On Thursday, the Chicago Blackhawks will face the Philadelphia Flyers in their only meeting this season. For the Flyers, it’s a game that could show how they can cope without the likes of Chris Pronger and Jaromir Jagr. For the Blackhawks, it brings back a lot of good memories.
It was June 9, 2010 in the Wachovia Center (now the Wells Fargo Center). Game Six of the Stanley Cup Finals, and it was tied 3-3. Four minutes of overtime had went by when this happened:
With that, the Chicago Blackhawks broke their 49-year Cup drought (the longest in NHL history), and Patrick Kane became forever linked with that one moment in time.
It’s almost two years since that day, after the parade, the Cup Days, the rings and the banner raising ushered in a season that everyone calls “Cup hangover”. This time the team is about where they were at the same time in the 2009-10 season. If all goes well and they can stay (relatively) healthy, they may have a chance again, better than sneaking in thanks to the Minnesota Wild.
ESPN’s Jesse Rogers interviewed three of the guys who were on that Cup-winning team and asked them about their memories:
Jonathan Toews, who as captain touched the Cup first:
“I had a solid five seconds before I handed it off to [Marian Hossa] but it was a good five seconds, and I made sure I had a little skate with it later on…but to be the first to hoist it was awesome.”
Niklas Hjalmarsson, who was in his first full NHL season:
“Happiness…it’s pretty much the only word. Explosion. Just a bunch of feelings coming up at the same time. It was a pretty cool feeling that you definitely want to experience at least one more time.”
Kaner has a bit of a mental block of that night:
“I guess you can’t believe it’s something that happened to you…surreal is a good word. I don’t remember making the move or shooting the puck, maybe running down the ice a little bit to [goalie] Antti Niemi. After, I remember looking for my family and my buddies on the ice. It all seemed like it happened so quick.”
The memories of that night will be there in the arena. Once the guys hit the ice for morning skate, you know Kaner will try to find the spot where he made that shot. When he does, I think it’ll come back to him.
And who knows, maybe that shot will happen again. You never know.