Chicago Blackhawks: 2013 Stanley Cup Champions!

Hawks Cup yrs 2

With two goals in 17 seconds, the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup for the second time in four years.

It wasn’t pretty for either team in Game Six, and the reports on injuries players were dealing with at the end of the series are starting to come out in the wake of the Hawks unbelievable win.

For Boston, Patrice Bergeron played Game Six with a separated shoulder, torn cartilage and a broken rib. For Chicago, Andrew Shaw played the second and third periods of the game with blood running down his cheek after taking a puck to the face.

But after the final horn sounded and the handshakes had taken place, Gary Bettman handed the Stanley Cup to Jonathan Toews.

The Bruins came out and dominated the first period, hammering the Hawks and controlling the flow of the game. After 20 minutes, Boston had directed 32 shots at Corey Crawford but only one beat Chicago’s netminder.

Crawford didn’t win the Conn Smythe; Patrick Kane was awarded the postseason Most Valuable Player honor. But Crawford shut up his critics with an incredible postseason run that included 16 victories, a 1.84 goals against average and .932 save percentage. In the Cup-clinching game, Crawford stopped 23 of 25 to earn the victory.

Jonathan Toews, among others from the Hawks, admitted after the game that his bell had been rung in Game Five. But he returned with a performance that reminded everyone that he is one of the best players in the game. Toews scored the Hawks’ first goal, only moments after killing a penalty, and won 12 of 20 faceoffs. Chicago’s captain was also credited with an assist on Bryan Bickell’s game-tying goal, three hits, two blocked shots and one takeaway.

2013 cup captains

Duncan Keith led the Hawks, skating 28:51 in the game with two takeaways and one blocked shot. He played another strong game, looking once again like the player that won the Norris Trophy in 2010. Keith’s partner on the blue line, Brent Seabrook, blocked six shots and was credited with four hits in the clincher.

Patrick Sharp was credited with a team-high six shots on net and also had four hits. Kane had great jump throughout the game, putting three shots on net and starting the rush that led to Bickell’s goal.

But while the stars for the Hawks showed up big in the biggest game, it was their role players that once again led the team to victory.

Bickell’s goal came at 18:44 in the third, more than six minutes after Milan Lucic gave Boston a 2-1 lead. It was Bickell’s ninth goal of the postseason, and came with Crawford on the bench; Chicago had pulled their goaltender for an extra attacker and was able to capitalize. Bickell also had two hits in the game, and will be an unrestricted free agent next Friday.

The Hawks got another stellar game on the fourth line of Dave Bolland, Michael Frolik and Marcus Kruger. Coach Joel Quenneville had enough confidence in the line to put them on the ice after Bickell tied the game and Bolland rewarded that faith with the Cup-clinching tally. Bolland’s goal was the latest clinching goal in regulation in Cup history. Frolik had an assist on Bolland’s goal and four blocked shots.

General Manager Stan Bowman made only one minor move at the trade deadline, trading San Jose’s fourth round pick back to the Sharks for “washed up” Michal Handzus. But Handzus finished the posteason as the Hawks’ second line center, and played a major role in the Cup coming back to Chicago. Reports after the game indicated that Handzus was playing with a broken wrist and torn MCL in Game Six.

In these playoffs, 14 different Blackhawks scored a goal. Bolland became the tenth different Chicago skater to be credited with a game-winning goal in the postseason. Ultimately, it was the depth of the roster that Bowman put together that paid the ultimate dividend.

As Boston head coach Claude Julien said after the game, it was unfortunate that there needed to be a loser in the series. The Blackhawks only outscored the Bruins by two goals in the six games, and the two Original Six franchises played three overtime games including the epic triple overtime Game One.

The Blackhawks next game that counts will be at the United Center in October. There will be a banner raised before the puck drops.

Cup 2013

hawks-banner-CI

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61 Responses to Chicago Blackhawks: 2013 Stanley Cup Champions!

  1. Morrison says:

    HARRISON FORD.

  2. Morrison says:

    2 days between games nhl… bitches.

  3. Morrison says:

    Head shots & cross checks to the face, based on instant replay (of a committy of 7, etc. by vote) automatic game ejection, 2 game suspension minimum, regardless of intent/replay from w nnnnnnnnn bc reverse angle (comspiracy confirmed, amounst the biased annoucing I think I have ever heard, it realyy made me laugh hard some times it was so fucking bad… ha), and the opinion of the player safety to protect players of dirty Cameroon high hits.

    You got what you wanted with offside whitsle that wernt offsides, weak calls in this games, after 2 5min major suspensions plays (headhit, regaursdless of intent & deliberate cameroon crosscheck to face)(what are you afread of Shaw you have to try to take his nose off, like he cant beat you without a nose, ya fuck). Oh Im so glad I waited to release my paturbed feelings until we won, for the team.

    Ahhh, swatzanigger!!!

    and to you trollers/pretenders (you know who you are…),

    take off, eh.

  4. Morrison says:

    RIGHTEOUSNESS.

    Hurricane Karma, will get you eventually. An you know who you are

  5. Morrison says:

    We got everybody coming back this & the calvaery is coming for years through the farm.

    BEAUTY, EH. YAH THATS A REAL LIVE BEAUTY EH.

    AH HOWS IT GOING, ITS GOING PRETTY GOOD, EH.

    YOU CANT DRINK AND DRIVER, YOU HOSSER.

  6. Dickie Dunn says:

    “You can put it on the board – YES!!”

    “That’s just great, Anita.”…

    Elated(!), and I’m not trying to be a prick, but, let’s hear from the guy (“Wall”?) whose life revolves around the averages/statistics, and anyone else who spewed all that “playoff -’type’…size, grind, hit” shit. Tell me, will every NHL team NOW try to remake/remodel themselves in the 2013 Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup Champions????

    Anyway, Congratz Blackhawks!!!!

  7. JS says:

    Give me some of what Morrison is having!

    Hey friends!

    Funny story. If you listened to me 5 months ago, we wouldn’t have even had to deal with the emotions of this series! I got lucky trying to prove this team a champion before they did. I can admit to luck.

    The Hawks can’t.

    But they did. All Season.

    This Hawks team is one of the greatest teams in the history of this league.

    Write that down.

    “This Hawks team is one of the greatest teams in the history of this league.”

    I will give you guys more thoughts once I am sober and coming down from this high.

  8. Dickie Dunn says:

    …oh, did anyone else feel that the broadcast team sounded like the Bruins regulars? Blowczyk threw some recognition (Keith, Crawford) Chicago’s way, but BIASED, or just my imagination?

  9. Morrison says:

    Are you guys brothers?

  10. EbonyRaptor says:

    Congratulation 2013 Chicago Blackhawks – you are the well deserved Stanley Cup Champions.

    Heckuva game. Heckuva series. Heckuva playoffs. Heckuva season. WOW! A fairytale season with a fairytale ending.

  11. Rawr says:

    Some of the injury reports so far just sound insane. Along with that busted face Shaw has 2 broken ribs and a torn labrum. Handzus has a broken wrist and torn mcl (probably retirement time) and Hossa messed up a disc in his back and apparently hasn’t been able to feel like right foot for a while.

  12. Rawr says:

    his*

  13. Kerry Fraser suffers from early-onset Age Related Macular Degeneration says:

    Go Hawks!

  14. Travis says:

    We may never see a season like this in any sports franchise that we follow for the rest of our lives. Record-setting start. Conn Smythe. Jennings. Selke. President’s Trophy. Stanley Cup. Perhaps more hardware to come. I’ll spend the next few days revisiting all these accomplishments and watching video of the 2013 Blackhawks celebrating a Stanley Cup championship!!!!!!!!!!

    Congrats from New Zealand! I’m drunk!!!!!

  15. B_Maniac says:

    K, SEE YA!

  16. BigSmokeJ says:

    Wow what a game and what a team. We’ll be up all night enjoying the win, Can;t wait for the parade.
    To Stan Bowman Thanks for proving wrong – you are the man and you built a GREAT team…..

  17. Morrison says:

    The look on all of the nhl networks channels ‘professional’ (under water) specialists is so funny, I cant stop laughing. Thats too much, thats too much.

    Its like they knew something before it started… what, what, what (INTERNSHIP-VINCE VAUGHN) wait for it, wait for it……………………………………..

    Oh my shit.

  18. McKay says:

    Agree 100% with Travis.

    How close can you get to a perfect season?

    Overall record of 52-14-3. Other than two 1-week stretches (after The Steak ended and during the DET series) were we played .500 hockey, we dominated.

    Lowest goals against; best goal diff in regular season.

    Many individual finalists and winners in Toews, Saad, Kane, Q, etc. Several more who had career years.

    No training camp. Which is impressive considering 3 young players in Saad, Leddy, and Shaw (if this is baseball Shaw is considered a rookie) played key roles throughout the year.

    I love that Bolland and the 4th line got the SCF game winner on so many levels:
    1) Validates their effort through the entire season and playoffs.
    2) Bolland gets killed on this blog (I’ll admit I’ve been on the trade Bolland bandwagon of late)… folks we are lucky when a playoff warrior like Bolland is the type personnel we’re debating. This is a very good roster.
    3) THIS IS WHY YOU DON’T BRING UP ROCKFORD PLAYERS. Fun to debate but thank god no one on this blog decides the healthy scratches are.

    I’ve been totally spoiled this year – I get anxiety if we don’t score 3 and give up 30 shots.

    Last thing I’ll end on is Boston… I actually have a lot of respect for this team. Outside of Thorton and a couple other 4th line scrubs I would be happy to see any of them in the Indian Head. I thoroughly enjoyed pummeling the Killer B’s to win the Cup.

    Thank you Tab once again for being my lifeline to the Hawks (looking forward to your post-season grades – healthy GPA this season). Thank you to everyone who contributes – I love this blog.

    Go Hawks!

  19. Tim G says:

    Well that was about as good of a 70 second span that anyone can have in sports… i went from gritting my teach, on my knees about 2 feet from the TV, to running up and down the furnature screaming , my dog barking at me, and my wife trying to tell me there was still a minute left and to clam down… All i could say was are you kidding me… we just won another cup!…

    This team put it all together. Speed offense, Solid defense, maturing youngsters, a great PK, consistant goaltending (say what you want about crow/softgoals, he has matured so much in his career)… it was amazing.

    Everyone said that crow needed to steal one…. well i guess he was waiting to steal the important one! He was huge last night. The second goal was a little flukey, cant blame him on that one, and the first was more on the posistion of the defense than Crow. He shut the door in a big way down the stretch.

    Big ups to Shaw… you take a puck in the face, and you want it so bad that they have to kick you off the ice cuz you are playing while bleeding. That kid just doesn’t quit!

    Quite possibly the best shot in the league- The Toews five hole wrister. When he gets time to get it off it is MONEY!

    Great to see a guy like Bicks come up big again. I know there will be people here who will speculate his value and how he made more $$$ last night, but i know there were people here who have been trying trade him for 2-3 years… (i may have been one of them at one point). But he keep fighting… went from 4th line/Scratch to stalwart on the best 3rd line in the NHL, to the net presence for 2 Conn Smythe Winners.

    I was bout to talk about getting ready for next yeat and junk, but no… lets just enjoy this right now… come draft day, we can start to speculate rosters and junk… Dont let this high end!

    btw to Dickie- Olczyk wasn’t too horrible… like it was said a few days ago… i think he tries to not be biased since people know he was a Chicago Guy, and it ends up coming off favoring the other team, but i didn’t notice it too bad last night.

  20. McKay says:

    I thought Keith’s toothless smile would last as the Blackhawks’ most iconic Stanley Cup image in the Rocky Era… Shaw’s bleeding face is a very close second.

  21. Mike says:

    How SB is not GM of the year is beyond me. Cup….dismantle the team……1st round exit….rebuild the team…..1st round exit…….finish rebuilding the team……Cup

    Will look with excitement on how he builds 13-14

  22. Pete says:

    HAWKS WIN THE CUP. WHAT A GREAT WIN AND SERIES. IT WAS OBVIOUS TO ME WE HAD THE BETTER TEAM AND IN THE NHL THE BEST TEAM WINS OVER A 7 GAME SERIES. CONGRATS TO THE HAWKS AND ALL THE FANS. WE HAVE GREAT SCORERS BUT THAT AIRTIGHT SKATING DEFENSE WAS AWESOME. EVEN STA;BERG WITH FRESH LEGS HELPED AT THE END AND DAVE BOLLAND WITH THE GAME WINNER. UNBELIEVABLE.

  23. Tom Jaremka says:

    Ahhhhhhh boys……to everyone on this blog…….JS, Raptor, Wall, Mike, Mckay, Pete…….everyone……….what an un-efin-believeable victory!!!

    The Hawks STOLE the game from the big, bad Bruins. My guess is that the Bruins figured that they would get the game to overtime, after the Hawks tied it up. The Hawks knew different. This team NEVER quits playing. We STOLE it, boys!! STOLE it!!

    The Hawks fought through injuries and cheap shots to get this Cup. Although I can’t believe the crap that the Bruins got away with, it was all worth it. Those Bruin fans were STUNNED!!!

    Okay……..camp opens September 15th………who’s going to get released and……………oh, forget about it and let’s enjoy this victory!!!

    UN-EFIN-BELIEVEABLE!!!!!

  24. Andrew Raven says:

    What a ride! The Hawks are the 2013 SC winners! Great Coaching, a first-class organization, a very talented group of players, very good goaltending, mobile defense, a lot of depth up front, great team chemistry, the right mental approach, AND the willingness of each and every one of them to sacrifice their bodies for the other teammates have brought us this far! Well-deserved, Blackhawks!

    Now that we know what certain players had to endure injury-wise, it’s even more amazing that they have fought through some nasty injuries. For example, Handzus played with a broken wrist and had his knee injured at some point, and how about Bicks who played with a grade 2 knee sprain! Those are warriors, hockey players are a breed apart when it comes to toughness. Yeah, you’re right McKay, Shaw’s bleeding face will stick in our memories for the rest of our lives, one of the most iconic Cup images right behind Duncan Teeth! When Shaw, with blood dripping down the right side of his face, was finally hoisting Lord Stanley, he screamed, overwhelmed by emotions, Fuckin A! I think there’s no better image that describes this 2013 Cup-winning Chicago Blackhawks team. A hard-working Team with high-end skill which has been resilient all year and has played as a team. It’s a squad of winners, I saw it in their faces throughout the year. Yes, a lot has to go your way if you want to win, but luck (which a SC winner needs) has nothing to do with mere chance, but when preparation meets opportunity!

    If I remember correctly, it was Sr. Brad who said this year’s edition of the Hawks ARE NOT GOING TO LOSE because you can see it in their eyes. He also said we Hawks fans should just lay back and enjoy the ride. I admit I wasn’t nearly as relaxed as Brad during the SC FInal, but I’m really glad he was right with his prediction!

  25. Mike says:

    Tom agreed….but won’t be long. I think FA starts next week. I would love to be in the room when SB negotiates with Leddy, Bickell, Kruger and even Stalberg. All rising solid NHLers.

    I think SBs toughest job will be saying goodbye to Zues, Emery, Rosy and Mayers. These four were all great Blackhawks’ teammates.

    I am excited about next year already. The team will be younger but more experienced at the same time.

  26. RyanDale says:

    Quickly, I love the fact Bolland was able to get the Winner!! Good for him, I wish him well if he’s moving on

    That was the greatest exhibition of sticking a knife in a crowd and twisting it that I have EVER seen.

    Was really rooting for CC to get the CST bit thats ok. He is a Champion regardless

    I said here we would win in 6 for one simple reason. We are a Great road team and we could get 2 in Boston. The guys bore that out.

    19 is a monster, Z33 is not, The maturity from 19-88 from ’10′ til ’13 is night and day

    I Love my Hawks !!!

  27. auggie1955 says:

    What made the game winning goal extra special was the fact that Bolland slipped behind Johnny Boychuk. Boychuk, the guy who made the cheap shot on Toews in game 5 was nothing more than a spectator on Bolland’s goal.

  28. joey Zamboni says:

    Tom J. I beg to differ……. We TOOK the game!!!!

    I understand your feeling that we stole it, but that makes it sound like we snuck in & took it….. We confronted them straight up and got in their FACE & TOOK it right out of their hands!!!!! Impressive!!!!

    How great was it that Toews & Bickell beat Chara for the tying goal & Bolland BEAT Boychuck for the winner!!! And props to Frolik, his tip almost went in & Bolland was there to tap it in!!

    There can be no doubt that the BEST team won! Boston was a worthy adversary and the 2nd best team in the league.

    Congrats Boys, enjoy it !!!!!!!

  29. JS says:

    I feel like re-watching that game right now.

  30. Phil says:

    All I could think of at the end after we took the lead was “shock and awe!!” The Garden was as stunned as we all were. Jaw dropping amazing stuff, that we will never see the likes of again in our lives. I’m still buzzing. Thankfully, I had a generator for my house since power went out at around 6:00. Stayed off until 12:15. People without generators had to be freaking out. No electricity for a Cup clinch game? NOOOOOOO!

    Despite all the home cooking the B’s could not deliver a knockout on their home slush. They said humidity in the Garden was 87%. They turned off the AC. Maybe the worst ice conditions ever.

    The Cpt. was magnificent last night. What an effort. He was not to be denied, and the goal he scored was classic Tazer. Rask gave him the 5 hole and he buried it rolling puck and all.

    Corey should have won Conn Smythe in my opinion as he was incredible last night. Good on Kane to acknowledge Corey. Am I wrong to remember they gave Lucic, Sequin, and Corey stars of the game? WTF??

    I am so proud of this team. No quit in this bunch. They really were the best team in the league and it was a fitting climax to a magical season albeit lockout shortened.

    NBC coverage needs to get better. I went to the radio feed at the intermissions. Hockey fans deserve better than what NBC delivered.

    What an entertaining playoff run. Taut, nerve wracking dramas. Be proud Hawks fans. This is our time. Let’s worry about contracts in a few more days.

  31. Phil says:

    Yes, JS me too. Gonna happen this afternoon when I get home.

  32. southsidehawkman says:

    What a game what a season!!!! I’m going back to my comment on game 1 . The Hawks will go as far as Crawford takes them! I watched the game with. my 4. Year old vacation and it was sweet. This Hawks team was special. Almost from game 1. A lot of players proved my wrong, handzus, bolland and Seabrook an amazing team and an amazing resume for this team. Hands down one of Chicagos best all time ream seasons. This makes suffering through the lean yrs worth it 2013 Stanley cup champions!

  33. BigSmokej says:

    The most incredible ending anyone could dream up. After watching post game coverage I stayed up watching the last 1:38 over and over again. Watching the fans go crazy when Bolland scored was beautiful. can’t wait for the parade.

  34. Tre says:

    Though I’m still giddy with the Cup in Chicago and all the things that have happened in the last 12hours (I love the YouTube of Jim Cornielison being serenaded by all of Butch McGuires with the National Anthem), I’m really interested to hear Tab’s prognostications and analisys of who stays and who goes. Back in the summer of 2010 he did some great comparisons that I assume go on behind closed doors in making these decisions comparing stats and income–real nerd stuff that was so informative and he was right on almost everything. That was when I became a fan of Tab and I hope he does it again.

    Regardless, what a season! This team was special.

  35. Jeremiah Zinchavich says:

    I’ve been reading these posts since midway through the ’09-’10 season – by far the best comments/insight I’ve seen. Great job guys – and thanks Tab for your consistent reviews and thought provoking summaries. I agree with a lot of the posts so I won’t be a regular, but as JR said last time – ‘It’s the Chicago Blackhawks, man’ so no better time than now. I’m 51 (born in Cup year 1961) and I was that kid on the commercial with the radio tucked under the blanket when the Canadians broke my heart in ’71. Fast forward 39 years and they were changed to tears of joy. Not quite as emotional this year but really damned appreciative of the efforts the boys gave. Unlike past Hawk teams (even the 09-10 team) these guys don’t know the meaning of ‘giving up’. After reviewing the series lots of unsung heroes will receive some worthy praise. Quick attaboy to #67 – if he didn’t redirect Oduya’s shot, it wouldn’t have hit the post, and #36 wouldn’t have been there to swat it home. A privilege to post here with the greatest fans in the world.

  36. BarryJo says:

    My third cup 1961-2010-2013 I love my Hawks! sooooo proud. My Son and I were at the Madhouse for the overtime series clincher vs. L.A. Along with the greatest and most knowledgeable fans in the world! GO HAWKS! Barry Jo

  37. ereignis says:

    I discovered this blog in the days just prior to the end of the lockout and have been reading it ever since. Thanks to Tab and the thoughtful commentators on here for your enlightening discussion and debate; though I grew up playing hockey (I stopped when I was 15), I’ve learned a lot about the sport thanks to you.

    As a fan, this cup run feels entirely different than the one in ’10. After Minnesota, each opponent was significant in some way: one last Western Conference playoff with a long-time rival franchise in the Wings (also a playoff rematch of the series from ’09), a challenge from last year’s Cup champs in the Kings, and finally, a series with the most dominant playoff team from the East who also happened to be a storied original six team in the Bruins (who also had to beat two original six teams and then the best team in the East to meet the Hawks).

    But last night was unbelievable. In contrast to the awkwardly anti-climactic victory over the Flyers in ’10 (having to wait for replay footage still seems unjust), last night’s stunner seemed like a fitting end to the playoffs for the Hawks if for no other reason than the fact it was dramatic and immediately decisive. After cathartic OT winners against Detroit and L.A., why not flip the script, snatch victory from the abyss, and do something unprecedented by scoring the clincher in the final minute of regulation? With two minutes remaining in the third, I was resigned to a game seven. One game minute later and I had been practically doused with my bar-neighbors’ beers twice as both goals forced people to stand up from their stools and punch their hands to the ceiling, despite the drinks they were holding.

    I’ll never forget seeing Shaw go to the bench multiple times throughout the game for a towel as his wounds were reopened time and again. That kid is a living metaphor for this Hawks team. It was good to see Bolland have a hand in a couple key goals this series, even though I think it’s a good thing that this is probably the last year we’ll see him in a Hawks sweater. The Captain was formidable and that game tying wrister was vintage Toews. And as for Crawford, last night wasn’t the only game the Hawks don’t win if he doesn’t stand on his head. What Kane said about the Conn Smythe was an understatement: Crawford was snubbed, flat out. While it was heartening to see Toews turn it around in the Detroit series, while no one expected Bicks to become a monster, while Sharp nearly rivalled his ’10 playoff performance, and while Kane’s offensive contributions were indeed timely, no one had to deal with the mental pressures that Crawford had to deal with and no one rose to the occasion as consistently as he did. If it was Crawford who needed Seabs’ pep talk in that series, it would have already been too late. And, just for comparison’s sake, let’s stack him up against Niemi in ’10. In 1,322 playing minutes, Niemi’s GAA was 2.63 while his SV% was .910. In 1,504 minutes, Crawford’s GAA was 1.84 and had a SV% of .932. Of course, his numbers weren’t the best of all playoff goaltenders, but the numbers don’t tell the whole story (and I’d be interested in entertaining a debate comparing Crawford and the ’10 Niemi on the basis of the Hawks’ D performances). In Game 3 against Detroit, I remember the Wings fans taunting Crawford by chanting his name to the tune of “BULL SHIT.” What cowardly foolishness. The way he bounced back both within and between games, the way he withstood media and fan pressure, and the way he stood tall against some of the game’s best net-minders all add a vast set of qualitative considerations to the solid quantitative dimension of his game.

    Thanks again for everyone’s thoughtful insights!

  38. Tom Jaremka says:

    Joey Zam……..good thoughts. Either way, Bettman HANDED it to the best captain in pro sports and he handed it to the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks!!!

  39. Pete says:

    Also, I want to thank everyone on this website. I have learned a lot about hockey here and it makes it more fun to watch. Looking forward to the parade on Friday. What a great season.

  40. McKay says:

    The Conn Smyth debate is an interesting one. Kane led the team with 19 points and really closed the gap on Sharp’s 10 goals with his 9 (Bick’s had 9-8). In 2010, Toews had 22 points (in 1 fewer game).

    Personally, I thought if Crawford wasn’t going to get it, the NHL was acknowledging that the defense accounted for his low GAA. In which case I thought it would go to the best defender, Duncan Keith (also a bright shiny star for the NHL to poster up). Keith also ate incredible minutes in the Final and I thought led the charge in standing up the opposition up at the blue line (how many opposing offsides calls did we see in these playoffs starting about midway through the DET series… that’s Keith and Hammer doing work), led our transitional play, and set the standard for how pinch and join the play when necessary.

    But very happy for Kane. His post-game is showing he’s a deserving recipient.

  41. Sr. Brad says:

    Well, I said that the Hawks would win after the detroit series…until then I wasn’t sure, because I didn’t see what I needed to see, especially from Toews and Kane. But after game 5 vs. detroit, I knew…that game was bigger than all the rest because until that point the Hawks weren’t sure who they were…failures or champions…but Toews and Kane decided that they would not drop out early 3 years in a row and led their team to another gear, another level…that’s when I knew. When a lot of folks were ripping Kane in LA, and justifiably, I stood up for Kane because no matter what Kane may do from time to time, he’s like Toews in that they will always address a weakness and get better…thus I knew he would rebound, and sure enough, a hat trick.

    The Boston series was not my favorite…everyone has their own beiliefs and even opinions on the game, but the bruins determined that the only way they could beat the Hawks was by brutalizing them, thinking that the “pretty” Hawk stars wouldn’t step up to the pounding…well, the Hawks, to a man (even Stahlberg) did…and bruins helped to turn the series into a blood bath.

    I was telling you that I watched the playoffs from a Swedish feed instead of the NA feeds. During the series they were very much “sympathetic” towards what the Hawks had to endure from both the bruins and the refs…after the game last night, they had Anders Hedberg come on, via satellite, not in the studio, and he said that this Hawks team might be the best ever because they used the playoffs to show the world that they could play ANY STYLE OF GAME AND STILL WIN…he also said, that he didn’t think that the Hawks could stand up to 7 games of this abuse, and that it was a good thing they won in 6, which I thought was pretty funny. Essentially the Swedes felt that the bruins were thugs in the series and the Hawks talent found a way to win.

    I want to take the time to congratulate and number of people…first the players, especially Toews and Kane who together finally figured out that this was THEIR team and if the Hawks were going to win, they had to lead. This year was a radical departure for Kane…he went to Switzerland and became a man with perspective. He came home, and became a complete hockey player (he was robbed of the Lady Byng BTW)…he’s still not my preferred style of player, but I now have full respect for him, whether he needs it or not.

    To the Michaels…Handzus and Roszival who played great, long careers in the NHL without a Cup, a huge congratulations…both played their best hockey in the playoffs, and both just kept getting better…now we learn that Handzus had an MCL and a broken wrist. You are both CHAMPIONS and will never be forgotten in Chicago.

    To Dave Bolland…it was a great goal, and a great effort…your time and efforts in Chicago are appreciated and won’t be forgotten…to Michael Frolik…what can I say, he entered the season as a “weight” around the neck of this franchise, and he ended the season as one of the key players…if we can’t afford him next year, it will be sad, but again, Frolik will never be forgotten, as he was incredibly good ALL YEAR LONG and a huge part of this championship team.

    To Kruger and Shaw, our two 5th round gems, THANK YOU…Shaw was my MVP, tied with Bickell, but literally Kruger wasn’t far behind…these two kids are not sexy players, they just win…neither is likely to score 30 goals and 80 points, but both will hold up another Cup, I guarantee it. They will both be part of this franchise for a LONG time…and I can’t wait for Kruger/Shaw part 3…Garret Ross, our 5th rounder from last year.

    To our Defence, thanks for taking the sh$t from the bruins and standing tall…Sebs started the playoffs with his head in the clouds, he finished it as a top defenceman. Keith went through a lot, skated a lot of minutes, but when we were down by one, he pinched perfectly and prevented the puck from escaping…he then had the wherewithall to make a brilliant short pass to Toews, who then set up Bickell…that’s Norris Trophy stuff…to Hammer, I was “mad” at you for costing us Niemi, who I thought was going to become the best Hawks goalie ever, but you delivered my friend…your playoff performance was THE best of all Hawks defencemen, and you elevated your game to an elite level…GRACIAS! To Oduya, like Kane, not my favourite style of player, thank you for getting so tough and so consistent throughout the playoffs…you are a huge part of this team, and a huge part moving forward! To Leddy…LEARN…you have to want to be a professional athlete MORE…did any of you see Leddy after the game? Even next to Keith, who’s not a big guy, Leddy looked like a child…he’s not strong enough mentally or physically, he has the talent but he has to want to be a champion…Nick is certainly part of this, and had a very good season, but he went south in the playoffs and was a boy amongst men.

    To Marian Hossa Jr. (Saad), thanks for competing all year long…even when you found yourself in over your head, you put your head down and fought…you were very good during the finals, and we desperately needed your physicality.

    To Sharp and Hossa, thanks for being such professionals, and bringing it every night…HOF end to a HOF career for Hoss???

    To Bicks, what an awesome progression and what a huge game tying goal…9 goals in the playoffs? Wow…and Bicks wants to stay, he and Bowman will get a deal done…Thanks Bicks…and finally to Corey Crawford…what a wonderful post season he had…and a very good year as well…Crawford was a 2nd round pick by Tallon that spent a “lifetime” in Rockford learning the trade…he came through the system with good training, and has become one of the better goalies in the league…he didn’t win the Conn Smythe (game 5 ensured that) but he was a key member of our team defence…and many might not have noticed this, but Q decided to “abandon” the points in our defensive zone during the Boston series, and for part of LA, in favour of the forwards playing lower, helping the D against the huge boston forwards…that meant throughout the series the Hawks depended upon CC to stop all the point shots and control rebounds…that’s a heck of a lot of responsibility on the goalie, but CC obviously handled it very well. I think the fact that CC has “big bombs” when he stumbles works against him, which it may very well do come FA time. So in 2 years time, we may very well still have Crawford alongside Ranta giving us excellent goaltending.

    To the Coaches…Q and company, thanks for all the hard work…this was likely Q’s best work as a coach, ever…he had this team believing in team defence from day 1…when you think back to this season and wonder why, it was the goals, the STs, or even just the goaltending…it was TEAM DEFENCE FIRST…and that requires everyone buying in and no egos allowed. To Jamie Kompon, thanks, but not thanks with that pathetic PP.

    To the front office led by the Bowmans…just a terrific job handling this franchise. Dale Tallon did a number of things right, that helped us towards the SC in 2010, but he also did a ton of things poorly, including his drafting…yes, he took a few great players along the way, but other than Toews and Kane, he was blindly guessing at the rest and it showed. Plus he gave away Rocky’s money like there was no end of it. Stan hasn’t drafted better than any other GM, he has handled the contracts well enough, did a good job with what he got back in the trading away of our Cup team, and has gotten better at FA’s…Rozy and Handzus were HUGE pickups by Bowman that didn’t cost us much of anything…he is also responsible for the great program in Rockford and a log jam of NHL ready talent that is bursting at the seams…the full scope of what Bowman has created here won’t be fully understood or seen by many until in or about 2 years time. Our off season shopping, and spending splurges will be done exclusively through Rockford…this is how we are going to be able to keep Bickell, Kruger and Leddy, and still be able to resign Toews and Kane in 2 years time. Heck of a job…and although the season just ended, I am fired up thinking about Ranta, LeBlanc, Pirri, Clendening, Smith, Morin, Hayes, TT, Stanton, Danault, McNeil, Johns, and Ross…

    Finally to Rocky for believing in the franchise as a kid, and seeing his vision through when he took over…it is a first class organization and a very smart one as well. Kudos to the CEO, and thank you!

    Thanks to Tab so much for this great site and his excellent insights, and the incredible collection of Hawk’s fans who are so intelligent, and passionate for their team…as JS said, it is a great time to be a Hawks fan and will be for a long time…I am one of those who will be ready tomorrow to start talking about the upcoming draft and the offseason moves that need to be made…so everyone get ready…special thanks to my favorities…Wall, RyanDale, IceHogst, ER, Negzz, JS, SSHM, Pete, Peter, Mike, Phil, Tom, Joey, McKay, Tim, BigSmoke, Travis, Dickie, Tails, Ratboy, Elio, Shamrock, Rufus, Gou, Hawks58, Ali, Torourke, BrianB and Hawkey…and if I missed anyone, SORRY!!!

    2 Cups in 4 Years…someone needs to say it…we all thought it back in 2009 verus Detroit…

    Dynasty….

  42. torourke says:

    Still on a high after last night. Great posts by everyone above. My two cents:

    –My seven year old son is still learning about hockey, and he asked me if it was legal that both teams pulled their goalies at the end of the game. That had not even occurred to me. Within a span of about a minute, both teams had pulled their goalies. I wonder if that is some sort of record in the SCF. I’m sure Elias Sports Bureau is on it.

    –The NHL Network broadcast has a great shot of Bickell’s family and fiancee celebrating those last two goals with Crawford’s family and fiancee. Very touching to watch.

    –If this was Dave Bolland’s last game as a Hawk, then I will really miss him. He didn’t have his best year, but he was clutch when it counted, and has provided some incredible memories for Hawk fans. Besides, he looks like the fifth member of the Beatles.

    –I am very happy for Handzus, Mayers, Roszival, and Emery. Wonderful to see guys at the tail end of their careers get to hoist a Stanley Cup for the first time.

    –I love the fact that Kane acknowledged that Crawford might have deserved the CST a bit more than he did.

    –Congrats to the entire organization on this win.

    –Thanks to all fellow commenters who have entertained and enlightened me. And a big thanks again to Tab.

  43. Sr. Brad says:

    Torourke, you’re right about Bolly, it will be sad to see him go, but at his age, with his price tag, and with his penchant for missing games, and with our team and system loaded with ideal replacements, I just don’t know how he stays…he had a rough season, and wasn’t great in the playoffs for a lot of it…but he did seem to be getting better, and really settled in on that 4th line…what a great way for him to potentially finish his career in Chicago…great goal…great hustle.

    The shots of Bicks and CC’s families were priceless…it takes so much commitment by parents for their children to play sports, especially hockey!!! Great stuff…I’ll can well imagine that Toew’s parents must be very proud of their son…I think in 2o1o, it was the Toew’s family and and one other that were in the crowd in Philly for game 6 and gave us similar moments…

  44. Barton Organ Loft says:

    I can’t say better what everyone here has said…BUT
    Rozseval needs a bit more credit and Kudos. He stepped up not only Brookbank, but Leddy and maybe even Oduya!
    Way t go Michael! Well deserved lap with the cup!!

  45. Gou says:

    In the words of Jimmy Cagney, “Top of the World Ma, Top of the World.”

    Great commentary by all and thanks Tab for the great review/insight.

    My third cup and feel like a kid in a candy store.

    No reason to rehash what has been said except it was great to be part of this group during the year as it made it fun to read.

    Like I said when we were down 3-1 to the dead wings, Ya gotta believe baby.
    OBTW- NHL network all Blackhawks highlights over and over. Can’t get enough.

  46. wall says:

    Great Post Brad… well said!!! I second most of your thoughts!

    Second the Kane thoughts… The Guy is an ELITE/skilled player- and he did show up once paired w/ the two-battering Rams (19/29)…

    Is Ross as quick and nimble a skater as Kruger and Shaw??? If yes- the guy will be a GREAT surprise! I always told you (watching open practices) that Frolik and Kruger were the two hardest working guys on the ice- what I read- Ross is the same type.

    I really hope the Hawks find a way to keep Rosey… I knew from the 1st practice – the guy would be a huge asset- but I had no idea- that he was that patient/smart in the O zone. Perhaps he will sign cheap knowing that Hawks can rest him 25-35 games a year. The Hawks coaches did a great job maintaining his old bones.

    If Leddy and Kruger can put on 10-15 lbs. of muscle in next 2-3 years- Look out!

  47. Negzz says:

    Brad, Wall, JS, Tom, Mike, etc etc, etc: Great season boys!! Terrific posts all season and these past few years…

    Brad- Particularly and greatly value your insights on Rockford and in the system.. Looking forward to seeing some of these kids come up and grow with the team while the core is still in place. You’re a great resource- thank you!

    Tab- Thanks for your insights, commitment to the team and sport and giving us a place to share our passion for hockey with other Blackhawks fans.

    Comments:
    1. Quenneville: Was very surprised/interested to hear Q comments re sliding Bickell off line-1 for the start of the B’s series. Turns out it was in response to 29′s MCL tear and had covered his tracks with his publically stated “balancing the lines” misdirection. IMPRESSIVE Q! (Also amazed no mention of Bicks injury ever leaked.) I take back ALL my complaining about the move and inaccurately speculating that is was about your over-thinking and/or outsmarting yourself. This must be why YOU are a certain Hall of Fame NHL coach and I’m not. Well done, my hat is off to you sir! :-)
    2. Toews: When are we going to learn more about his injury(s)? I am expecting wrist, concussion, and maybe more?
    3. Hoss: I will again re-state my thoughts that 81 may be a buyout candidate in the next year or so (willingly), after he’s had some time to digest his career, mounting injuries (including his new disc problem), and now his 2nd Cup.. Will be interesting to follow along.
    4. Stan: No doubt that repeating in the cap era is an impressive feat- congratulations is well deserved. Of course, it will be more tough choices to make moving forward to keep us as a Cup contender and not simply a good team. Bolland has got to be moved for cap space, Rosy would have to take a huge cut to stay, Stalberg is gone, Bicks will cost $3M in view of market signings these past few weeks and his playoff performance, etc.. On that note, the more I have watched him the more I like Frolik! If we’re not adding new FA blood at 2C, I’d sure work hard to keep him on the roster. Guy just works his you know what off…

    All in all- what can you say after a finish like that!?? Great time to be a fan of the Indian head! Thanks to all for making it an entertaining season…

  48. Sr. Brad says:

    With regards to Rozy, it was you who said that Rozy was a beast against us last year in the playoffs and that the Hawks should consider signing him as a FA…that’s what they did…and for all the time that Bowman has been here, Rozy is likely the best FA pickup we have had…you can’t understate his value to this year’s team…cutting down to 5 DMen for the last 2 games was possible because of Rozy…I too would like to keep Rozy and pair him with Clendening for next season, but Brookbank is also under contract, and we simply can’t keep both…Stanton has to play next year, and Clendening is too good and too valuable to keep in Rockford again. Trade Brookbank and resign Rozy to a 1 year deal.

  49. RyanDale says:

    That would be great if we could keep Rozy. I wonder what his thoughts will be after things settle. Remember when he had that shootout winner? ha!

    Still on cloud nine here, at least til the parade is over. Wish I could be in the area to feel the buzz of the city with all the fans. Been trying to follow the ‘Cupdates’ at csnchicago.com to see how things are going.

    What an incredible season it’s been. There was a time I thought the season was sure to be cancelled and to have it turn out this way is just a dream.

    Thanks to all here for making it even more enjoyable. Hope everyone has had fun celebrating the 2013 Stanley Cup Championship !! What a feeling it is. And to think, it took only 17sec. :-)

  50. wall says:

    great call Brad- if they could trade Bbank- and put his money toward Rosey- and hopefully Rosey takes a discount cuz he knows Hawks can play him say 45-60 games…
    let Stanton/Clendening play backup… might work out.

    Maybe trade 36- great asset when healthy… but almost never healthy… but Boy did it PAY to have 4th line guys who make 2.2M and 3.75M… just don’t know how long Hawks can afford that luxury…

    Brad- any thoughts on Ross’s skating/speed?

  51. Sr. Brad says:

    Ross’ skating has gotten better every year…the biggest reason he went to a Top 5 goal scorer this season, was largely due to his improved quickness, and knowing where to be on the ice to score goals.

    And while Ross can’t be called a burner on skates, he can definitley move…again, reminds me so much of Shaw, and I don’t see his skating as a problem at all. Just watching Ross, Danault and McNeil have those 2 games at the end of the season in Rockford tells me that all 3 are going to need one full season in the AHL…but in 2 years, Ross will be in our lineup…he’s too tough, smart and tenacious not to be.

  52. Gou says:

    What kind of money opens up with buyout options for Olesz or Montidor (or just trade Montidor)? And Brookbank (nice call Brad).
    Doesn’t Olesz make about 3mil/yr?

    That should open up money for Bicks,Rosey and I believe Kruger RFA?

  53. Morrison says:

    There was a lot more scoring in the playoffs in 2010 then 2013 by all teams… Plus Tazers & kaners pt totals in 2010 were 2 of the highest 3 pt totals in playoff history.

    2013
    Kaner had (9-10) 19 pts in 23 games

    2010
    Tazer had (7-22) 29 pts in 22 games
    Kaner had (10-18) 28 pts in 22 games
    Sharpy had (11-11) 22 pts in 22 games

  54. Morrison says:

    If you wanted to try to keep as many starters as possible, you could keep everyone except for stals, with a 21 man roster…

    Bickell (3.250) / Toews (6.300) / Kane (6.300)
    Sharp (5.900) / Handzus (1.000) / Hossa (5.275)
    Saad (0.894) / Shaw (0.578) / Smith (0.563)
    Kruger (1.125) / Bolland (3.375) / Frolik (2.300)
    Bollig (0.575)

    Keith (5.538) / Seabrook (5.800)
    Hjalmarsson (3.500) / Oduya (3.383)
    Leddy (1.800) / Rozsival (1.500)

    Crawford (2.667)
    Raanta (1.400)

    trade: carcillo & brookbank
    amnesty buyout: Montador (-2.750) & Olesz (-3.125)

    salary cap: 64,300,000 (no extra 6m on top of cap next yr)
    bonuses: 642,500
    21 man roster cap hit: 64,265,500
    cap space: 34,500

  55. wall says:

    Morrison- like the idea but… 29, 16, will make more $$$ than that + I think the buyout $$$ are not 1 for 1 (I think)… I think 29 is going to get $3.75 Min.
    16- $1.75 min. and then u have to find takers for Cbomb and BBank????

  56. Sr. Brad says:

    Its a great effort Morrison, but its even more than just what Wall said…you are stunting and harming your players in the minors by not advancing them…the time has come whether we are all ready for it or not…players like Smith, Pirri, Morin, Hayes, and Stanton have to advance to the show, or they will go pick up bad habits and go downhill. Handzus, Bolland, Rozy and Frolik, as valuable as they were to the Hawks, simply have to be moved to make room for this great farm system to develop and expand.

  57. Gou says:

    Stan has been listening, but in reality he has had this plan all along.

    Olesz and Montidor gone. My bet he is still not done. He will keep a good portion of this team and leave space for a couple of the dogs to fill in.

    I just want to throw this out there, and I know the money is not there, but what do you think this team would look like with Lecavalier?

    But stranger thinks have happened. If Vinny wants to win again, what an option to take a pay cut and land with a three year deal with Reddsteel.

    And I agree Brad, the kids have to make the jump.

    Either way gonna be a fun summer without the quick pain from 2010 with the decimation .

  58. Morrison says:

    Bickell (3.5) / Toews (6.3) / Kane (6.3)
    Sharp (5.9) / Lecavalier (3.0) / Hossa (5.3)
    Saad (0.9) / Shaw (0.6) / Smith (0.6)
    Carcillo (0.8) / Kruger (1.5) / Morin (0.9)
    Bollig (0.6) / Steckel (1.1)

    Seabrook (5.8) / Keith (5.5)
    Hjalmarsson (3.5) / Oduya (3.4)
    Leddy (1.8) / Rozsival (1.4)
    Stanton (0.9)

    Crawford (2.7)
    Raanta (1.4)

    bonuses: 0.6
    23 man roster: 64.2

  59. RyanDale says:

    How the hell can you be blacked out from watching the parade. WTF NHL?

  60. Gou says:

    NHL Network and Comcast.

  61. RyanDale says:

    blacked out on nhl network , …dont get csn…. its a parade for crissake!!

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