There was only one choice for this top spot. On a warm June night in Philadelphia, Patrick Kane ended a 49-year championship drought, cemented himself in hockey history, and opened the floodgates for a decade of excellence in the Windy City.
The Blackhawks were riding high heading into the 2010 Stanley Cup Final. They’d just swept the San Jose Sharks to win the Western Conference and were facing a seventh-seeded Philadelphia Flyers team that most people thought didn’t have any chance of winning.
Despite the seemingly lopsided comparison of the teams, the Flyers were still determined to show that they weren’t a fluke, and were there to win. Games 1 and 2 saw the Blackhawks take a 2-0 series lead, but that quickly evaporated after Philly won the next two games. A decisive Chicago victory in Game 5 gave them the chance to close the series out in Game 6.
The Flyers held on as long as possible, taking the game to overtime and giving it their all to pull out the victory. However, this was not to be, as Patrick Kane threw a shot on net from the oddest angle, just below the goal line. From there, #88 watched as the puck slipped under the pads of the goalie, buried itself under the lining of the net, and ended a drought that had lasted half a century.
It is still not known for certain what actually happened to that game-winning puck. Numerous rumors float around, from Flyers players taking the puck to one of the referees grabbing it. No matter what happened to the physical evidence, one thing is for certain: this is the most monumental goal in Blackhawks history, and who better to score it than the face of the franchise?
Patrick Kane has scored numerous big goals during his career, but none have been as historic, memorable, or thrilling as this one. It’s hard to believe that this happened a decade ago, and yet many Hawks fans (myself included) can remember it like it was yesterday. Patrick Kane was an indelible part of the Chicago Blackhawks then, and hopefully, he will continue to be for a long time