For a kid, slamming doors is against the rules.
For an adult, it’s childish at best and mean spirited at worst.
For a hockey player, it’s a sign of a possible champion in the making.
That’s good news for the Blackhawks because they love, love, love to slam doors. Maybe they don’t slam front doors or hotel doors or arena doors, but when they have a chance to slam the door on a playoff series, that’s exactly what they do.
The Hawks’ next door-slamming opportunity is the biggest yet. They lead the Boston Bruins, 3-2, in the Stanley Cup Final and have a chance to win the franchise’s second championship in four seasons with a victory Monday at Boston’s TD Garden.
One more win.
One more win, and you can hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup and be remembered forever.
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville knows the excitement of the oh-so-close, one-more-win feeling. In 2010, the Hawks won Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final to take a 3-2 series lead against the Philadelphia Flyers, and they headed east for Game 6.
Soon after, they partied on Philadelphia’s ice with the Cup above their heads.
“It’s a fun time,” Quenneville told reporters Sunday after the team arrived in Boston. “The process of getting this far, it makes it all worthwhile along the way. There’s some highs, there’s some lows, there’s some excitement, there’s some great days, there’s some tough days, and the one thing you don’t want [is] to get ahead of yourself in the process.”
It’s a simple message, but it’s worth repeating.
Don’t get ahead of yourselves, Hawks. As you know by now, the Bruins are physically and mentally tough. Only two seasons ago, the Bruins trailed the Vancouver Canucks, 3-2, in the Stanley Cup Final before winning Games 6 and 7.
Quenneville is determined to see his team complete its championship mission.
“We’ve got some guys that have been there,” Quenneville said. “They know the experience. They know the thinking going into a day like [Sunday] and going into [Monday] as well. We’ll visit with that as a team.
“There’s some guys that they’re so excited. You dream about this moment. But at the same time we’ve got to keep everything in perspective. We want to make sure that we’re confident playing the game and putting yourself in the ‘now’ position as opposed to [getting] ahead of yourself.”
The Hawks have done a good job of that so far.
In the first round of the playoffs, the Hawks gained a 3-1 series lead against the Minnesota Wild before returning to the United Center for Game 5.
Game won. Series won. Door slammed on the Wild.
In the second round of the playoffs, the Hawks climbed back from a 3-1 series deficit against the Detroit Red Wings to set up a winner-take-all Game 7.
Game won. Series won. Door slammed on the Wings.
In the third round of the playoffs, the Hawks established a 3-1 series lead against the Los Angeles Kings before returning home for Game 5.
Game won. Series won. Door slammed on the Kings.
Three times, the Hawks have reached three wins in a series. Three times, the Hawks have won the next game to finish the job and eliminate their opponent.
And now comes Boston.
Win the game, Hawks, and you win the Cup.
So go ahead and slam the door on the Bruins.
In doing so, you’ll open the door to a championship.
• Northwest Herald sports columnist Tom Musick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @tcmusick.