What a wild end to a wild playoffs. These playoffs pretty much had it all. Not one, but two miraculous 3-1 comebacks by the Montreal Canadiens, against the mighty Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins no less. The team that ends up tripping them up was a team that had the best comeback of all, the Philadelphia Flyers, who became the first team in over 30 years to overcome a 3-0 series deficit.
The 2010 playoffs also had a lot of players emerge to take on much larger roles in the playoffs than they had all season. Goaltenders like Brian Boucher, Michael Leighton, Antti Niemi and Jaroslav Halak all proved they belonged. Mike Cammalleri and Joe Pavelski took their games to another level, while role players such as Dustin Byfuglien and Ville Leino became front line players.
In the end, the Chicago Blackhawks were the class of the league. Antti Niemi was good enough in goal, while their depth on defense and in goal proved to be too much for their opponents. They were able to win in a lot of different ways and seemed unaffected by pressure and expectations (including the most lofty of expectations, getting the nod from Canuckz.com!).
The only time I can ever recall an overtime of this kind of magnitude causing this much confusion was Anson Carter’s World Championship goal in 2003. Of course that goal needed a lengthy video review to ultimately figure it out.
And the last time a cup winning goal had a more confused announcer trying to call the game had to have been in 1999 when Brett Hull scored the game winning goal. Bob Cole: “Mike Modanooooo!!! With Dennis Hull…”
Lots has changed from 1999 of course, notably the pictures/video that can be found from something like this! The Chicago Tribune chronicled their wild night from the moment they touched down in Chicago at 4am local time.
Pictured above is Jonathan Toews trying to eat breakfast at a restaurant in Chicago while being mobbed by fans. Apparently through the wonder of Twitter, word spread quickly.
Pretty cool stuff. Now the job for Chicago is to try and keep most of their parts together. Even if they can unload the monster contracts of Cristobal Huet and Brian Campbell, that may be an impossible job. Stay tuned in the offseason for draft coverage and trade/free agency news and rumours. Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tonyztanti to keep up to date.