That’s not bad.

      “Children of Zion. . . tonight? We DANCE!”
      And, did they dance, like extras in a poorly-staged rave for TEN MINUTES!

      I’ll take James Bond in a pastel meadow holding Diana Rigg’s hand to Louis Armstrong any day over that!
      I liked the stuff with the Merovingian and the architecht, though. Agent Smith was still cool.

  • CH

    Meet the new JAY MARRIOTTI of the chicago sports world. BERNSTEIN is like STAN BOWMAN probably inherited his job or kissed enough a.s.s. to get to where he’s at

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live