Bulls, Blackhawks fans excited for playoff games

April 22, 2011 5:00:38 PM PDT
Playoff wins for two Chicago sports teams make for double the excitement.

The Blackhawks have come storming back after losing the first three games against the Vancouver Canucks, and the Bulls are going for a sweep over the Indiana Pacers after a nail-biter Thursday night.

The Bulls have a three game to zero lead over the Pacers. Game 4 is Saturday.

It's a little more tense for the Hawks, who are defending their Stanley Cup Championship. It's another must-win game back in Chicago on Sunday night at the United Center.

The rain and wind on Friday had local shoppers looking for protection in the form of playoff gear, especially when you're coming from a place where the pro basketball and hockey teams have missed the post-season.

"The energy is amazing. Everything on the radio stations and everything is excitement. There is a reason to be excited so it's nice," said Robbert Accradi, who is visiting Chicago from Toronto.

Store managers have seen plenty of tired fans from all the late games, and so a bright face sells.

Sports Authority manager Daveon Mason says the store's top sellers are "hats, jerseys and anything with anything with any kind of player on the shirt."

At the Palace Grill on Madison the wins are making business boom.

"It's really exciting. It is a great time to be a Chicagoan. Having one team, let alone two is awesome for the city," said Peter Lemperis with Palace Grill.

The Blackhawks landed at O'Hare International Airport from Vancouver Friday afternoon, and getting back to Chicago's urban energy is a tonic for anyone complaining of fatigue.

"It's unbelievable when you have the entire city jump on your back and get excited for what you're doing, you know, in the hockey world, but I think we all know how special of a run it was last year, and maybe the fans weren't feeling it as much when we came home down 2-0 the first time around but I'm sure they're thinking differently now," said Blackhawks player Jonathan Toews.

Bulls are set to play at the United Center Saturday at 1:30 p.m. The Blackhawks game is on Sunday night.