Top Shelf : Islanders Daily 6/25/13


Jun 24, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center

Jonathan Toews

(19) hoists the Stanley Cup after game six of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. The Blackhawks won 3-2 to win the series four games to two. Mandatory Credit: Michael Ivins-USA TODAY Sports

Middletown, N. J – Sometimes there are just no words to accurately depict what was just witnessed. This is probably going to end up being one of those openings to Top Shelf that fits the bill perfectly.

The NHL season is over…..let that sink in for a bit. Sure, there is the draft this Sunday and free agency and all the trades that come along with it, but all around the league, the ice will now be melted and buildings closed to hockey activity until September. Settling in for a long summer’s nap. On the flip side, if you have to go NHL, what a way it was indeed.

The Boston Bruins were shot out of a cannon in the first period, totally dominating their way but in the end, regretting that they were only able to get one goal on Corey Crawford. The ice was clearly tilted and the Blackhawks did their best to just weather the storm that passed right over their heads. Weather it they did and got a second period gift from Tuukka Rask to send the game into the third period tied at 1-1. That is when all hell broke loose.

A relatively careful third it began and continued with ice conditions getting worse by the minute and another failed Chicago power play with 6 minutes remaining in regulation time. Then Crawford and Duncan Keith committed an error behind the Blackhawks cage that would allow an unmarked Milan Lucic to net what many believed to be the game winner with just under eight remaining. But Chicago was not the best team during the regular season and through the playoffs for nothing. Immediately after pulling their goaltender for an extra attacker, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane worked their magic along the side boards, the puck skittering onto the captains stick and he would make a beautiful saucer pass to Bryan Bickell who tied the game with just 1:16 on the TD Garden clock. Would it be overtime again for the 4th time in the series? Not if David Bolland had anything to say about it…..17 seconds later the Blackhawks would cap one of the most miraculous Stanley Cup comebacks a lot of us have ever seen, banging home a rebound after the puck had come off the post behind Rask and giving Chicago its 2nd title in 4 years.

For the first time in what seems like forever, the best team in the regular season ended up being the best team when all was said and done. Gary Bettman handed the Conn Smythe trophy as playoff MVP to Kane and then the most prestigious trophy in sports to captain Toews. For Boston, it was almost reverse karma from their opening round series victory in game seven over the Toronto Maple Leafs but they should have nothing to hang their heads about.

These two teams proved once again why this is far and away the best sport in the world, especially in the playoffs, filled with anticipation, skill, guts and pure will made out of steel. Both teams and cities did the NHL proud and we as fans were lucky enough to witness it first hand. Congratulations to the Blackhawks and Bruins entire organizations and I think I speak for all fans when I say, ‘Thank You’.


Around The Twitter-Sphere

  • Wow… accurate is this tweet. Actually took my son to see the new Yankee Stadium for the first time last year and almost fell asleep in the third inning. In fact, this could have been an accurate statement about any of the four major American sports.Truly a spectacle that leaves you breathless and speechless at any given moment.
  • Inspirational tweet from Pat that sums up the NHL playoffs perfectly. The Blackhawks had tons of talent, that is for certain, but it was their work ethic from start to finish engrained by their head coach and captain that paved the way for this championship.
  • Hockey hangover is a true condition (my therapist told me so) and I am sure to suffer it over the course of the next 2 months. Especially after what we all bore witness to last night. Time to get reacquainted with my family again. ?
  • This is a must tweet for its humility – Fredrik is the type of fan that everyone likes to be around and watch a game with. It does not take away from his passion for the Bruins that he can be humble and respectful and should set the standard for fandom going forward. Unfortunately , I fear it will be slow to catch on with some.

Around The NHL

  • What else is there to possibly say in our last ‘Around The NHL’ feature of the season that was not captured by the NBC cameras last night? How about the inspirational play of Toews, coming back from an undisclosed injury to almost will his team to a game six win and the championship?  His injury was still not disclosed. But I will tell you whose injury was? Patrice Bergeron….broken rib, torn cartilage and muscles and a separated shoulder. After that and Gregory Campbell‘s heroics in the series before, there is no question these are the toughest men on the planet.
  • I leave you this morning with a recap of game six as we head into the summer respite and begin our countdown clocks to September…