LOS ANGELES – Jerry Hairston Jr. makes no bones about his love for the Chicago Blackhawks.
As soon as you walk into the Dodgers clubhouse, there’s a red No. 19 Jonathan Toews sweater hanging from Hairston Jr.’s locker. It’s been there for nearly the duration of Chicago’s Stanley Cup Finals run.
Hairston Jr. watched the first two periods of the Blackhawks 3-2 Cup clinching win on Monday night, but didn’t see the third period or the miraculous comeback in which the Blackhawks scored the tying and game-winning goals 17 seconds apart.
Nor was he interested in hearing what happened as he met with members of the media with his Dodgers Blue L.A. hat replaced by a white Blackhawks cap following the Dodgers 3-1 win over the Giants on Tuesday night.
The Chicago son, who grew up admiring the likes of Walter Payton, Michael Jordan, and Chris Chelios was extremely happy.
“(This is a) great night for us,” Hairston Jr. said. “For them to close it out in Boston, that’s pretty cool.”
The win marked the second time in four years the Blackhawks had been able to hoist the Stanley Cup. And ditto for captain Toews, whom Hairston Jr. admires greatly.
“Jonathan is a great player,” Hairston Jr. said. “A good guy (and) a very humble superstar. I’m really happy for them. Especially with the hit he took last game for him to bounce back and have a really good game.”
Toews took a huge shot to the head in the third period of Game 5 from Boston defenseman Johnny Boychuk causing him to leave the game, although Toews remained on the Blackhawks bench.
Once Game 6 rolled around, Hairston Jr. had no doubt Chicago’s captain would be back in the lineup.
“I knew he’d play,” Hairston Jr. said. “He’s a hockey player.”