Pat Kane fired the shot heard ’round the hockey world. Well, it was more of a trickler that eluded Michael Leighton to give Chicago their first Stanley Cup in 49 years.
It was a climactic end to a game that was rather frustrating to watch. Particularly the first period and a half. Scott Hartnell – first of all cut your hair, you look like an ass – ran around taking dives and just played reckless through the first period. I thought the dive that drew a make-up call on Brent Seabrook was far worse than the tumble he took before his first goal. Either way, he runs around every game and plays a dangerous style, so does Dan Carcillo. Of course, Carcillo couldn’t do too much damage in the press box could he?
I found more fault with the refereeing, particularly in the first half of the game. Chris Pronger plays a rather edgy style, but, he didn’t really deserve the call he got for roughing up Jonathon Towes. In the same hand Marian Hossa did not interfere with Leighton in the 2nd. In fact, that was one of the worst calls I have seen in quite some time. Thankfully, the zebras put away the whistles for the third period and overtime. The final 20 minutes and change was wildly entertaining hockey and rather poetic, thanks to the deflection off Marian Hossa’s shin pad that led to the Flyers tying goal. Of course, that was moot once Kane slipped the winner under Leighton from a sharp angle.
I was glad to see Chicago win, I was glad to see Brian Campbell and Marian Hossa win. It was awesome to see Jonathon Towes win the Conn Smythe. Plus, it is really cool to know that Towes, Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith won Olympic Gold and the Stanley Cup in the same season. I was disappointed that Danny Briere wasn’t rewarded and I really hope that the cab drivers of Buffalo are prepared to place Pat Kane’s change in the top of the Cup, or suffer the consequences.
Looking back, the better team won this series. Michael Leighton wasn’t the goaltender he was when he joined the Flyers, or in the previous two series. In addition, Chicago’s depth was too much for Philly to handle. Realistically, that would be expected as the Blackhawks second and third lines could produce if their big guns were shut down, as they were for much of this series. Annti Niemi was good enough for the Hawks to win and Keith and Seabrook were outstanding on the back-end for Chicago.
We are about 365 days away from crowning the next Cup champ. I’ll go out on a limb and say neither of these two teams will be back. But, I am sure that either Calgary, Montreal, Pittsburgh and Washington will be playing for Lord Stanley. It is only right since a Winter Classic participant has lost the Cup in the year they participated. Think about it.