Stunning finish an appropriate ending for Blackhawks
BY MARK POTASH firstname.lastname@example.org June 24, 2013 10:24PM
Updated: June 25, 2013 6:52PM
BOSTON — Down by a goal with less than two minutes to play in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, Bryan Bickell was thinking about Game 7. But Jonathan Toews wasn’t.
‘‘I said to [Patrick Kane] that we’re going to score a goal,’’ Toews said. ‘‘You say that sometimes, and it doesn’t quite work out. But we scored the tying goal and, boom, the next shift Dave Bolland scores the winner.
‘‘You got a minute to kill off, and it was a pretty nerve-racking minute. But it’s all over now. We won. It feels pretty darn good.’’
A team that does its best work in the most desperate situations outdid itself Monday night to win its second Stanley Cup in four seasons with a 3-2 victory. Trailing the Bruins 2-1 with time running out, Toews fed Bryan Bickell from behind the net for the tying goal with 1:16 left in regulation. Before the Bruins could figure out what hit them, Bolland tapped in a shot by Johnny Oduya that hit the post to give the Hawks the lead with 58 seconds to play.
‘‘I don’t think anyone even thought about [Game 7],’’ goalie Corey Crawford said. ‘‘We were just so zoned in and kept playing. I still can’t believe it. That was amazing to come back from that.’’
Bickell admitted to thinking they were heading to Game 7.
‘‘Definitely,’’ Bickell said. ‘‘We weren’t thinking we were going to do it the way we did. But good things happen when you go to the net. Cloud nine right now. We’re so happy.’’
Bolland had struggled throughout most of the playoffs since he returned from a groin injury that hampered him during the regular season. His empty-net goal clinched Game 5. But he trumped that one with the Cup-winning goal in Game 6.
‘‘It was a huge goal,’’ Bolland said in a bit of an understatement. ‘‘I don’t know who shot it, but it hit the post, and I just had to tap it in.
‘‘It was a big one. Bickell’s goal, and then [coach Joel Quenneville] throwing me and [Michael Frolik] and [Marcus Kruger] out there — we were due for one. I know we had one [scored] on us at the start. We were battling to the end. We knew one was going to come.’’
Still, even for a team that is used to improbable comebacks, two goals in 17 seconds in the last 1:30 of the biggest game of the season was a stunning development.
‘‘You work so hard for almost two months and have a chance to win it — all of a sudden, all these thoughts run through your head,’’ Toews said.
‘‘I hardly slept last night. I felt the same way I did in Game 6 of 2010 — we better win it tonight because I can’t take any more of this stress. It’s unbelievable. I’m speechless. I don’t know where all these words are coming from. I don’t know what I’m talking about. But it’s awesome.’’