Most Dazzling Images from the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs
There isn't a sporting event on the face of the planet that features highs and lows better than the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and 2013's version of the spectacle was no different. On one side of the ice, the relief that comes with sweet and everlasting victory.
On the other side, players are forced to take a knee and watch as their opposition celebrates. They're left with an empty "so close, yet so far" feeling after months of brutal competition.
And there to capture every moment of it are the photographers.
Relive to 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs by checking out some of the best photographs from Getty.
No Misery Quite Like This
Johnny Boychuk of the Boston Bruins looks on as the Chicago Blackhawks celebrate their Stanley Cup victory. The B's lead Game 6 until two quick goals from Chicago in the final minutes of the game ended their Cup hopes in a dash.
Victory Is Sweet
Captain of the Chicago Blackhawks Jonathan Toews sips what one can only assume is champagne from the Stanley Cup. This is the second Cup victory for the man they call "Captain Serious"—this one is likely sweet due to the adversity No. 19 had to overcome en route to lifting the grail.
We Get the Feeling This Has Happened Before
Patrick Kane worked hard in 2013 to shed his party boy image. He grew from an immature teenager to a grown man before our very eyes, but you'll have to forgive him for letting loose after winning a second Stanley Cup championship.
The Face of a New Champion
Champagne flies through the air and reflects light like falling snow as Andrew Shaw celebrates sweet Stanley Cup victory. Shaw's face was beaten and bloodied through Game 6—it would appear his stitches didn't quite hold up through the celebration.
Joy X 2
Marian Hossa is proof that it doesn't matter how many times you win the Stanley Cup, the feeling of joy never grows dull. After missing out on the Cup in back-to-back Finals with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings, Hossa is now a two-time winner.
Welcome to the Family Little Guy
Duncan Keith and wife Kelly-Rae celebrate a Cup victory with their newborn baby, Colton. Colton was born during the first round of the playoffs and doesn't appear to be a big fan of all the commotion. Still, this is the kind of photo that finds a place on the mantle and is never removed.
Jonathan Toews battled through adversity throughout the 2013 playoffs, but managed to break through when it mattered the most. He was outstanding for the Chicago Blackhawks as they seized momentum following Game 4.
Here, he hugs it out with coach Joel Quenneville.
Opponents on the Ice, Neighbours at Heart
Zdeno Chara and Marian Hossa are close friends when their two teams aren't doing battle for the Stanley Cup. They meet here in the handshake line and let bygones be bygones.
Andrew Shaw Is Down, But...
Andrew Shaw lays motionless, face down on the ice after taking a puck to the face during Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final. He'd miss some time getting the wound sutured shut, and would be asked to leave the ice on several occasions due to blood flowing from the cut upon returning.
He's Not out
Victory heals many wounds. That cut will close up in time, but no one will ever be able to take this Stanley Cup victory away from Andrew Shaw. Here he lifts the Cup above his head as blood trickles from a fresh cut.
One for the Road
The Stanley Cup Final between the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks featured a lot of checking and post-whistle scrums. Here, Michal Handzus lays out Boston's Rich Peverley.
Captain Serious Goes Flying
Chris Kelly and Jonathan Toews collide near the boards, and the Boston Bruin clearly gets the better of the exchange. The Bruins played Toews hard all series long, but he was able to come through when it mattered most.
A Glare for a Save
Tuukka Rask had an outstanding playoff until the final two minutes of play in Game 6. He's young and Rask will likely find his way back to the Final before his days in the NHL are over.
Chara Gives, Shaw Takes
Andrew Shaw had a very specific purpose in the Stanley Cup Final: to antagonize and draw penalties. Here Zdeno Chara gives him a face wash and then some as Z tries to protect his net.
Andrew Shaw Not Kissing Patrick Kane on the Cheek
Patrick Kane scores a hat trick-game-winning-series-clinching goal in double overtime against the Los Angeles Kings in Round 3. The Kings did their best to try to extend the series to a Game 6, but they just didn't have an answer for Kane in Game 5.
Sidney Crosby Locks Eyes with the Biggest Man on Skates
Sidney Crosby and Zdeno Chara didn't exactly make nice during the Eastern Conference Final, and it doesn't appear to have blown over in time for the handshake line. Our gut feeling is that we haven't seen these two captains do battle for the last time.
Pittsburgh Penguins Come Up Short in the ECF
The Pittsburgh Penguins loaded up on impending unrestricted free agents in an attempt to secure another Stanley Cup banner. Their offense went dry against the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Final, however.
That's Not Normal
Jonathan Quick does a split and flashes the glove during Game 4 between the L.A. Kings and Chicago Blackhawks. It wasn't enough though, as the puck beat him high to the stick side.
Gregory Campbell gave hockey fans around the world chills with this mind numbing effort during a penalty kill. Evgeni Malkin's slap shot literally breaks Campbell's leg, yet he finds a way back to his skates to cut off angles until play is stopped.
Despite the rockets of pain that were likely blowing up Campbell's senses, he's still out there trying to block shots on a broken leg. Unreal.
Another shot of Gregory Campbell as he tries to get back on his skates after having his leg broken by an Evgeni Malkin slap shot.
Nice Guy Bergeron
Patrice Bergeron is a fan favorite in Boston for various reasons, the least of which isn't his tendency to find little kids sitting on the glass to give his stick to. He does just that following Game 3 between the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins.
Matt Cooke, AKA the Comedian?
Matt Cooke and Milan Lucic are separated following a scrum. Cooke apparently said something very funny, given how amused Lucic appears. For what it's worth, we'd pay good money to see this fight happen on pay-per-view.
Good luck with that one, Cookie.
It's a Home Run!
Jeff Carter lays motionless on the ice after Duncan Keith bats him in the face from behind with his stick during Game 2 of the Western Conference Final. Keith would be suspended one game for the play, while Carter would receive stitches.
The Carousel Continues
The Pittsburgh Penguins ran into some unforeseen trouble in their own end when Marc-Andre Fleury proved ineffective in Round 1 against the New York Islanders. Tomas Vokoun ran with it all the way up to Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final, when he was yanked.
MAF would play out the rest of the game, but Vokoun was given the reigns again for Game 3.
Patrice Bergeron and Evgeni Malkin square up during Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final. The match was an intense one, as it isn't often you see star players drop the gloves like this during a playoff game.
Sidney Crosby Must Have Said Something Ridiculous
Based on the looks that Zdeno Chara and the linesman are giving Sidney Crosby, it seems likely that he said something on the ridiculous side.
Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins was a battle, and it's probably a good thing the two captains weren't allowed to drop the gloves here,what with Crosby having an iron plate holding his jaw together and what not.
The Closeout Win Is the Toughest to Secure
After taking a commanding 3-1 lead over the Chicago Blackhawks following a Game 4 victory, the Detroit Red Wings seemed poised for a trip to the Western Conference Final. The 'Hawks refused to die, and the Wings couldn't find a way to finish the eventual Cup winner off, and Chicago won Games 5, 6 and 7 to eliminate the Wings.
It took them seven games to do so, but the defending champion L.A. Kings were able to finish off the San Jose Sharks in Round 2. Here, Jonathan Quick raises his arms to the hockey heavens after the final buzzer sounds.
Joel Quenneville Is All Like "Hey Ref, Can I Send You a Christmas Card!?"
Or something like that.
Henrik Lundqvist's Re-Imagining of the "London Calling" Cover
The New York Rangers struggled to find an identity all season long, and that problem came to a head in Round 2 against the Boston Bruins. Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist smashes his stick in frustration after his team is eliminated in Game 5.
Justin Abdelkader Is a Wrecking Ball
The Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks gave their fans everything they could ask for in their second round playoff series. The Wings are set to move to the Eastern Conference in 2014, so this marked the final time the two franchises could meet in the first three rounds of the playoffs.
Into the Arms of Fate
Fresh off of a dramatic Game 7 victory in Round 1 over the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Boston Bruins dipped into the drama well again for Game 1 against the New York Rangers in Round 2. Brad Marchand scored the game winner in OT, giving the B's a 1-0 series lead.
The Boston Bruins made history when they came back against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 7 of their first round series. That's the look of a team that just snatched victory directly from the belly of defeat.
A Final Farewell for the Finnish Flash?
The Anaheim Ducks salute their home crowd after dropping Game 7 to the Detroit Red Wings in Round 1. Teemu Selanne is shown here, lifting his stick in recognition of his adoring fans. At 42, has Selanne played his final NHL game?
"Why Not Us?"
A disillusioned John Tavares leads his New York Islanders off the ice after being eliminated by the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games. The Isles gave Pittsburgh everything it could handle, but they just couldn't get over the hump.
A Series Defined
The Los Angeles Kings and St. Louis Blues played what commentators called a "heavy" series. No one touched the puck in this Round 1 matchup without paying a price for it.
The Kid Plows Through Traffic, Scores
Heading into Game 5 against the New York Islanders, there was some question about whether or not the Pittsburgh Penguins were going to be able to get out of the first round. Sidney Crosby and the rest of the Pens silenced that talk with a dominating 4-0 effort.
Here Crosby celebrates after a dazzling individual effort to seal the win.
See? Ovie Does Backcheck.
Alexander Ovechkin gets low during Game 4 between the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers.
John Tavares with the Go-Ahead Goal
The New York Islanders put on a hell of a show in Game 4 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. After giving up two unanswered goals and spotting the Pens a 4-3 lead 33 seconds into the third period, Mark Streit and John Tavares would answer for the hometown Islanders, giving the fans a dramatic playoff victory to cheer about.
Stand Tall, Stand Ready
Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby mentally prepares for Game 3 of the first round against the New York Rangers. New York scored a late goal and made it stick, as they'd go on to win the contest.
Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens Clear Some Space on the Benches
Matt Kassian plays to the hometown crowd after a line brawl erupted during Game 3 between the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens. The Senators won a majority of the fights, would go on to win the game via blow out and would eventually win the series.
Talk About Shortening Your Bench
Game 3 between the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens got nasty. Real nasty, as evidenced by the number of players that had been ejected by this point in the third period of the contest. Rolling four lines the rest of the way wasn't really an option for either coach.
Ah, to Again Be a Starry Eyed Youth
A young hockey fan marvels at the sight of one of his favorite players prior to Game 1 between the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins.
"Why I Oughta..."
Leo Komarov ends up with his sweater over his head following a scrap with Chris Kelly during Game 1 between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins. Notice Komarov's grip on Kelly's sweater, even with his own sweater over his head and a linesman trying to break them up.
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