Chicago has won the Stanley Cup in a nailbiting overtime win that if you blinked, you missed it. Patrick Kane scored (?), yes, scored, to make it 4-3 in overtime on a shot that nobody really saw but himself. Even Leighton didn’t seem to know that he had lost until after a search for the puck. It may have been late coming, but the victory was theirs.
Chicago won the Cup for the first time since 1961 with the second youngest Captain Johnathon Toews hoisting the Cup a year after the first youngest Captain Sidney Crosby, and taking the Conn Smythe to boot, despite having no goals in the series. Now that’s an accomplishment.
Wedding Day for Hossa
Always the bridesmaid, but never the bride- well, no more for Marion Hossa, who finally gets the Cup after 3 consecutive tries. Great hands, a big strong body, hockey smarts and years of experience, Hossa is the total package when it comes to a hockey player. He’s just like that hot friend who has it all, but can’t seem to get married and settle down with someone nice. Seeing him get the Cup from Toews is sure to be an historic moment for the NHL and one of the greatest in his life. Definitely inspiring.
Pride, Tears and Teeth
You have to give it up to this Chicago squad. They played so well and were so dominant all season long. They seem to have a close knit family when it comes to their locker room, and their Mario Kart championships have brought them together and kept them relaxed. What’s really touching about this win are all the stories that come with it, all the personal obstacles that were faced and then overcome to end in a beautiful victory for everyone.
Troy Brouwer and his father’s courageous battle for his life is in itself a wonderful story, but the greatest part about it is the mutual pride and love that they share for each other. How fortunate they are to be able to share that moment together.
Byfluglien is also a great story in this win. Usually known for his football size and fisticuffs, this scrappy player comes from a less privileged life where his single mom and grandparents pulled together to help give him a life in hockey. It kept him out of trouble, gave him a place and taught him important life skills. Not only did he make it to the NHL despite having to scrap for equipment, he won the Cup. Grandpa and grandma must be so proud.
And then there’s Keith, who is not mourning the loss of his teeth and has no fear of the hours in the dentist chair that awaits him in the post-season. He said that winning the Cup was worth it. That’s determination and sacrifice. And like he said himself in the post-game interview, he can buy himself some nice ones now. Let’s hope his pretty fiancee feels the same way as she purees his food for the next few months.
The Game Itself
A few game notes on the game itself: the reffing was absolutely weird in this last game. It was a bit up and down during the entire series, but this game was full of non-calls on calls and calls on non-calls. 5 power plays in the first, 4 power plays in the second and nothing at all in the third. Are we really supposed to believe that everyone made that many errors in the first 40 minutes of play and then none whatsoever in the last 20? Totally inconsistent and unbelievable.
For the Flyers, as a team, they played a good first and a good third, but a saggy second. The game started badly with Philadelphia letting the Blackhawks get the early jump on them. The Flyers should have come out strong in the first few minutes on the ice in order to set the tone and show who’s boss. Technically, they had nothing to lose with this game because it was the Hawks who were playing for the Cup. Their game mentality should have been in that line, but instead, it looked like they were playing ‘just another game.’
The saggy second was unforgiveable. They showed none of the hard drive and determination that has characterized their Cup run this year. Certain players came out big time to play, while others were still unable to get their game together. They looked a lot slower in that second period and not like a team fighting for the Cup.
Briere is definitely the star of the Flyers for this series, racking up more points than any other player in the finals. Hartnell’s gritty play kept the Flyers in the game and Leino was a stand out. Also a strong point for the Flyers? Leighton. Despite the loss and a few lacklustre games, this goaltender was solid and racked up some good saves and he should be signed soon.
Goaltending did not win this series for anyone, but Leighton’s shown some good stuff and he should be rewarded too. Niemi got the big reward with the Cup and his confidence should sky rocket, just like his stock. This series was a huge learning curve for both players and they can both move forward with their careers with immense pride for having had this experience. They’ll be interesting to watch in the future, particularly Leighton.
The Revenge of the Mullet
With this season wrapped up, there is only one thing that I hope will not be the lasting legacy of this 2010 Stanley Cup Finals. Please God, do not allow the Patrick Kane hero status elevate the mullet to a new popular trend. Do not allow the masses to start believing in mullet power as an asset to their daily lives. It’s one thing if Kane wants to sport his coiff as his signature for the rest of his NHL career, following in the footsteps of Jagr, but let him be the only one. Please.
About the Author
Written by Mika Oehling
Office worker and sports nerd. Cannot play a professional sport to save my life, but love to write. Prone to rants, raves, snarky humour and caustic commentary. My team's the Ottawa Senators. Author of Armchair Hockey, a work of humourous fiction released this year and available for sale online at Chapters and Amazon.