In a most unusual ending to the NHL season, Patrick Kane slipped the puck under Michael Leighton's pads 4:06 into overtime to clinch a 4-3 victory for the Chicago Blackhawks over the Flyers in Philadelphia on Wednesday night.
For the first time in Stanley Cup Finals history, there was confusion on the game winning goal where it had to be reviewed before the official celebration could begin. Kane knew it was in immediately but the official was slow to react, the red light never went off, and none of the broadcasters had an immediate call.
For 56 minutes, the Blackhawks had had dominated the game, out shooting the Flyers 41-24 and carrying a 3-2 lead late into the third period. Scott Hartnell tied the game at three with 3:59 remaining in regulation and the Flyers held on to send the game to overtime.
After much debate over the last few days as to who would get the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP, Chicago Captain Johnathan Toews was announced as the winner by Commissioner Gary Bettman.
Another storyline that was getting thread bare came to an end when Toews raised the Stanley Cup and then passed it to Marion Hossa who had been on the ice for the losing team the past two seasons. Even if you are not a Hossa fan, you had to fell the emotion of Hossa finally getting to lift the cup.
As always, the final game is bitter sweet for fans as it is the highlight of the season to see the winner crowned but it also marks the start of the off season when fans who have seen live hockey for eight months have to go cold turkey and wait for camps to open in September to see the teams return to the ice.
A true highlight of the evening was Jeremy Roenick's reaction after the game to the Blackhawks winning the cup as seen in the following clip. Roenick said before the game that he has never touched the cup and that he never would have the opportunity now that he was in broadcasting.
As he watched the celebration, there is no doubt that he was living vicariously through the young Blackhawk players. Roenick has indicated that if he gets the call from the Hockey Hall of Fame that he would go in as a Hawk. His reaction shows the power of the Stanley Cup and how much is is coveted by all that every played the game.
Calder Cup Update...
In Wednesday's other game, the Hershey Bears defeated the Texas Stars 4-2 to tie the AHL series 2-2. John Carlson's power play goal with 2:08 left in the game was the game winner. An empty netter was the final goal.
Texas will host game five which is their last game in the series on Friday night before the action moves back to Hershey for game six and seven if necessarily. Remaining games will be on XM Radio and potentially could be picked up by the NHL Network.
In Pred Nation...
Dirk Hoag gets his pencil out and does some fancy figuring to point out how miserable that the Preds were in the face off circle. I did not realize that they were the worst in the league on the power play. That would account for losing so much time chasing pucks to the far end of the ice.
Dan Hamhuis gives his thoughts after being on the ground in Haiti on his NHLPA trip.
Here's news from yesterday from @Sullivan26: On my way the CMT Awards Show. My beautiful wife and I are walking the Red Carpet.
Word is that Patten "We Are Nashville" Fuqua of Section 303 will be throwing out the first pitch at the Nashville Outlaws game on Friday. He also will be involved in the "We Are Nashville" Flood Relief Benefit on June 17th at the Red Rooster.
Around the NHL...
Now that the season is over, Down Goes Brown has some ideas of things to do.
A story has leaked that Rob Blake is planning to retire in a few days.
In a rare bit of common sense, the IIHF president may consider not holding the World Championships in Olympic years.
Rumors abound that Guy Boucher will officially be announced as the new Tampa coach later today.
Mike Chen has a wrap up of the 14 playoff teams that aren't in the finals.
Mirtle has the list of increases by market in TV/Internet usage during the playoffs.
Follow this link to read about and help Mandi Schwartz, a 22 year old hockey player at Yale, who has leukemia and needs a stem cell transplant. A friend's son needed a transplant about ten years ago and I was tested and listed at the National Marrow Donor Program. If you have never been tested, it is a great thing to do and may save someones life.
In more sad news, Flyers fan Katie Able passed a way as a result of a June 3rd auto accident. Friends petitioned the Flyers for a moment of silence at the game yesterday.
Our friends at The Program now have a forum. Check it out.
Speak of the Devs provides a list of unofficial team hashtags.
Odds and Ends...
Tony Hawk set up a traveling half pipe in the backwoods of South Africa bringing skateboarding to folks who otherwise would never get the opportunity.
The last scheduled space shuttle flight will probably be moved until 2011 and an addition flight could be added next summer.
This isn't right. Southern Living has an article on "How to Do Bonnaroo." The hip-ness Bonnaroo had has been severely damaged.
Avoid the area around Third Man Records tonight as it will be a madhouse. Jack White and Conan O'Brien are slated to appear.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass