It was only fitting this series between two of the ‘Original Six’ ended in thrilling fashion, and at least for Chicago Blackhawks fans the win could not have been any sweeter.
For Boston fans it will be a bitter, bitter loss, but maybe it’s karma after their immaculate comeback in the first round against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Either way, the Blackhawks are the 2013 Stanley Cup Champs after a thrilling 3-2 victory in game six.
With just a few minutes to go, you kind of had the feeling this game could go into overtime with the Blackhawks putting on a late surge to tie the game. When they finally did so, at 1:16 left in the third period, we thought it was almost a certainty we would have our fourth overtime in six games.
The goal, which was scored by Bryan Bickell on a one-timer, came off of a beautiful saucer pass from captain Jonathan Toews with goaltender Corey Crawford on the bench for the extra skater.
On the ensuing shift, just 17 seconds later, Dave Bolland scored on a rebound opportunity after the intial shot by Johnny Oduya from the point came off the post. The shot was deflected by Michael Frolik in the slot putting Tuuka Rask out of position for the initial shot as well as the rebound.
After the goal, the Bruins immediately took their timeout to regroup and discuss strategy. Unfortunately for them, even after pulling Rask, they were unable to generate any scoring chances. Their last ditch effort ended up being a shot from their own goal-line with just a couple of ticks left on the clock. The Blackhawks went into full shutdown mode and did not make the same mistake the Bruins did by letting off the gas with less than a minute left.
It was a heartbreaker for the Bruins, especially considering their dominating start. The first period was all theirs, and in the end might have been their demise. Instead of holding a multi-goal lead, which in all reality they probably should have held, they only left with a 1-0 lead after the first period and that was enough to give the Blackhawks some life.
Also, the Bruins held the first four power play attempts but were unable to capitalize on any of them. It was more a case of missed opportunities than anything else for Boston which they will be looking at for a while.
One of those opportunities came late in the first period when David Krejci missed a wide open net on a deflection. To his credit the bad ice caused the puck to stand on end and the deflection when right over the net, but that was how it was all night for the Bruins. Their two goals were scored by Chris Kelly and Milan Lucic. Lucic scored his goal midway through the third period giving his team the lead until Chicago’s two-goal surge.
In the end the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup and complete the 16 game marathon. They deserve all the credit in the world for winning the toughest championship in all of sports. Congratulations Chicago.
GGS 3 Stars
1. Jonathan Toews (1 goal, 1 assist)
2. Milan Lucic (1 goal, 78% face-offs)
3. Corey Crawford (23 saves)