NBC Sports presents Stanley Cup Final Week on NBCSN, reliving classic Stanley Cup Final games and original films and shows from the past decade across seven nights. Today, we give our favorite memories from the the 2010 Cup Final between the Flyers and Blackhawks.
JAKE: The Stanley Cup Playoffs always seem to produce an unlikely hero or two as 16 teams (24 this year, hopefully!) battle for Lord Stanley. On Monday we remembered Max Talbot’s multi-goal Game 7 in 2009 to deny Detroit back-to-back titles and bring Pittsburgh its first championship in 17 years.
One peripheral member of that losing Red Wings squad went on to play a major role for the Flyers on their run to the Cup Final the following season: Ville Leino.
As a rookie for Detroit in 2008-09, Leino played 13 regular season games and seven playoff games, including the first four games of that final against Pittsburgh. The next season he was traded to Philadelphia.
Entering the 2010 postseason, Leino had played a total of 75 NHL games and scored just 22 points. He was a healthy scratch for Philly’s first four playoff games that year. Who could have predicted the performance that followed?
SEAN: The series did not start the way the Flyers wanted. Losing a pair of one-goal games, including a wild, back-and-forth Game 1 that ended 6-5 in Chicago’s favor, Chris Pronger put the spotlight on himself.
After the first two games, the Flyers defenseman was seen picking up the game puck after the final buzzer sounded. It became a thing. Pronger tried to distract from his team’s deficit in the series and it worked.
“I think it’s kind of comical,” said Flyers coach Peter Laviolette. “If Chris Pronger wants the puck, then he can have it, as far as I’m concerned. I don’t have any problems with that. I don’t know what the big deal is.”
Asked where he put the pucks, Pronger replied as only he could: “It’s in the garbage – where it belongs.”
Perhaps that’s what happened to the Game 1 puck, but last month Pronger told Sportsnet that the one from Game 2 is still in his possession.
JAMES: It’s almost a little on the nose that this series ramped up with “Where’s the puck?” and then ended with … well, “Where’s the puck?”
Or, if you were Patrick Kane, you could motion to the net behind Michael Leighton and scream “There’s the puck!” And then celebrate the first Blackhawks Stanley Cup of the Kane – Jonathan Toews – Duncan Keith era.
Did Kane score the “Goal of the Decade” right here? That’s up for debate, but it earned NHL.com’s nod:
That also marked the first time PHT received the chance to cover a Stanley Cup victory. Discussing it in real time with readers via (whatever likely absolute chat app PHT used at time) made everything even more surreal.
NBC Sports presents Stanley Cup Final Week on NBCSN, reliving classic Stanley Cup Final games and original films and shows from the past decade across seven nights, beginning on Monday, June 8.
Programming will also stream on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.
Tuesday, June 9 – NBCSN
• Who Wore It Best? (Episode 4) – 5 p.m. ET
• 2010 Stanley Cup Final Game 1: Philadelphia vs. Chicago – 5:30 p.m. ET
• 2010 Stanley Cup Final Game 3: Chicago vs. Philadelphia – 7 p.m. ET
• 2010 Stanley Cup Final Game 6: Chicago vs. Philadelphia – 9 p.m. ET
• 2010 Stanley Cup Final Game 3: Chicago vs. Philadelphia – 11 p.m. ET
• 2010 Stanley Cup Final Game 6: Chicago vs. Philadelphia – 1 a.m. ET