No. 2: Chicago Blackhawks vs. Anaheim Ducks, 2015
It’s funny that what might end up being the most enduring moment from this series is something stupid Ryan Kesler said. His line, “No human can withstand that many hits,” is going to live on in NHL infamy, especially since the Blackhawks withstood every single hit the Ducks threw at them in what turned out to be a wild series.
It started off in ominous fashion for the Blackhawks and their fans, as the Ducks rolled to a 4-1 win in Game 1 at the Honda Center. That was followed by an instant classic in Game 2, which featured three overtimes, Andrew Shaw successfully headbutting a puck into the net and Marcus Kruger cleaning up a mess in front of Frederik Andersen to end a game that saw Crow stop 60 of 62 shots faced.
The Ducks grabbed home-ice advantage back in Game 3 by surprising the Blackhawks at the United Center, but that just meant the Blackhawks could send the next game to extra time. Of course, the way it got there was absolutely ridiculous. With the game tied at 1 entering the third period, Toews and Brent Seabrook scored five minutes apart, generating a 3-1 lead with about 12:30 to go.
The Ducks then proceeded to rattle off three goals in 37 seconds during the middle of the period. So Kane tallied on the powerplay a few minutes after that, and the game needed overtime. More than one overtime, mind you, and an infrequently-used Antoine Vermette potted the game-winner to make Q look like a genius for finally using him.
These teams flipped the script in Game 5, as the Blackhawks found themselves down 3-0 after one period, then down 3-2 after two thanks to goals from Teuvo Teravainen and Seabrook. But down 4-2 with less than three minutes to go is too much, right? Not if you’re Toews, who tallied twice before the regulation horn sounded, sending the game to overtime. Matt Beleskey scoring 45 seconds into the period was not part of the plan, and it left the Blackhawks facing an elimination game.
So what did the Blackhawks do? They kicked the crap out of the Ducks for two consecutive games, outscoring them 10-5 in Games 6 and 7 and building leads of 3-0 in Game 6 and 4-0 in Game 7. It was truly fun to watch, especially considering Kesler’s trash talking all series long.
Next: No. 1: The Late-Arriving Classic