A few years after rebuilding and drafting/hiring talented youngsters, the Chicago Blackhawks have ended a 49 year old drought and won the 2009-10 Stanley Cup playoffs after beating Philadelphia 4-3 in OT. Captain Johnathan Toews (pictured here on the left) won the Conn Smythe Trophy as MVP of the playoffs. Winger Marian Hossa ended a personal drought – he played on two different losing teams of the past two Stanley Cup finals; as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2008 and the Detroit Red Wings in 2009.
It ended in a bizarre sequence that saw Chicago’s Patrick Kane end the game at 4:50 of the first overtime on a goal almost no one saw go in the net. Kane’s shot from along the goal line slipped under the glove of crouching Flyers goaltender Michael Leighton and just inside the post. There was confusion as the play continued, the players looking for the puck, until realizing it was in the net. In the end, the ’Hawks simply had too much for the Flyers, who made history with their comeback from a 3-0 deficit in the second round against the Boston Bruins, but couldn’t find a way to cope with the ’Hawks deep forward group. Chicago won despite not getting a goal in the final from captain Toews.
The win gave Scotty Bowman, the ’Hawks senior advisor of hockey operations, the 12th Stanley Cup of his career – nine as a coach (with the Montreal Canadiens, Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings and three in front office positions (with the Penguins, Wings and now the ’Hawks). This is first final to be won on OT since New Jersey beat Dallas in double OT. Patrick Kane, who had the winning goal, added two assists, while Dustin Byfuglien, Patrick Sharp and Andrew Ladd also tallied for Chicago. Scott Hartnell had two goals and Daniel Briere had a goal for Philly.