“I DON’T BELIEVE WHAT I JUST SAW”
That was Jack Buck’s call after Kirk Gibson’s HR in the 1988 World Series. Never has it been more appropriate.
The Chicago Blackhawks are Stanley Cup Champions. If you happened to turn away for a a minute, yes, you read that correctly. The Boston Bruins were absolutely stunned by the Blackhawks. There are no other words to describe it.
The Bruins came out flying. They really had the crowd behind them and it showed. Chris Kelly scored just 7:19 into the first period to give the boys from Beantown a 1-0 lead. The Bruins outshot the Hawks 12-6.
But the Blackhawks came out strong in the 2nd and tied up the game 4:24 in on a goal from Jonathan Toews.
The teams were tied entering the third. They played an incredible back and forth period. They matched each other shot for shot until Milan Lucic put one past Corey Crawford at 12:11 of the third, giving the Bruins a 2-1 lead.
The Hawks were down, and it felt like they were out. They went on the man advantage just over 90 seconds after the Bruins took the lead, but were unsuccessful. As time wound down, it looked like the Bruins were going to send us to a Game 7.
Bryan Bickell had other plans.
With just 76 seconds to go in the third, and an empty net for Chicago, Jonathan Toews slid a beautiful pass in front of the net to Bickell for the tying goal.
So, it looked like we were headed for overtime yet again. Wrong.
Apparently, the Blackhawks really enjoyed that goal scoring feeling, because they weren’t done. They rode the high of the game tying goal and came roaring into the Bruins zone. After a harmless shot by Michael Frolik, that was pushed aside by Tuukka Rask, Marcus Kruger got the rebound. He shoveled it back to Johnny Oduya who fired one from the blue line that was deflected by Frolik before ringing off the post. However, Dave Bolland was there to put it home for the game winner. An incredible finish to an incredible series, as the Blackhawks win the game 3-2, and the series 4-2.
So, for the 2nd time in 4 years, the Stanley Cup will be returning to the Windy City.
Here are some facts that you may not have known, now that this series has ended:
- Scotty Bowman, a Senior Advisor for the Blackhawks, now takes home his 13th Stanley Cup ring. He has 9 titles as coach. Jean Beliveau won 10 Cups as a player and 7 as an executive.
- Bowman’s son, Stan, is the GM of the Cup Champion Blackhawks. Hmm, I wonder why someone involved in hockey would name their son, Stanley…
- Blackhawks were 4-0 this playoff season when they had a chance to eliminate the opposition.
- David Krejci led all playoff scores with 26 points
- Patrice Bergeron said he had a broken rib, torn cartilage and a separated shoulder sustained tonight. He still played.
- There have been 4 US born Conn Smythe trophy winners. Brian Leetch, Tim Thomas, Jonathan Quick and Patrick Kane have all taken home the trophy for playoff MVP
- The last 3 Conn Smythe winners have been American
- Zdeno Chara was on the ice for 10 of the last 12 Blackhawk goals
- The 2 starting goalies for the finals, Corey Crawford and Tuukka Rask, wound up with a 1.84 GAA and a 1.88 GAA respectively.
- This is the 5th Stanley Cup for the Blackhawks, The Bruins have 6.
- The Hawks were 1-20 on the Power Play in the Stanley Cup Finals.
- This is the latest in regulation a Cup winning goal has ever been scored.
- Canada has not won the Stanley Cup since the 1993 Montreal Canadiens.
- Blackhawks are the 1st Presidents Trophy winner to win the Stanley Cup since the Red Wings in 2008.
- Joel Quenneville is the first Blackhawks coach to win 2 Cups.
- Chicago Assistant Coach Jamie Kompon was behind the bench in LA last year and has now won back to back Cups.
The NHL draft is just 5 days away. Free agency begins in 10 days.
Hockey may be over for this year, but next season is just getting started.