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Blackhawks Win Sixth Stanley Cup

Many people picked the Chicago Blackhawks to win it all before the Stanley Cup Playoffs began, and they were right on the money.

Monday night, the Blackhawks defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-0 in Game 6 to win the Stanley Cup Finals series 4-2. Behind the impenetrable Corey Crawford and energizing Duncan Keith, the Blackhawks affirmed their dynasty in the 2010s with their third Stanley Cup in six years. Keith scored the first goal off a rebound of his own shot, and played just about half of the entire game (totaling a little over 30 minutes on ice). Along with Keith, defensemen Niklas Hjalmarsson, Johnny Oduya, and Brent Seabrook had great games defending the Lighting attack. Patrick Kane scored the second goal on a beautiful sequence from Brandon Saad to former Lightning player Brad Richards to Kane.

Despite already having one Stanley Cup under his belt, Crawford was often considered the scapegoat leading up to the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He proved the doubters (many of which were his own fans) wrong, and showed up with performance after performance in each playoff series. He finished with a 13-6 record in the Playoffs, with a 2.31 GAA (goals against average) with a 92.4% save rate, ironically his regular season save rate as well. During the Blackhawks’ wins in the Stanley Cup Finals, Crawford gave up a combined 3 goals. Keith was named the Conn Smythe Most Valuable Player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs (overall), but Crawford probably would have won the trophy for just the final series.

Even with the loss, you have to give it to the Lightning for their impressive postseason and season overall. They went on the road to Madison Square Garden in Game 7 of the Eastern Finals to beat the New York Rangers, and played great hockey in this series. Steven Stamkos was already a household name, but the young triplets of Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov, and Ondrej Palat really showed the league what they can do on the ice. We can’t forget to mention the heroic playoff performance by Ben Bishop, who reportedly played with a torn groin. I would not be surprised to see them deep in the playoffs next season as well.

Again, there is no doubt that the Blackhawks have solidified their place in history with this dynasty in the past six seasons. This team will continue to have magic in the coming seasons with a fantastic foundation of Jonathan Toews, Kane, Keith, Crawford, and, most importantly, coach Joel Quenneville.

The NHL Entry Draft is less than two weeks away. Until then, enjoy the last game(s) of the NBA Finals and the rest of the one of the best weeks in sports.


Images

National Hockey League Twitter account (@NHL)

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