Who could have bet that the Stanley Cup Finals would come to an end in such an unexpected way? The Chicago Blackhawks, with 11 Canadian players on the roster including goaltender Corey Crawford and Captain Jonathan Toews, finished the Boston Bruins off in six games with a surprising 3-2 victory on the road in Boston.
But the victory wasn’t a sure thing. Throughout most of the game, particularly in the first period, the Bruins dominated out on the ice with the Blackhawks struggling to find their footing. Chicago tied it up in the second, but surrendered a second goal about halfway into the third period, and the team was scrambling to regain their focus.
The Blackhawks entered Game 6 ahead 3-2 in the series, which meant even if they lost the game, they were at an advantage over the Bruins who were facing elimination. When the third period went down the stretch and it appeared that Boston would live to fight another day, the final two minutes changed the entire atmosphere of the game.
Chicago found its legs once again by driving to the Boston net, and pulling Crawford from their own net for the extra man advantage. The additional attacker forced the Bruins onto an uneven defensive, which provided Chicago left-winger Bryan Bickell the chance to score on a one-timer pass from Toews with 1:16 left in the game. After another 17 seconds, centre Dave Bolland banged in a rebound from defensemen Johnny Oduya’s shot at the point to give Chicago a 3-2 lead. In the final seconds of the game, Toews was unsuccessful at burying a fourth goal in Boston’s empty net, but pushed the puck deep enough into the Bruins zone to prevent another offensive, which sealed the deal and elevated Chicago to Stanley Cup championship status.
The victory was one written for the ages for a Blackhawks team that began the season earning at least one point in an unprecedented 24 straight games. The dominant offensive talent in Chicago, along with incredible goaltending from Corey Crawford, enabled the Blackhawks to become the number one team in the league all season. The Stanley Cup victory was a perfect finish for a team that never looked back as it went down the stretch.