More than a roar has been restored this season. A corpse was awakened, too. Short of rebuilding the old Stadium, complete with beer-stained aisles and see-every-face sightlines, this was the quickest route to a renaissance that anyone could have imagined. On a frozen night on Madison Street, in what constituted the town's most important hockey event in eons, the Hawks celebrated their return to relevance with a heartwarming feel-good gesture. They brought back Hull and Mikita, the stars most symbolic of Wirtz's cold war, and let a standing-room-only crowd embrace them with cheers and tears.
It didn't happen, but it certainly was great to hear a full house on hand, cheering on the hardworking kids and coach Denis Savard. Washington's been the feel-good playoff underdog so far this season, but it's probably time to take up Chicago as the league's Little Team That Could.
Rocky Wirtz has sparked a revival, plain and simple. It's been 16 years, the days of Jeremy Roenick and that trip to the Cup finals, since there's been this sort of buzz about Blackhawks hockey.
Just imagine if they start winning.