Thursday, June 10, 2010
Captain Jonathan Toews hoists the Stanley Cup/Photo courtesy of PicApp.com
In one of the most exciting hockey games HM has seen in a while, the young and fiesty Chicago Blackhawks ended a 49-year drought to bring the Stanley Cup home to the Windy City. The Blackhawks came out strong in the first two periods, but the come-from-behind Flyers certainly deserve their due for their perserverance and forcing the critical Game 6 into a nail-biting OT. The Hawks lit the lamp first but for every goal scored by Chicago, Philadelphia responded in kind with goals from Danny Briere and Scott Hartnell. Dustin Byfuglien scored the first goal for the Hawks courtesy of a power play tally as Flyers agitator Chris Pronger took a seat in the penalty box for one of two calls on his extracurricular shenanigans. In the waning minutes of the third period, Hawks fans were contemplating popping the champagne corks but the undaunted Flyers weren't throwing in the towel yet. Geico caveman look-alike winner Scott Hartnell scored with just 3:58 left in the period to tie the game at 3-3.
The battle raged on until Patrick Kane scored the game winning goal with under five minutes left in the OT period, stunning the Flyers and silencing the rabid Wachovia Center crowd. At first there was confusion on both benches as no one (other than than Kane himself) seemed 100 percent sure that the puck had crossed the goal line. But video proof reinforced the evidence that the brash Blackhawks were indeed the new Stanley Cup Champions and the much deserved celebration began in earnest (to the boos and jeers of many Flyers faithful of course). When asked when he knew the Kane goal was legit, Hawks head coach Joel Quennenville said, "I heard the sound. It was a funny sound. Nobody knew where the puck was. Kaner thought it was in. Video guy came out, he knew it was in the net. And I think the guys knew. That's why they celebrated. I didn't know for sure when I saw the net lift and I saw the puck in the back, I said okay, the party is on."
Chicago captain Jonathan Toews, who is beyond mature for his age (only 22), has had an incredible year. The solemn face of the franchise has not only won an Olympic gold medal, but can now add the Cup and the Conn Smythe trophy to his impressive list of accomplishments. And a Hockey Mom stick tap to the captain for handing the Cup over to the beleagered Marian Hossa, who once and for all broke his "Cup curse" and proved the third time's a charm.
So enjoy the party Blackhawks and fans - and to both teams, thanks for treating us puckheads to one heck of a series!