The Chicago Blackhawks have won the Stanley Cup.
The game-winning goal came in overtime and wasn’t greeted by a red light or significant fanfare, but the image of Patrick Kane celebrating and tossing off his equipment was good enough for the young Blackhawks club.
The goal was briefly reviewed and then it was official: the Blackhawks had defeated the Philadelphia Flyers and won the Cup. While the crowd stood stunned and many of the Flyers stood around confused, the Blackhawks team piled on each other in celebration around goalie Antti Niemi. It turned out that the puck was actually lodged in the net where Kane put it when he scored the history-making winner.
The Cup win for the Blackhawks ends the longest drought in NHL history, as Chicago hasn’t won the top prize since 1961. An Original Six franchise, the Blackhawks wrap up their most successful season since the days of Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita.
Jonathan Toews picked up the Conn Smythe Trophy much to the chagrin of the Philly faithful, who commenced with the traditional booing of Gary Bettman and let it ride through the presentation to Toews. Even so, the 22-year-old deserved his moment and goes down as a member of the Triple Gold Club with a gold medal at the IIHF World’s in 2007, an Olympic gold medal in Vancouver in 2010, and now a Cup victory. He’s the seventh Canadian in the Club.
The game was close throughout and it often looked as though the Flyers were carrying the momentum, turning in a tight physical performance that had the young Blackhawks on their heels frequently. In the end, though, it was not to be and the Hawks took the series in six games.
Congratulations to the Chicago Blackhawks and the Philadelphia Flyers on a great Finals.
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Posted by Jordan Richardson.