NBCSN’s Stanley Cup Final Week: Blackhawks’ comeback, Bergeron’s courage

Getty Images

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 memories from the the 2013 Cup Final between the Blackhawks and Bruins.

JAMES: Almost exactly one year ago, the Bruins were just off during Game 7 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final, seeing a ring slip through their fingers. Sometimes it’s about an off night.

Sometimes, a series can slip away from you during the equivalent of an off (and very rushed) bathroom break.

Seventeen seconds. That’s all it took for Bryan Bickell to tie Game 6 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final (with just 1:16 left in the third period), and then for Dave Bolland to score the series-clincher.

In 17 seconds, the Bruins saw the series go from a “Who knows?” Game 7 to their playoff lives riding on overtime to the Blackhawks raising the Stanley Cup in Boston.

It can be easy to forget just how small the difference is between the Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, and Brad Marchand Bruins winning three Stanley Cups instead of one.

That two-goal stretch also seems stranger in retrospect considering the scorers. Both Bolland and Bickell would sign contracts their teams would regret, and eventually leave the Blackhawks. There are probably still a few establishments in Chicago where they don’t have to pay for their drinks, though.

JAKE: There is the general assumption that anyone playing the Stanley Cup Final has picked up some bumps and bruises along the way. It’s less about whether you are hurt, and more about how badly you are hurt.

For Patrice Bergeron during the 2013 Cup Final, the answer to that question was: very.

Normally, injured players reveal their ailments as soon as the series ends. In Bergeron’s case, it took a few days for those details to emerge because he had been admitted to the hospital with a collapsed lung after the Game 6 defeat.

When he was released, Bergeron outlined this stunning list: torn rib cartilage in Game 4 (where he scored a pair of goals), a broken rib in Game 5 (which led to a separate hospital visit), and a separated shoulder and punctured lung in Game 6 (where he played nearly 18 minutes).

We’ll never know whether Boston, without Bergeron, could have won a Game 7 in Chicago. But the fact that he almost led them to that point is worth commending on its own.

[FULL NBCSN STANLEY CUP WEEK SCHEDULE]

SEAN: How Game 6 and the series ended is the obvious takeaway here. But things began with a very long night on June 12. The Blackhawks came back from a 3-1 third period deficit and took the opening game of the series. After Dave Bolland and Johnny Oduya evened the score, the next goal didn’t come for a while.

A long while.

The game needed three overtimes, in fact, before Andrew Shaw, and his knee, sent the United Center into a tizzy:

***

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.

Thursday, June 11 – NBCSN
• 2013 Stanley Cup Final Game 2: Boston vs. Chicago – 5 p.m. ET
• 2013 Stanley Cup Final Game 4: Chicago vs. Boston – 7 p.m. ET
• 2013 Stanley Cup Final Game 6: Chicago vs. Boston – 9 p.m. ET
• 2013 Chicago Blackhawks Championship Film – 11 p.m. ET
• 2013 Stanley Cup Final Game 6: Chicago vs. Boston – 12:30 a.m. ET
• Gamechangers: All-Time Greats – 2:30 a.m. ET

Scroll Down For:

    Stanley Cup clinchers on NBCSN: Blackhawks stun Bruins in 2013

    Hockey Week in America continues Thursday with some notable Stanley Cup clinchers. 

    Trailing the series 3-2, the Bruins looked like they would force a Game 7 when they took a 2-1 lead late into the third period of Game 6. But when Chicago’s Bryan Bickell and Dave Bolland scored 17 seconds apart, the Hawks shocked the Boston crowd to earn a 3-2 victory and captured their second Stanley Cup in four years.

    You can catch the dramatic Game 6 finish and more Stanley Cup clinchers Thursday night on NBCSN beginning at 7 p.m. ET.

    [MY FAVORITE GOAL: Bolland’s dramatic Cup winner]

    THURSDAY NIGHT SCHEDULE
    • Blackhawks vs. Bruins (Game 6, 2013 Stanley Cup Final) – 7 p.m. ET
    • Capitals vs. Golden Knights (Game 5, 2018 Stanley Cup Final) – 9 p.m. ET
    • Penguins vs. Red Wings (Game 7, 2009 Stanley Cup Final) – 11 p.m. ET
    • Blackhawks vs. Flyers (Game 6, 2010 Stanley Cup Final) – 1 a.m. ET

    More information about NBC Sports’ Hockey Week in America can be found here.

    ————

    Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

    My Favorite Goal: Sakic helps end Canada’s Olympic gold drought

    Getty Images

    Welcome to “My Favorite Goal,” a regular feature from NBC Sports where our writers, personalities and NHL players remember the goals that have meant the most to them. These goals have left a lasting impression and there’s a story behind each one.

    Today, PHT’s Joey Alfieri remembers Joe Sakic’s goal that sealed Canada’s win in the 2002 Olympic gold medal game.

    It might be easy for some to forget now, but Canada went through an Olympic gold medal drought that lasted 50 years. Sure, NHLers weren’t allowed in the Olympics throughout most of that slump, but it was a big deal when I was growing up. Let me add a little background to my international hockey obsession.

    As a youngster growing up in Montreal, Quebec, the first international tournament I really remember paying close attention to was the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan. At the time, I was eight years old and I remember sitting on my couch watching the  Canada-Czech Republic semifinal with those hockey cards you could cut out from behind the Kraft Dinner macaroni and cheese boxes (anyone else remember those things?). In one hand, I had a Patrick Roy card and in the other, I had a Dominik Hasek card.

    Of course, both goalies were going head-to-head that day, which is why I had those cards close by. When Hasek stopped Brendan Shanahan on Canada’s final shootout attempt, I was in shambles. I remember my family trying to console me, but there was nothing anyone could say that to take the pain of losing to the Czechs go away in that moment.

    I look back on that moment now and realize the heartbreak I suffered took my passion for the sport to another level. It was the first time I was really heartbroken over a single hockey moment.

    I was so distraught that I tore my Hasek and Roy cards to pieces. I was furious at Hasek for winning, I was heartbroken that Roy didn’t make one more save. It was terrible. I’ll never forget Hasek leaping into the air repeatedly seconds after that game ended.

    Anyway, let’s fast-forward to 2002.

    You have to keep in mind that my love for international hockey intensified year after year leading up to the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics. There was more heartbreak between the 1998 Olympic loss and the 2002 triumph though.

    During those years, I began following the World Junior Championship closely and it just so happened that Canada failed to win the tournament every year between 1998 and 2005. My frustration with Hockey Canada was pretty high heading into that 2002 tournament.

    I remember head coach Pat Quinn announcing that Curtis Joseph would be his starting goaltender heading into the tournament. I recall not being a fan of that move (keep in mind, I was 12-year-old living in Martin Brodeur’s hometown).

    So, Canada opened the tournament with a 5-2 loss to Team Sweden. The Swedes were loaded with talent, but I was still stunned. It’s not the way I expected the Canadians to open the tournament. The confidence in my team, which probably took four years to develop, was gone in one night.

    But Canada ended up switching from Joseph to Brodeur and they managed to beat Germany 3-2 in their second game. The Canadians then tied the Czechs in their final round robin game. Throughout this entire opening round, I never allowed myself to think that they had a legitimate chance at gold. After all, I was just trying to avoid the same sting I felt last time.

    So, the knockout portion of the tournament comes and Canada beats Finland 2-1 in the quarter-final, and then they take out Belarus, who shocked Sweden, rather easily (7-1) in the semi-final.

    It’s Canada and Team USA in the final for all the marbles.

    Sunday, Feb. 24, 2002. It’s a day I’ll never forget. Like every fan, I was nervous. And I was sick and tired of hearing about this 50-year gold medal drought everyone was talking about.

    The game starts, and Tony Amonte opens the scoring for the Americans. Here we go again. The Canadians respond with two goals from Paul Kariya and Jarome Iginla before the end of the first frame and Canada goes into the intermission with a 2-1 lead. I’m just a kid, but I’m a wreck. The intermissions felt like they lasted a lifetime.

    Brian Rafalski ties the game in the second period, but Joe Sakic puts Canada up by a goal late in the second period.

    20 minutes to go.

    The Canadians were nursing that one-goal lead for most of the final period. With every great American chance, I was getting more and more antsy. Finally, Iginla scored his second goal of the game with four minutes remaining to give Canada a two-goal edge. I was ecstatic, but I still wanted to hold off celebrating.

    But then it happened.

    It’s a goal call that I’ll never forget by my favorite play-by-play announcer, Bob Cole.

    Canada trying to hang on. They get a break. It’s gonna be a break. It is Joe Sakic…scores! Jiiiiiiiiooooo Sakic scores! And that makes it 5-2 for Canada. Surely, that’s gotta be it!

    I’ll never forget the way Cole said Sakic’s full name after that puck crossed the goal line. It was perfect. What a moment.

    Finally, I realized that the ridiculous drought I had been hearing about for weeks was about to become a thing of the past.

    Even though Sakic’s goal wasn’t the game-winner or anything like that, it symbolized so much more to me. It was the final nail in Team USA’s coffin and it made the 1998 heartbreak hurt a lot less.

    “As a kid growing up in Canada, you dream of playing in the NHL, winning a Stanley Cup, and one day wearing a Team Canada jersey,” Sakic told Olympic.ca. “Having the chance to play for my country at the Olympics, and especially winning a gold medal in Salt Lake City, was an amazing and memorable experience I’ll always cherish.”

    Most Canadians never get to represent their country on the international stage, but Sakic’s goal made every hockey fan in the nation feel like something special. As Canadians, we’re supposed to be good at hockey. For a long while, it didn’t feel that way. But that day in February, one man’s goal changed everything.

    PREVIOUSLY ON MY FAVORITE GOAL:
    Darren McCarty shows off goal-scoring hands during 1997 Cup Final
    Alex Ovechkin scores ‘The Goal’ as a rookie
    Marek Malik’s stunning shootout winner
    Paul Henderson scores for Canada
    Tomas Hertl goes between-the-legs
    Borschevsky’s goal sealed with a kiss
    Bolland clinches Cup for Blackhawks 17 seconds later
    Stoll completes Kings’ upset over Canucks

    Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.

    My Favorite Goal: Sedins give Canucks fans one last memory

    Welcome to “My Favorite Goal,” a regular feature from NBC Sports where our writers, personalities and NHL players remember the goals that have meant the most to them. These goals have left a lasting impression and there’s a story behind each one.

    Today, Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat recalls the memorable overtime winner by Daniel Sedin in the final game at Rogers Arena for the Sedin twins.

    Bo Horvat was in his fourth NHL season when the Sedins played their last one. On the night of their final game at Rogers Arena, the twins gave Canucks fans one last memory when Henrik set up Daniel for the power play winner in overtime.

    PREVIOUSLY ON MY FAVORITE GOAL:
    Darren McCarty shows off goal-scoring hands during 1997 Cup Final
    Alex Ovechkin scores ‘The Goal’ as a rookie
    Marek Malik’s stunning shootout winner
    Paul Henderson scores for Canada
    • Mario Lemieux’s end-to-end masterpiece; Hextall scores again
    Tomas Hertl goes between-the-legs
    Borschevsky’s goal sealed with a kiss
    Bolland clinches Cup for Blackhawks 17 seconds later
    Stoll completes Kings’ upset over Canucks

    My Favorite Goal: Bolland clinches Cup for Blackhawks 17 seconds later

    Dave Bolland Blackhawks
    Getty
    1 Comment

    Welcome to “My Favorite Goal,” a regular feature from NBC Sports where our writers and personalities remember the goals that have meant the most to them. These goals have left a lasting impression and there’s a story behind each one.

    Today, Adam Gretz looks back at Dave Bolland’s goal to win the Chicago Blackhawks the Stanley Cup.

    This isn’t necessarily about the goal itself.

    It wasn’t a highlight-reel play, or a superstar putting the puck in the net with a signature move, or even a team or player that I had any particular personal rooting interest in.

    It was about the moment. The experience. And everything that came along with it and everything that followed it.

    It was Game 6 the 2013 Stanley Cup Final between the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins, and the Stanley Cup itself was in the building.

    At that point I had been writing about hockey full-time for about five years and had already attended hundreds of games for work and as a hockey fan. Regular season games, outdoor games, playoff games, and yes, several Cup Final games. One thing I had never had the opportunity to witness in person was the Stanley Cup actually being handed out.

    On this night, it was a possibility as the Blackhawks and Bruins took the ice with the former holding a 3-2 series lead.

    It became a reality when Dave Bolland jammed a loose puck into the back of the net with 58 seconds to play in, capping off an insane final two minutes in what is still one of the most exciting hockey games I have ever had the joy of witnessing in person.

    The goal itself was the definition of an “ugly” goal.

    An innocent shot from the blue line gets thrown at the net, while a third-liner crashes the crease and is in the right place at the right time to pounce on a rebound off the goal post and put it in the net.

    At this point the Blackhawks’ dynasty hadn’t been born yet. They had won their first Stanley Cup (2010), but a salary cap crunch had ripped apart a lot of its depth and that first championship was followed by consecutive first-round losses (to Vancouver in 2011 and to Arizona in 2012). The potential was there, but their legacy could have still gone either way

    In this particular postseason Jonathan Toews — later known for being one of the most clutch players in the league — was getting absolutely crushed for a lack of production (he scored just one goal in his first 20 playoff games), starting goalie Corey Crawford was having both his glove and blocker side brutally criticized and scrutinized, and even Patrick Kane had gone seven consecutive games at one point in the playoffs without scoring a goal.

    Even with all of that the Blackhawks were still just one game away from winning another championship. It was a testament to how deep of a roster they had assembled, and just how good the entire team was that their best players could slump for so long and they could still just be a game away from a championship.

    The game itself was full of scoring chances, close calls, near misses, and some great goaltending that kept it a 1-1 game for the first 53 minutes. Then, with just seven minutes to play in regulation, Milan Lucic scored to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead. It was then that everyone started to prepare for what seemed to be an inevitable Game 7. It wasn’t just a possibility, it was simply going to happen. There was no way the league’s best defensive team at the time (Boston), with Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, and Tuukka Rask all at the height of their power as players, was going to give up that lead, in that game, in that building.

    Simply. Not. Happening.

    As the clock ticked away, I was doing the same thing every other writer in the press box and/or media room was doing — putting the finishing touches on an initial column on how the Bruins had forced a Game 7 and ready to submit as soon as the clock hit zero.

    And then, with 1:16 to play, it all started.

    Bryan Bickell tied the game for Chicago, forcing everyone to put their Game 7 plans on hold and start preparing for overtime in Game 6.

    Those new plans would only last for 17 seconds.

    Because that’s how long it took for Bolland to follow Bickell’s goal and score the game-winner.

    There are so many things I remember about that moment. The deafening, stunned silence of TD Garden minus the emphatic cheers of the thousand or so Blackhawks fans in attendance. Bolland forgetting that there were still 58 seconds to play in regulation and throwing his stick and gloves to the ice as if he had scored an overtime goal. Me highlighting every word of the story I had written about a Bruins win and hitting the “delete” button to start over with an entirely new story. The adrenaline of rushing down to the tunnel and waiting to get on the ice to conduct player interviews for the winning team. Actually walking around on the ice while players still celebrated with the Cup. Then frantically writing a new story on the Blackhawks’ second championship (the first team to win multiple Cups in the salary cap era). Going back to my hotel at 2:30 in the morning, and staying awake for the next four hours — still trying to comprehend the insane comeback I had just witnessed — to catch an early train back home.

    But the madness did not stop there.

    It is incredible to look back at the sequence of events that goal and that game set into motion.

    The Blackhawks as a team were now on their way to becoming a mini-dynasty.

    The Bruins, just 76 seconds away from forcing a Game 7 where anything could have happened (maybe they win and become the dynasty?), ended up making Tyler Seguin their scapegoat (something they highlighted and put out there for public consumption) and traded him to Dallas in a deal they would have literally nothing to show for just a couple of years later.

    The Blackhawks, facing another salary cap crunch, traded Bolland to the Toronto Maple Leafs just six days after he clinched a championship for them. He would play one injury-shortened season for them before signing a huge free agent contract with the Florida Panthers, something they may not have happened had his 2013 postseason gone the way it did. 

    I did not care who won the game or the series. I just wanted to experience a good series and maybe get a chance to see something cool happen.

    It all delivered, and there still is not a goal that stands out to me more, even if the goal itself was relatively simple.

    PREVIOUSLY ON MY FAVORITE GOAL:
    Darren McCarty shows off goal-scoring hands during 1997 Cup Final
    Alex Ovechkin scores ‘The Goal’ as a rookie
    Marek Malik’s stunning shootout winner
    Paul Henderson scores for Canada
    • Mario Lemieux’s end-to-end masterpiece; Hextall scores again
    Tomas Hertl goes between-the-legs
    Borschevsky’s goal sealed with a kiss

    Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.