Scott Darling couldn’t suppress his smile.
The Blackhawks backup goaltender was beyond happy when he watched the Cubs win the World Series on Thursday night, and his first call was home.
“I called my dad after the game,” said Darling, who grew up in Lemont. “He watched every second, every game this year. He was telling me, ‘I never thought I’d see the Blackhawks win, let alone the Cubs win.’ He was through the roof. It was amazing.”
Many of the Blackhawks watched the Cubs’ 8-7, 10-inning victory that ended 108 years of World Series futility. For some like Darling, there’s the obvious local connection. But regardless of where the Blackhawks hail from or their fan allegiance, they were swept up in the mania.
“It’s hard to watch. I said this before, too, about baseball, there’s so much intensity and suspense between every play. It just takes you along,” said Jonathan Toews. “I can imagine now families and friends that say that, I think watching our games in the playoffs are harder than playing them, I can definitely attest to what they’re talking about. Pretty cool, pretty emotional to watch those guys celebrate after winning last night. Pretty amazing.”
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Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz released a statement commending the Cubs:
"On behalf of our family and organization, congratulations to the Ricketts family and the Chicago Cubs for an incredible season and for winning the World Series. The unwavering loyalty of Chicago sports fans has been rewarded once again with yet another team being crowned world champions. Well done.”
A good amount of these Blackhawks can relate to the Cubs coming back from a 3-1 deficit to win – that was them in 2013, beating Detroit in the Western Conference semifinals en route to their second Stanley Cup. It was a thrilling night for the city of the Chicago, and the Blackhawks were right there enjoying it all.
“Game 7, extra innings, doesn’t get much better than that,” Duncan Keith said. “We as an organization and a team are happy for them, they deserve it, Cubs fans deserve it and most of all their players do. Their players showed amazing character all year long. They have a bunch of stars on their team and nobody’s above the team.”