Jun 8, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wingBrandon Saad
(20) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the third period in game three of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
The Chicago Blackhawks are living the dream! They have achieved the ultimate goal of all hockey players, and that is to hoist the Stanley Cup. All the blood, sweat, and tears have been worth it. The glory is theirs. Just like in 2010 and 2013, they can say they are the best of the best for one more year.
The Cup has been paraded around Chicago, and a big party was put on at Soldier Field. But now all the streamers have been cleaned up, and most of the Blackhawks are headed home for the summer. Yes, the Cup will be taken for a day by each player, but for the most part the party’s over. It’s been an incredible ride, but now we have to wait until October to get things started again.
Well I’m not ready to let it go just yet. Back in mid-May, I put up a post appealing to each player about how they could beat the Anaheim Duck in the Western Conference Final. Along that same theme, I’d like to pay tribute to all the players that have provided us with so much joy and entertainment during these playoffs.
Jonathan Toews. Can this guy get any more special? Always with the right thing to say, and a leader on and off the ice. My favorite snippet was when he insinuated that 20-year-old Teuvo Teravainen was probably drinking fruit juice while they celebrated the Cup in the locker room. Right! But seriously folks, our Captain finished tied with Duncan Keith for second during the playoffs in points, with 21 (10G, 11A).
Marian Hossa. Hossa played incredibly strong throughout these playoffs, but boy did he look good the last 3 games against Tampa Bay. It doesn’t always show up on the score sheet, but man is he a joy to watch. Try it sometime; just zero in on Marian Hossa. You won’t be disappointed.
Brandon Saad. Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! I can’t wait to see this kid next year. His speed is incredible, and he consistently finds ways to be playmaker. I love his soft-spoken style off the ice versus his power forward style on the ice. He wins the award for being the most likely to get the biggest pay raise next year. He’s just getting started!
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Bryan Bickell. Hmm. Well it’s hard for me to find something good to say about Bryan Bickell. Mediocre play during the regular season, and he never showed up for the playoffs. He was paid big money to show up for the playoffs. I have to say I wouldn’t be disappointed if the Hawks found a way to deal him away and gain some cap space in the process.