The Chicago Blackhawks won the 2013 Stanley Cup with a Game 6 effort that stuck a shiv into the hearts of the Boston Bruins. With just over a minute to go Monday night, the Blackhawks showed the resolve of the champions that they now are.
The TD Garden crowd went from ecstasy to disbelief as Chicago scored two goals in the space of 17 seconds late in the third period. Bryan Bickell and Dave Bolland will live on in Blackhawks lore.
A game effort from the Bruins looked to have been enough to send the series back to Chicago. The 'Hawks dug a little deeper and, as a result, are flying home alone with their second Stanley Cup in the last four seasons.
Patrick Kane was named the recipient of the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoffs MVP. Kane rightfully cited Corey Crawford as a guy who just might have been snubbed for the award following the game on the NBC broadcast.
Crawford kept Chicago in the game in the face of a furious Boston assault. The 'Hawks could have been down two or three goals after the opening period. Instead, they trailed by a single goal.
Jonathan Toews celebrated his return to the ice with a second-period goal that tied the game after the first 40 minutes. The Bruins grabbed a 2-1 lead in the 13th minute of the third period. With just over a minute to play, Boston looked to have held serve and evened the series at three games apiece.
Instead, the 'Hawks kept their eyes on the prize, fought their way to the front of the Boston net and capped off a historic final series.
Chicago took a pounding from the opening puck drop. They killed four Bruins power plays. They overcame being outhit and out drawn by Boston. They overcame a rabid Boston crowd.
The Blackhawks persevered like champions Monday night and can now claim the franchise's fifth NHL title. Chicago will celebrate long into the night. They certainly deserve it.