With less than 90 seconds remaining in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final Monday night, the Boston Bruins guarded a one-goal lead and appeared poised to extend this fantastic series one more game. But the Blackhawks — the Presidents’ Trophy winners who started this lockout shortened season without a regulation loss in the first 24 games — charged back for a dramatic ending that, let’s be honest, no one could have predicted.
Bryan Bickell and David Bolland scored 17 seconds apart in the final 1:16 of the contest to give the Blackhawks a 3-2 lead as they went on to claim the Stanley Cup for the second time in four seasons. Via the NHL, Chicago is the first team in league history to win a Cup-clinching game by overcome a one-goal deficit in the final two minutes of regulation
“It’s kind of like the season we had. It was one of those seasons we were saying, we’re almost charmed the way we started the season and the way we ended,” Chicago Coach Joel Quenneville said. “Nobody saw that one coming either way.”
It was one heck of a finish to a season that’s beginning was delayed and marred by a lockout, but perhaps that’s why it was all the more fitting that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman had to meet with Chicago captain Jonathan Toews, one of his harshest critics during the labor negotiations, at center ice. From SportsNet’s Chris Johnston:
All of the hate and hurt and bad feelings that enveloped the NHL a few months ago was long gone by the time the Stanley Cup was presented to the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday night.
The most unusual and wacky of seasons ended in a familiar way – with the commissioner handing the most iconic trophy in sports over to an appreciative captain. This year more than others it symbolized just how far everyone had come in a short period of time.
“I was pretty excited to shake his hand again,” Toews said after Chicago’s stunning 3-2 win over Boston in Game 6. “It always means something good. It’s a pretty exciting thing.”
Highlights from Game 6:
>> ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun on Conn Smythe winner Patrick Kane, who recorded six goals in the final seven games of the Blackhawks’ playoff run after posting just three in the first 16.
>> The Bruins will remember the way in which they lost Game 6 “forever” from the Boston Globe’s Kevin Paul Dupont.
>> On to the injuries: Patrice Bergeron played with a broken rib, torn cartilage and a separated shoulder (Boston Globe); Marian Hossa had a numb right foot because of a back problem (ESPN Chicago); Toews had his “bell rung”, Bickell played with a Grade 2 knee sprain and Michal Handzus had a whole host of bumps and bruises (The Canadian Press)
>> The good folks at Puck Daddy have chosen their favorite Blackhawks celebration photos, complete with snarky captions.
>> In other news, the Vancouver Canucks have officially named John Tortorella coach. (And created an infographic all about him.) There’s plenty of debate as to whether the fiery former Rangers bench boss can push an aging Vancouver squad forward or if the Canucks are gambling by bringing in the polar opposite of Alain Vigneault.