Stanley Cup Finals: All Hail The Chicago Blackhawks

The Stanley Cup Finals: Chicago defeats Boston 4-2

It had to end like this, didn't it? The most incredible playoffs in recent memory culminated in the most spectacular way possible. With a little over a minute left, we were planning for a Game 7 Wednesday. The Stanley Cup was halfway out the building, on its way to Chicago where it would finally find a home for the summer. It's mid-June. Stanley just wants to settle down.

Milan Lucic had given life to a team that wouldn't die, which sounds redundant. Seriously, the Bruins were the Beric Dundarrion of these playoffs. In Game 7 of their first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston faced a 4-1 deficit in the third period. The B's rallied behind the call of "Boston Strong" to stun the Leafs and most of the hockey world. They never looked back.

With a 2-1 lead late in Game 6, Game 7 looked all but a safe bet. The Blackhawks looked like the team on life support. Lucic was strong. Jonathan Toews was beaten and bloodied. Chicago had half a foot on the ice and half on the plane that to bring the team back to the "Madhouse on Madison."

But as I wrote before, the Blackhawks are not a team of destiny, they are a team that defeats it. And so their captain rose to the occasion. With Conn Smythe candidate Corey Crawford, who had been tremendous in goal in Game 6, on the bench, Toews won a battle down low. As the behemoth Zdeno Chara took to the ice, the man they call "Captain Serious" slid the puck over to a wide-open Bryan Bickell. Overtime was now beckoning, as it had all playoffs.

kane and toews

That was the plan anyway, and the Blackhawks simply made their own. Against Detroit, they overcame not only a 3-1 series deficit but also an atrocious disallowed goal call late in the Game 7. In this Game 6, after well over 20 periods of brutal, tight-checking, playoff hockey, David Bolland found a rebound in the Boston crease. He lost first his glove, and then his mind.

Fifty seconds later, the Chicago Blackhawks were champions for the second time in four seasons, and we as sports fans were left to soak it all in. It wasn't the ending we expected, but it was the one we deserved. The NHL dragged us along through an infuriating labor dispute in the late fall and early winter. Pessimism had never been so low.

It was the Blackhawks who brought us out of the doldrums all season. They played a free-flowing, smooth-skating style of hockey that was both effective and awesome to watch. Their remarkable unbeaten run captivated the sporting public long before their heroics in the playoffs won the hockey nation over.

Credit to the Boston Bruins for producing a series for the ages. And despite the loss, the city will never forget the role the Bruins played in reviving a wounded city.

But today, let me lead the masses in saying, "All hail, the Chicago Blackhawks." What a champion they are.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *