Hawks fans en­joy se­ries vic­tory, ‘fake nor­malcy’

Chicago Sun-Times - - TOP NEWS - BY MANNY RAMOS, STAFF RE­PORTER mramos@sun­times.com | @_ManuelRamo­s_

It was like 2015 all over again.

The Black­hawks vy­ing for a chance to bring the Stan­ley Cup home. Fans fil­ing into bars, slam­ming beers and eating burg­ers.

The lin­ger­ing pan­demic seemed al­most for­got­ten — but tem­per­a­ture checks and signs en­cour­ag­ing mask-wear­ing were quick re­minders.

Tony Vit­tal and Jim Moore shared a ta­ble near a win­dow at WestEnd, 1326 W. Madi­son St., chat­ting mo­ments be­fore the puck dropped. The Hawks would go on to win, 3-2, clos­ing out the se­ries against the Ed­mon­ton Oil­ers.

“We’re fired up. It’s like we’re play­ing with house money — they don’t be­long here, they shouldn’t be here — but we’re ex­cited,” Vit­tal said. “It’s al­most like the first sea­son ended and now we are play­ing a whole new sea­son.”

Nate Camp­bell, Jes­sica La­Porte and Eric Baum­gart­ner en­joyed beer and wings at WestEnd’s side­walk pa­tio, the game play­ing on sev­eral TVs near their ta­ble.

“It’s a lit­tle sense of fake nor­malcy, I guess you can say,” La­Porte said. “It’s just fun to see them play­ing like how they used to.’’

Frank Trovato was watch­ing the game at the out­door pa­tio of Vin­tage Bar, 1449 W. Tay­lor St. He’s been a Hawks fan for over 12 years now, and the thought of play­off hockey is thrilling.

“It’s a bit of eupho­ria, I have to say, be­cause even though they shouldn’t be here, they have as good of a chance as any­one,” Trovato said. “We’ve seen the low­est seed beat­ing the high­est seed a lot of times in the NHL, so any­thing can hap­pen.”

Jim Moore (left) and Tony Vit­tal en­joy a drink Fri­day at WestEnd be­fore the Hawks’ vic­tory against Ed­mon­ton.

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