Patrick Kane

Ben Bishop, Ondrej Palat, Brenden Morrow

Injuries revealed: Johnson’s wrist was broken, Bishop played through groin tear


We finally know the specific injury Ben Bishop was dealing with through the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. Unfortunately for the Tampa Bay Lightning, word came not that long after the Chicago Blackhawks won it all.

Bishop revealed that he played through a groin tear, which he suffered in the second period of Game 2, according to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times.

The 28-year-old really impressed with strong play against a great scoring attack, but getting the specifics of the issue only makes it more impressive.

Still, the big goalie isn’t puffing out his chest, as he’s instead digesting that tough loss. Bishop lamented that “it easily could have been us on the ice celebrating” but instead they must move on despite “such a close series.”

It’s hard to argue with that argument, either. Patrick Kane’s third-period 2-0 tally was the only time in this entire series where either team had more than a one-goal edge.

Bishop’s courageous play made a big difference in keeping things so close, yet he must heal up and move on to next season with a heavy heart nonetheless.

Update: We also know what was ailing Tyler Johnson, as he apparently broke his wrist early in the Stanley Cup Final.

No need for excuses, but perhaps the Lightning can say “we’ll be even better if we can stay healthy and get another shot.”

No doubt about it: Duncan Keith wins the Conn Smythe Trophy

Duncan Keith, Ben Bishop

CHICAGO — No debate necessary. Duncan Keith has been awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the 2015 NHL playoffs.

Keith scored the Stanley Cup-winning goal Monday at the United Center, capping a spectacular postseason run for the 31-year-old defenseman, who finished the playoffs with three goals and 18 assists.

Keith’s 21 points were by far the most of any defenseman, seven more than Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman.

But it was the time he logged on a depleted Blackhawks blue line that drew the most acclaim. In 23 games, he never played less than 24:05. In total, he spent over 700 minutes on the ice, almost 100 more minutes than second-place Hedman, who played in three more games.

Keith’s goal tonight perfectly illustrated his offensive abilities. Jumping into the rush as he does so effectively, he took a perfect pass from Patrick Kane at the Lightning blue line, wristed a shot that was saved but not controlled by Ben Bishop, then swooped around Cedric Paquette to snap the rebound high past the sprawled Lightning goalie.

A defenseman has received the Conn Smythe Trophy on just 10 occasions since it was first awarded in 1965. Keith is the first defenseman to be recognized since Scott Niedermayer was for the Ducks in 2007.

Sweet home Chicago: Blackhawks are your 2015 Stanley Cup champions


CHICAGO — They’ve done it again.

But this time, they did it at home.

For the third time in the last six years — and for the first time in Chicago since 1938 — the Blackhawks ascended to the top of the NHL, beating Tampa Bay 2-0 on Monday night in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, winning the series four games to two.

Tonight’s game was, like every game this series, a thrilling affair with little separating the two teams. While the final didn’t go the full seven games and failed to feature a single overtime, the Bolts and ‘Hawks combined for one of the most tightly-contested championship series the NHL’s seen in a long time.

Perhaps that’s why it took a special play from a special player to decide it.

Duncan Keith, the Conn Smythe winner as playoff MVP, scored the winning goal late in the second period on a terrific solo effort, picking up his own rebound before firing past Ben Bishop. That Keith scored the winner was fitting and cemented himself in Blackhawk lore; with the goal, he became the first ‘Hawk to score a cup-winning tally at home since Carl Voss beat the Maple Leafs at the old Chicago Stadium 77 years ago.

Keith wasn’t the only hero on the night, however.

Corey Crawford, outstanding in the latter half of this series, stopped all 23 shots faced for his first-ever Stanley Cup Final shutout. Over the final three games, the two-time Cup-winning ‘tender allowed just two goals, finishing with a sparkling .975 save percentage.

But there’s another side to Crawford’s heroics.

For as good as he was, the Bolts will have their regrets about failing to beat him. The NHL’s highest-scoring team during the regular season struggled to generate offense as the series progressed, and were shut out in tonight’s elimination contest — the first time they’ve been blanked in 19 games.

And it’s not like the Lightning were without their chances. Captain Steve Stamkos, who’ll undoubtedly face criticism after failing to score in the series, hit the crossbar in the first period and had a breakaway spectacularly saved by Crawford in the second.

As for the ‘Hawks, tonight’s win officially cemented them as the closest thing we’ve seen to a dynasty in the salary cap era. Sure, the group is going look different moving forward, and some familiar faces will say goodbye, but this collection of players has left an unforgettable mark on the city.

And that’s something that’ll never change.


Patrick Kane finally snapped his scoring slump in the third period, notching his first goal of the series on a nice Brad Richards pass… Keith became the fourth player to log over 700 minutes in a single postseason (since the NHL began tracking in ’98), joining Nicklas Lidstrom, Drew Doughty and Chris Pronger… Keith also matched Chicago’s franchise record for most points by a d-man in a single season, drawing even with Chris Chelios (21 pts, 1992)… The ‘Hawks continued their impressive run of protecting leads tonight — a perfect 33-0-0 when leading after two periods this year, including a 8-0 mark in the playoffs… Ben Bishop finished with 30 saves on 32 shots.

Video: Kane’s long-awaited goal might be the dagger

2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Six

Much has been made about Patrick Kane and Steven Stamkos struggling to score goals in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. As of this writing, only one of those players ended his frustrations in Game 6.

(Again, there’s some time though.)

For the first time in this remarkably tight series, a team managed more than a one-goal lead after Kane scored an emphatic 2-0 tally:

Kane had a great assist on Duncan Keith’s 1-0 goal, too, so it’s been a great game for No. 88. Again, we’ll see if the lead holds.

Smythe-type snipe? Keith breaks Game 6 stalemate (Video)

2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Four

If the Chicago Blackhawks win the 2015 Stanley Cup, it’s widely believed that Duncan Keith will grab the Conn Smythe.

He greatly improved the odds of both by scoring the first goal of Game 6:

That’s a great individual effort by Keith, although Patrick Kane deserves kudos for a fantastic pass as well. Keith also hit a significant (if specific) milestone, as he became just the fourth skater to log more than 700 minutes of ice time in a single postseason:

Also, his 21st point represents a very nice mark in itself.

We’ll find out soon enough if Chicago can make its 1-0 lead hold.

That goal ended up being the game-winner as Chicago won its third title in six seasons. Note this interesting tidbit: