By Tim Baffoe-
(CBS) Just be frank with me, Blackhawks. Don’t toy with my emotions — or really just my bacon-coated circulatory system — any longer.
Game 5 on Wednesday was all the drugs. It started off as cocaine and shifted to Quaaludes, and Kris Versteeg ate the whole plate of special brownies, and then there was like 40-plus minutes of meth before ecstasy, and you broke Fels and I woke up outside the gates of a cemetery cold and naked and scared.
And it was a school night, you jerks. Twice the next day, the kids were poking me at my desk with a yardstick asking each other if they should call the nurse or let me die.
But I was at least strangely less uneasy Thursday than I was most of the day Wednesday. Before that night, I had resigned myself to the Kings continuing to make you look like you’d huffed paint thinner in the pregame skate. Now Friday is a different story.
I can’t handle that roller coaster of curse words and spilling beverages on myself and mid-pubescent voice cracks again. I have to know now — who is showing up in Los Angeles tonight for Game 6? The team that for half of each game shows itself as the favorite to win the Stanley Cup? Or the one that has skated with its mouth open watching the aluminum and black fancy men do the thing with the puck and goals?
Will you be the team that stayed out of the penalty box in overtime of Game 5 and didn’t let the Kings really hell-of-a-good power play pick you like a banjo? Or are you going to be dumb and undermanned and allow more bombs to fly at Corey Crawford while he has an opponent’s butt in his face?
Yeah, and you Crawford. Will you be the goalie who last season caused fans to finally stop naming names of goalies before him and made them finally fall in love with him (drunken public celebratory cursing always helps)? Or the one who again has brought the tepid waters to a slow boil of questioning if he’s really a big-game goalie and a head case? The .869 save percentage in seven losses of these playoffs or the 300 saves in the 10 wins? Which one is it tonight?
I trust you, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. You’re superstars for a reason and usually show up. Captain, your steadiness most of the time is a rock, though you’re a tap to the head away from a vegetative state. Kaner, your goal-less Wednesday was still a dynamite performance and a far cry from the one assist through the first four games of the series, and I always have a lyric from “The Humpty Dance” cued up for a ridiculous goal of yours that should be inevitable … I think.
Will it be the defensemen who shut down the Kings from the third period on in Game 5 or the burglars from Home Alone like you’ve been most of the rest of the series?
And don’t think I don’t see your handsomeness hiding in the corner there, Patrick Sharp. If you’re playing hurt, OK — it’s not like we’ll find out until after the series is over anyway, because hockey teams disclose injuries in ways that make Bill Belichick do a smile-like thing his body almost allows. Otherwise, though, holy hell. Is there a way to have your wife be nine months pregnant tonight?
I assume Versteeglemore has been barred from entering the United Center. He can’t change, even if he wanted to, even if he tried. Enter Jeremy Morin. What say you, kid?
Brandon Bollig? Just … just don’t look at me.
There are some nice feel-goods going for Michal Handzus, but will his Alzheimer’s allow him to forget his game-winning goal and play with hunger rather than pride and on his Rascal?
Is everybody’s tank spent? I don’t know if I could even blame you Blackhawks for skating out on gummy worms tonight after emptying all you had into Game 5. But if there are fumes left, can you please breathe them in deep and not get toyed with by the Kings? Because whoever wins Game 6 beats the New York Rangers in the Stanley Cup Final. That’s about the one thing I’m confident in right now.
Just please either be a Game 1 or a Game 3. Walk the walk early and often, or at least do me the favor of wetting the bed right away and saving me the need for my own diaper on a Friday night. Disappointment is better than a coronary.
Unless you’re going to win in overtime again. But I would prefer regulation. Please? For my health?
This is my brain. This is my brain on Game 6.
You can follow Tim on Twitter @TimBaffoe.