The M.J statue had a severe case of Hawks fever
The NHL, it’s fans as well as just general sports fans are always approving of an original six matchup, in the Stanley Cup Finals, so the 2013 finals came with great expectations. This would be the first meeting of two original six teams, in a Stanley Cup Finals, in 34 years. Many felt the Bruins would be the Blackhawks’ toughest opponent, when compared to the teams they had already faced in the playoffs. So, the men of four feathers certainly had their work cut out for them.
Gotta love the President’s Trophy! Thanks to it, the Hawks had home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs, and it maybe was never needed more than the finals, against Boston. The Bruins are a tough team to beat on their home-ice, but especially since the entire city and team were seemingly emotionally boosted from the tragic events that happened at the Boston Marathon. A fast start to a series was never needed more.
Early in Game one, the Hawks were behind, so the initial fast start was squandered. After a second goal from Milan Lucic, the Hawks were down 2-0, and it was starting to look a tad on the ugly side. A Brandon Saad goal made it 2-1, Bruins, and that may have kept the game from getting out of hand, for the Hawks, because the Bruins eventually took a 3-1 lead, early in the 3rd period. The Hawks never gave up, as they were able to tie the game, to send it to overtime. One ovetime goes by, nothing. A second overtime goes by, and again…nothing. A 3rd overtime, and…shin pads! Andrew Shaw was able to deflect a puck off of Dave Bolland‘s shin pads, to give the Hawks a Game one victory, and take an initial 1-0 series lead, in the most tiresome and exhausting fashion possible.
After some exhausting Game one theatrics, it would be wise for the Hawks to find a way to keep the Bruins demoralized and wore out, by finding a way to win in Game two, and taking a 2-0 series lead into Game three in Boston, a none too easy task. The Hawks took an early lead off of a Patrick Sharp goal. The Bruins were able to tie the game, and once again…on to overtime, the Hawks went. Sadly, this time it wasn’t meant to be for the men in red, as Daniel Paille found the back of the net, to give the Bruins a victory, and even the series at 1-1, with Games three and four to be played in Boston. Things were not looking good for the Hawks.
The Bruins and their faithful fans were as fired up as one would expect, before Game three, and it carried over to the on-ice action. Tuuka Rask fed off the electric energy in the building, as he shut out the Hawks, en route to a 2-0 Bruins victory. The Bruins had taken a 2-1 series lead, and all of the momentum. Things were looking very bleak, once again, in Hawks Nation. A win in Game four, would put the Hawks on the brink of elimination, and in all probability, doomed…
Game four was as much of a must-win game, as there could be, for the Hawks. The Hawks played like it, for the most part. In a wild and crazy contest, the Bruins were never able to take the lead, but the opportunity to put the Hawks on the brink of elimination was clearly very appetizing, as they were able to comeback and tie the game 3 times. The Hawks were also motivated, and also desperate, as they showed great character in not getting discouraged, as they prevented the Bruins from getting on a huge roll. The back and forth affair, lead the game to yet another overtime. No stranger to overtime heroics, Brent Seabrook was able to be the hero, and give the Hawks the win, and tie the series at 2-2, with Game five to be played in Chicago. The momentum was back in the Hawks corner, and it was their turn to take control of the series, as well as the cup.
The United Center truly was the “Madhouse on Madison” for Game five. The wild crowd powered Patrick Kane to a two goal night, and a Hawks victory, but it wasn’t without a price. Captain Jonathan Toews was injured, and losing him and his presence could be enough to cough up the momentum as well as the series, and potentially the cup. Nevertheless, the Hawks were up 3-2, in the series, and one win away from Lord Stanley’s Cup.
A win in Boston was not easy to come by, as the emotionally charged Bruins combined with the desperation of going into the offseason without the cup, was a scary combination. The Bruins were heavily favored, with all things factored into the pre-game analysis, and it was widely expected that there would be a Game seven played in Chicago. A tight contest, that saw the Bruins ahead 2-1, late in the game, but that was before Chicago sports history would be altered forever. The phrase “17 seconds” will be remembered forever, because of the Game six dramatics. Late in the 3rd period, with Boston leading 2-1,
scored to tie the game at two. Hawks fans, ecstatic over just the thought of yet another overtime, weren’t even done celebrating when history happened. Just 17 seconds after the Bickell goal, Dave Bolland snuck a puck past Tuuka Rask, to give the Hawks the lead.
The city of Chicago was freaking out. This time there would be no curse, or black magic to stymie the celebration, as the Hawks would hold on to win the game, the series, and their 5th Stanley Cup in franchise history!
Jun 24, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Chicago Blackhawks players including Corey Crawford (lower right) pose for a team photo with 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: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports