Observations From Section 321 : One Goal Achieved, Again!

The Chicago Blackhawks score two goals in 17 seconds to capture their second Stanley Cup four years and their 5th in team history.

It all started back on January 19th, with a 5-2 beating of the Kings on their big night, and it ended with 17 of the greatest seconds in Blackhawks history. June 24, 2013 will go down as one the best nights of my life, right up there with June 9, 2010. I'm not married, nor do I have any children, so I can put Stanley Cup winning moments at the top of my list without getting any flack for it. Little did we know how special this team was going to be back in January but what an unbelievable run they took us on this year. So many great memories that we can spend the summer sharing and reminiscing before it all starts over again in October.

The 1st period was one to forget as the Bruins completely dominated the Hawks. For a minute there I thought NBC was replaying Game 3. It seemed that the puck was in the Hawks zone the entire 20 minutes. The Bruins would take the lead at 7:19 on Chris Kelly's 2nd goal of the series. The Hawks lost a defensive zone draw and the Bruins were able to run a set play. Daniel Paille got the puck to Tyler Seguin who made a sweet pass across the crease to a wide open Kelly. There was a very scary moment late in the 1st period when Andrew Shaw took a puck off of his face. It looked as if he had been knocked out cold but he returned to the game in the 2nd period. At the end of the period the Bruins held a 1-0 lead and a 12 to 6 advantage in shots of goal.

The Blackhawks got new life in the 2nd period with the game tying goal at 4:24. Just as Shaw was coming out of the box for a roughing penalty, Jonathan Toews victimized Zdeno Chara yet again. He poked the puck away from the Boston captain, along the boards, and kept his feet moving, leaving Chara behind. Once in the Boston zone Toews sent a wobbly wrist shot, from the right dot, through the legs of the Tuukka Rask. The Hawks were literally inches away from taking the lead on a power play later in the period. Rask was able to make an amazing save with his skate and Chara was able to get his stick down to prevent a goal from Patrick Kane, who had a wide open net.

Nobody should have been surprised that these two teams would enter the 3rd period tied. Milan Lucic gave the Bruins a lead at 12:11 off of some sloppy play in the Hawks end. Corey Crawford went behind the net to play the puck to Duncan Keith in the right corner. Keith tried to pass the puck back around the net but Niklas Hjalmarsson had already vacated the area. David Krejic was there to intercept the pass and get the puck out front to Lucic, who was able to convert for his 4th goal of the series.

As we have seen many times throughout the regular season and the playoffs, never call the Blackhawks dead. With Corey Crawford headed to the bench for the extra attack, Bryan Bickell tied the game with just 1:16 left in the 3rd period. After a Patrick Kane shot, Toews was able to dig the puck out from the left boards to Keith, and headed straight to the net. Keith got the puck to Toews who fired off a shot and Bickell pounced on the juicy rebound to score his 9th goal of the playoffs. Just 17 seconds later, the Hawks 4th line decided overtime was not an option. Michael Frolik took a shot from right circle that Rask directed to the left corner. Marcus Kruger got the puck back to out to Johnny Oduya who ripped off a shot that was deflected in front by Folik and hit off the post. Dave Bolland was out front to clean up the mess and score the Stanley Cup winning goal. The Blackhawks held on for the longest 58 seconds I can remember to complete their wire to wire run as the NHL's best team.

* I love Patrick Kane and he showed up when the Blackhawks needed him most during the playoffs, but the Conn Smythe belongs to Corey Crawford. He was huge in the 1st period and kept his team in the game. Boston could have very easily had a 3 or 4 goal lead after 20 minutes. The Hawks do not win the Stanley Cup without Crow, despite all the meatballs who said they never would with 50 in the net. Like many, I had my doubts about Crawford at the beginning of the year. The soft overtime goals against the Coyotes left a bad taste in mouth but Crow erased all those doubts by March. He made a believer out of me during the regular season and by 10pm last night he made a believer out of the rest of the hockey world. Well done, Crow, well done indeed!

* There was so much poetic justice in the game winning goal and I love all of it. First and foremost, in my eyes, it could not have been more perfect to have Marcus Kruger and Michael Frolik take part in the biggest goal of the season. These two guys busted their asses all season long, killing penalties, getting to the dirty areas, taking big hits and playing killer defense. They deserved to be the line that created that goal. They fucking earned it!

* More justice being served is that Dave Bolland will go down in history for scoring a Cup winning goal. Believe it or not, I am a huge Dave Bolland fan. I have given him a ton of crap this year because he deserved it, but I have always been rooting for him. My disappoint has shown in him this year but he got his big moment and I couldn't be happier for him.

* The last bit of justice on the game winning goal was Johnny Boychuk just standing there watching the puck go in the net. How's that karma taste Johnny?

* Does Zdeno Chara get his name on the Cup for all the goals he had a part in?

* And finally, hockey players are warriors and will always have my respect, no matter what uniform they wear. Just hearing some of the injuries these guys have been playing with. Bryan Bickell played the entire final with a Grade 2 knee sprain. Patrice Bergeron played with a broken ribs and a separated shoulder. Michal Handzus had a broken wrist and an injured knee. Nathan Horton played with one arm, Marian Hossa played on one leg and the list goes on and on. Just remember all of this the next time a MLB pitcher misses two weeks with a blister or a NBA star doesn't want to play even after being medically cleared.

Blackhawks Corsi Numbers

Player Pos ES TOI Total Shots For Total Shots Against Corsi Net Zone Starts Adjusted Corsi
Duncan Keith D 21:34 20 15 +5 +2 +4
Niklas Hjalmarsson D 15:46 11 15 -4 0 -4
Brent Seabrook D 19:03 20 18 +2 +1 +2
Nick Leddy D 3:01 6 1 +5 0 +5
Patrick Sharp R 13:14 11 15 -4 +3 -5
Marcus Kruger C 9:45 7 7 0 -4 +2
Jonathan Toews C 15:43 12 15 -3 0 -3
Brandon Saad L 9:19 14 8 +6 +1 +6
Viktor Stalberg L 8:16 10 6 +4 +2 +3
Michal Handzus C 13:31 10 13 -3 +2 -4
Johnny Oduya D 21:13 15 24 -9 -1 -9
Bryan Bickell L 15:00 10 10 0 +1 -0
Michal Rozsival D 16:00 12 12 0 0 0
Dave Bolland C 10:35 13 9 +4 -3 +5
Andrew Shaw C 8:49 9 6 +3 +2 +2
Michael Frolik R 9:51 10 10 0 -3 +1
Marian Hossa R 13:36 9 16 -7 +3 -8
Patrick Kane R 15:53 13 10 +3 -1 +3

Bruins Corsi Numbers

Player Pos ES TOI Total Shots For Total Shots Against Corsi Net Zone Starts Adjusted Corsi
Milan Lucic L 15:16 10 24 -14 +1 -14
Nathan Horton R 16:25 10 25 -15 0 -15
Tyler Seguin C 14:04 14 6 +8 -1 +8
Daniel Paille L 11:33 11 6 +5 -1 +5
Andrew Ference D 19:28 17 18 -1 -2 -0
Shawn Thornton L 5:31 2 5 -3 0 -3
Chris Kelly C 12:56 15 6 +9 -4 +11
Zdeno Chara D 19:44 19 19 0 -1 +0
Carl Soderberg C 7:50 6 7 -1 -1 -1
Patrice Bergeron C 14:08 15 6 +9 +1 +9
Dennis Seidenberg D 18:07 15 19 -4 0 -4
David Krejci C 17:43 11 25 -14 0 -14
Torey Krug D 10:00 7 6 +1 +2 +0
Rich Peverley C 10:22 9 9 0 -2 +1
Adam Mcquaid D 9:48 8 5 +3 +1 +3
Johnny Boychuk D 18:44 18 17 +1 -2 +2
Brad Marchand C 13:01 15 5 +10 +1 +10
Jaromir Jagr R 5:56 9 2 +7 +3 +6