Unless your 60 years old or older, your Blackhawk memories until June 9, 2010 were filled with disappointments! While watching as a kid Denis Savard, Steve Larmer, Al Secord and company were a very good team that routinely made the playoffs, but there was one obstacle that they could not get pass to win a Stanley Cup. Wayne Gretzky and the Edmonton Oilers crushed many a good Blackhawks team in the 80′s and detoured all the Stanley Cup aspirations that this unit had in that era. A young Jeremy Roenick led the Blackhawks to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1992, but another superstar was waiting for them in the Finals, and Mario Lemieux delivered four straight wins and the excitement of the 92 team reaching the finals was quickly vanished! (Luckily Michael Jordan was around in 1992 to help raise a banner that summer for a Chicago team.)
Flash forward to 2010 and the young and exciting Chicago Blackhawks team ran threw the Western Conference to advance to the Finals to play against the Philadelphia Flyers. To say that the series was a defensive battle or a goaltender series would be laughable. 57 goals were scored in the series, and the series also had the Blackhawks chasing the Flyers goaltenders twice in 6 and 7 goal efforts in winning games 1 and 5 in Chicago at the United Center. The two things I remember most about the series is how many goals were scored in Game One, and then the huge emotional swing of Game 6.
Being a Chicagoian and especially a Cubs fan, I take absolutely nothing for granted while watching a sporting event, so when Andrew Ladd scored late in the 2nd period of Game 6 to give the Hawks a 3-2 lead it seemed almost impossible that the Hawks would be able to hold that lead throughout the entire third period. The Hawks played a seriously cautious third period ,and it seemed like the Flyers had a million chances to tie the game even though if you look at the box score it states shots on goal were 12-9 Philly. Finally with less that 4 minutes remaining Scott Hartnell tied it up on an odd looking play in front of Antti Niemi and Game 6 was heading to overtime. From four minutes to the hoisting the Cup, to overtime, and the chances of Game 7 in Chicago was a tremendous change of emotions.
Overtime gave us the greatest Stanley Cup clinching goal that nobody saw from Patrick Kane. With a football juke at the side boards at a very bad angle Kane got the puck past Michael Leighton (he didn’t stop much in the series). And just like that 48 seasons of disappointment were erased! It never gets old watching the goal so here is NHL.com link to the winning goal http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=72168
So even though the past two seasons have ended in disappointment, June 9 will forever be a one of the greatest days as a Chicago Blackhawks fan!!
There is only one goal for each NHL season.
Enjoy the memories and here’s to Stan Bowman getting all the right pieces on the roster this off season, and Coach Quenneville to coaching them up to their highest potential to regain the best trophy in sports at the end of 2013 season. Expecting a Stanley Cup needs to be expected and everything that possibly can be done, including throwing in the “kitchen sink”, to raise it over Jonathan Toews head again needs to be in the works this and every off season!!
Happy Stanley Cup Anniversary Day!! Hopefully there will be more than one date to celebrate in the future…
Let’s Go Hawks!!