Thursday, June 10, 2010
STANLEY CUP ROUNDUP: DAY 57
CHICAGO 4, PHILADELPHIA 3 (Blackhawks win series 4-2)
It's been since 1961 that Blackhawks fans have waited for the Cup to return to their Original 6 city. There were only 6 teams back then. And now finally, the Cup has come back to Chicago.
Give all the credit in the world to the Flyers, who mounted one of the most impressive playoff runs I've ever seen. If it weren't for some deficiencies at goaltender, they would have been doing laps with the Cup. Look for them to address that need during the offseason.
Game 6 itself, I felt, was marred by overly tight officiating. Chris Pronger got a 2 minute cross-checking penalty for something he's done 10,000 times in this series, and 10,000,000 in the playoffs. Seabrook and Sopel each got soft minor penalties that would have been let go if this weren't an elimination game.
It's more than a little unfortunate that there were 9 total power play in this game.
That being said, I'm thankful that the refs swallowed their whistles and the pivotal goals were all tallied even-strengthed.
Including Patrick Kane's game-winner, which wriggled through Michael Leighton, who utterly failed to hold the post and be solid against an 87 degree shot. But as I said, that's Philly's only noteworthy weakness. Although I will pat myself on the back for declaring it so before this series.
While Eastern PA might be upset, I think the rest of the hockey world is glad. Then again, they'd be glad if Philly had won too (except me, I wouldn't've been glad). This is a big market city winning a title for the first time in decades. You have to appreciate it.
But how close did the Flyers come to being one of the most compellingly miraculous stories in sports history? Needing a shootout win to qualify for the playoffs, coming from 0-3 down against the Bruins. They are very very close to achieving victory in this Stanley Cup thing. So watch out next season.