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2010 Stanley Cup Finals: In the end, Patrick Kane was the difference

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Kane5.jpgPatrick Kane had just one game-winning goal in the entire postseason
for the Chicago Blackhawks, but that’s all they ever really needed from
him anyway. Jonathan Toews may have won the Conn Smythe trophy as the
Most Valuable Player of the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs, but in the end it
was Patrick Kane that was the difference maker as he pushed his team
the incredibly resilient Philadelphia Flyers.

Kane, like the rest of this top line of himself, Toews and Dustin
Byfuglien, had struggled mightily against the speedy and physicial
Flyers in the first four games of the series. He had just three points
in those first four games, and was a minus-6 overall. He was practically
invisible at times and rarely was the scoring threat that this team
desperately needed him to be in order to finally hoist the Cup.

After a disastrous Game 4 performance, Kane turned a corner.

He had five points between Game 5 and 6 and along with Byfuglien was
the catalyst for what the Hawks needed to get their skates back under
them. The series against the Flyers had gone off the rails in Philly,
and here they were headed back to the City of — supposed — Brotherly
Love with a chance to clinch the Cup finals once and for all.

Kane had just two secondary assists before the overtime period
started, but his presence had been felt all game long. It was the same
determination you saw in him after the debacle in Game 4 and it showed
once more in the biggest game of his incredibly young career; there
should have been no doubting that Kane would factor into the winning
goal for the Blackhawks.

For Kane, who at age 21 is just now starting an already incredible
career, it was perhaps the highest moment he’ll ever reach during his
time in the NHL. Skating with the puck in the offensive zone, he was
pushed wide by the Flyers before whipping a hard wrist shot on net.
Somehow, the puck found its way through Michael Leighton before lodging
in the far side of the twine. Kane instantly screamed in joy as the
arena went nearly silent.

No goal lights went off.

No referee signaled a good goal. In fact, there was no signal made.

Kane6.jpgJust the sight of a young kid with the world’s greatest mullet
skating as hard as he could to the other end of the ice, gloves, sticks
and other pieces of equipment falling to the ice in his wake. No one
knew what had happened, but Patrick Kane knew right away: he had just
scored the Cup-winning goal in overtime.

Of course, while talking about the goal, Kane was quick to ramble
onto another subject.

“I knew it right away,” Kane said, a smile on his face as emotion
started to wash over him. “It was stuck behind the meshing there. Got a
shot out to my people back in Buffalo. My hometown. I have four
buddies who drove all the way to come out here. My five family members.
Three sisters, three beautiful sisters. My mom and dad. What a
feeling. I can’t believe it.

“It’s unbelievable. We just won the Stanley Cup.”

Kane was emotional after the game, as many players are when the
reality of their accomplishments start to sink in. Kane is just 21 and
has plenty of hockey ahead of him, but after a long and grueling season
with all of the uncertainty and all of the pressure that was heaped upon
the Hawks, it’s a relief to realize you’ve just accomplished the
ultimate goal.

“I can’t believe this just happened,” Kane said as tears started to
show in his eyes. “It’s something you dream of as a kid. To score the
winning goal in the Stanley Cup Finals. It was just — it was
unbelievable.”

There’s no doubting how important and how deserving Toews is for the
Hawks, the quiet and serious captain who held this team together all
season long. Yet it was Kane, the flashy one of the two, who was
ultimately the difference maker in this series. It’s not how you start a
series or a game, it’s how you finish it that matters. When the
Blackhawks were locked in a must-win game, fighting to not have to head
to a dangerous Game 7 and with the Flyers seizing momentum, he did
exactly what all good hockey players know to do.

He threw the puck
at the net and made something good happen.

Chicago Blackhawks are your Stanley Cup champions

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Kane4.jpgChicago Blackhawks 4, Philadelphia Flyers 3 (OT)

Blackhawks
win the Stanley Cup finals, 4-2

It was perhaps the most
anti-climatic, oddest ending to a Stanley Cup finals we’ve seen in a
very long time.

Patrick Kane somehow snuck a wrist shot through
Michael Leighton’s pads from parallell with the goal line, and he was
the only one in the building that knew it. He took off down the ice,
screaming his head off while those on the ice looked around in confusion
on what had just happened. The Hawks tentatively celebrated while the
officials briefly reviewed the goal.

No lights. No signal from the
referees on the goal.

Just a lone player taking off down the ice
after scoring the biggest goal of his career.

Much, much more to
come on this game.

2010 Stanley Cup Finals, Game 6: Hawks take 3-2 lead, 20 minutes from glory

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Philadelphia Flyers 2, Chicago Blackhawks 3


Hawks lead series 3-2

I’m going to keep this one very brief,
as the game is wearing me out and I have to maintain my strength.

The
Hawks are outshooting the Flyers 27-13, yet midway through the 2nd
period were losing 2-1. They roared back thanks to a Patrick Sharp goal
and a nifty Andrew Ladd tip, giving the Hawks a 3-2 late in the period
that stunned the heck out of the home crowd.

The officials in this
game are making an absolute mockery out of the Stanley Cup finals. It’s
disgraceful the way this game is being called, and it’s an absolute
shame. We shouldn’t be talking about the officiating in a game like
this.

Danny Briere has now broken Brian Propp’s team record of 28
postseason points, with a goal and assist tonight. He also has 11 points
in six games in the finals. Is he a dark horse for the Conn Smythe if
the Flyers come back?

2010 Stanley Cup Finals, Game 6: Flyers to fight for their lives in OT

Philadelphia Flyers 3, Chicago Blackhawks 3

Blackhawks
lead series 3-3

At this point, it’s almost cliche to talk
about the resiliency of the Flyers. But here we are, as they tied up the
game late in the 3rd period to send Game 6 into overtime.

The
Hawks came out initially in the period controlling play, not allowing
the Flyers to get a shot on net for over 10 minutes of play. Yet the
later in the period it went, the more the Hawks would start to sit back
and let the Flyers to attack and attack.

Thanks to some big Antti
Niemi saves, the Hawks held onto the lead until Scott Hartnell knocked
in the game-tying goal when a puck was bounced around the crease off a
Ville Leino centering pass.

This will be one hell of an overtime.
The Hawks are playing to win the Stanley Cup while the Flyers are hoping
to prolong their season one more period.

2010 Stanley Cup Finals, Game 6: Live Game Chat

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As always, follow along and join in with us tonight for our live chat during tonight’s Game 6 between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Chicago Blackhawks.