What an epic finish! The Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in dramatic fashion by scoring two goals in a 17-second span with time ticking away late in the third period, defeating the Boston Bruins 3-2 and taking the title in six games. It was the first Original Six Cup final since 1979, and it was also the first time the two clubs met to decide the championship. This and much more in the NHL’s top stories from Monday:
1. Dave Bolland of the Hawks will likely never again have to pay for a drink in Chicago after scoring the Cup-winning goal with 59 seconds left in regulation time. That happened only 17 seconds after teammate Bryan Bickell tied the game 2-2 with goaltender Corey Crawford on the bench for an extra attacker. It was an unbelievable comeback that had seemed entirely out of reach when Boston’s Milan Lucic gave the Bruins a 2-1 lead with 7:49 left in the third period. But a seventh-and-deciding game on Wednesday in Chicago was not to be. Instead, a victory parade is being planned.
2. CBCSports.ca senior hockey writer Tim Wharnsby says ample credit for the championship must go to the Hawks' Captain Clutch, Jonathan Toews, who had been noticeably quiet throughout the playoffs and was injured in Game 5 on Saturday. Toews notched his team's first goal on Monday before setting up Bickell’s marker, ending up with two goals and five points in the last three games of the final. For the second time in four years, he accepted the Stanley Cup from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. He told Scott Oake of Hockey Night in Canada why he chose to present it first to teammate Michal Handzus.
3. Chicago’s Patrick Kane won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the Stanley Cup playoffs. It’s the latest accolade in a career that has already seen a Cup-winning goal, in 2010. The sniper tied for second in post-season scoring this year with 19 points and really turned it on when it mattered most, scoring a hat trick (including the double-OT winner) against Los Angeles to clinch the Western Conference championship, then adding three goals and five points in the Cup final.
4. It was a painful loss for the Bruins, and not just in an emotional sense. A number of players from both teams were playing through various injuries, notably Boston’s Patrice Bergeron. He was taken by ambulance to a Chicago hospital during Game 5 on Saturday, and it was revealed after Monday’s game that he had been playing with a broken rib and torn cartilage. He also suffered a separated shoulder during Monday’s game and kept on playing. It was a gutsy performance and a fitting representation of Boston's fighting spirit, something the Bruins helped the city to show the world following the Boston Marathon bombings in April.
5. Twitter was on fire during Monday's game, according to Monika Platek, the social media lead for CBC Sports. Associate producer Jordan Shifman reports there were more than 100 tweets from NHL players alone in the moments immediately following Chicago’s amazing comeback. The win was a vindication for Hawks general manager Stan Bowman, who was forced by salary cap constraints to significantly alter his roster immediately following the 2010 championship. Bowman was named after the Stanley Cup by his illustrious father, Hawks senior adviser of hockey operations Scotty Bowman, who will have his name engraved on the trophy for the 13th time.