About a month ago, I did a slideshow on the top 10 playoff series since the lockout. If I had waited until now, this would most likely top the list. In fact, this might have been the greatest playoff series in at least the past 10 years.
For the third year in a row, the Chicago Blackhawks met the Vancouver Canucks in the playoffs. The Canucks, however, were still trying to get past Chicago for the first time. With a depleted Blackhawks team and a President's Trophy-winning Vancouver Canucks team, it looked like this would be the year.
Especially after Vancouver won the first three games of the series.
The Hawks were still desperately trying to pull of the miracle and stay in the playoffs to defend the Stanley Cup. They were successful after a 7-2 thrashing at home in Game 4; however, it seemed like the series would be all but over heading into Vancouver for Game 5.
The Blackhawks somehow shocked the world with a 5-0 victory in Vancouver, pulling them within one game of the Canucks and heading back home for Game 6.
Going into Game 6, it was said by many that "Chicago led the series three games to two" with all of the momentum that they had. This game was much closer than the previous two, though, and the series went to overtime for the first time. Ben Smith emerged as the hero for Chicago as his overtime tally tied the series and pulled the Blackhawks within one win of one of the greatest comebacks of all time.
Game 7 in Vancouver was a bitter contest, as the two teams battled for every inch of ice. Alex Burrows gave the 'Nucks an early lead, but Jonathan Toews tied the game late with a shorthanded goal, and the series went to overtime again.
Everyone was on their heels knowing that the next goal would send one team to the next round and the other team home. Shortly into overtime, Alex Burrows intercepted a Chicago past and sent the puck past Corey Crawford, winning the game and the series for Vancouver and exorcising the demons against Chicago.