The Blackhawks' current road trip is long. We've covered this before. But we admit that when we wrote about it, the nebulous concept of a 17-day, eight-game road trip was just that: nebulous. We had no idea how long it would feel, even for us, and we don't play hockey. We just watch.
The Blackhawks might feel differently. They've managed to play great hockey on the trip, yielding a 5-2 record and and only one ugly loss, Saturday's 7-3 defeat in Vancouver. For a trip that's longer than any the Blackhawks have taken in the past, oh, 15 years, that's a pretty stellar performance.
Their latest win came last night in Atlanta. It should have been a ho-hum game; instead, it was a furious power play-infused madhouse that showcased the skills of Nikolai Khabibulin more than anyone else. The Blackhawks goalie had a bevy of saves, including during a last-minute power play in which the Thrashers pulled their goalie and had a 6-4 advantage on the Hawks. Chicago was barely able to clear the puck, but once they did, Keith Bolland ended the game with an open-net goal, and the Hawks stole another win.
... And yet, somehow, that's not the end of the trip. Chicago still has one more game at St. Louis tomorrow night before they get to come home. When they do, will they recognize the city? Will their loved ones, fearing their death like Helen Hunt in Castaway, have moved on? These are the rigors of the road.
Eamonn Brennan is a writer, editor and blogger hunkered down in Lincoln Park. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, FanHouse, MOUTHPIECE Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, eamonnbrennan.com.