Cullen: Blackhawks take Cup in Game 6 OT

Scott Cullen
6/10/2010 12:36:12 AM
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A stunning end to a spectacular playoff season gave the Chicago Blackhawks their first Stanley Cup since 1961.

Chicago controlled the play for a good portion of Game Six, outshooting the Flyers 41-24; the kind of shot margin that was typical of the Blackhawks throughout the season, if not necessarily in the final series against Philadelphia.

On the winning goal, Chicago's Patrick Kane made a nifty move along the boards to create just enough space as Flyers defenceman Kimmo Timonen closed in and Kane's bad angle shot slipped under Flyers goaltender Michael Leighton.

Leighton had been such a crucial part of Philadelphia's playoff success, that it was unfortunate to have him allow two goals that would have been considered softies -- Kane's winner and Chicago's second goal, a weak wrist shot through the five-hole by Patrick Sharp.

Kane scored three points in the Cup-clinching game, giving him eight points in the last four games of the series and 28 points in the playoffs, one point behind Conn Smythe winner Jonathan Toews (29) and two points behind playoff scoring leader Danny Briere (30).

Toews was named the Conn Smythe winner, despite a difficult final series, as he was limited to three assists and a minus-5 rating in six games.  Credit the Flyers' Chris Pronger, who faced Toews the majority of the time.

I don't necessarily have a problem with Toews getting the Conn Smythe, because he had built a sizeable lead over the rest of the field going into the final with outstanding play through the first three rounds, but if there is an expectation that the Conn Smythe winner be a significant factor in the final series, then my vote would have gone to Patrick Sharp, who had four goals, six points and a plus-7 rating in the final, giving him 11 goals, 22 points and a plus-10 rating in 22 postseason games.

How was the Blackhawks' championship team created?  (It's no secret that a lot of these moves came under the watch of former General Manager Dale Tallon.)

Antti Niemi - Signed as a free agent in 2008
Cristobal Huet - Signed as a free agent in 2008

Duncan Keith - 2nd rd. pick in 2002; the four defencemen taken just ahead of him: Dan Spang, Anton Kadeykin, Kirill Koltsov, Tomas Linhart.
Brent Seabrook - 14th overall pick in the powerhouse 2003 draft; 28 0f 30 first-rounders that year have played at least 100 NHL games.
Brian Campbell - Signed as a free agent in 2008; fourth highest-paid defenceman, behind Keith, Chris Pronger and Zdeno Chara.
Brent Sopel - Signed as a free agent in 2007; after a training camp invite from the Detroit Red Wings, the Blackhawks offered him a better contract.
Niklas Hjalmarsson - 4th rd. pick in 2005; other fourth-round defencemen to make NHL from that draft: Chris Butler (Buffalo), Keith Yandle (Phoenix)
Nick Boynton - Acquired off waivers from Anaheim in 2010.

Jordan Hendry - Signed as a free agent, out of University of Alaska-Fairbanks, in 2006.
Kim Johnsson - Traded from Minnesota, with Nick Leddy, for Cam Barker.

Jonathan Toews - 3rd overall pick in 2006; drafted after Erik Johnson and Jordan Staal, ahead of Nicklas Backstrom and Phil Kessel.
Patrick Kane - 1st overall pick in 2007, ahead of James van Riemsdyk (Philadelphia) and Kyle Turris (Phoenix).
Marian Hossa - Signed as free agent in 2009; third straight Cup finals appearance with third different team, finally gets one.
Patrick Sharp - Traded from Philadelphia, with Eric Meloche, for Matt Ellison and a third-round pick.
David Bolland - 2nd rd. pick in 2004; seven picks after London Knights teammate Rob Schremp.
Dustin Byfuglien - 8th rd. pick in 2003; converted defenceman.  Joe Pavelski and Lee Stempniak the only guys drafted after third round that year with more than Byfuglien's 55 career goals.
Kris Versteeg - Traded from Boston for Brandon Bochenski.
Andrew Ladd - Traded from Carolina for Tuomo Ruutu in 2008.
John Madden - Signed as free agent in 2009.
Troy Brouwer - 7th rd. pick in 2004; only forward taken after the fifth round that year with more than 30 career goals.
Ben Eager - Traded from Philadelphia for Jim Vandermeer in 2007.
Tomas Kopecky - Signed as free agent in 2009.

Bryan Bickell - 2nd rd. pick in 2004.
Adam Burish - 9th rd. pick in 2002; only ninth-rounder from that year with more than 100 NHL games.
Colin Fraser - Traded from Philadelphia, with Jim Vandermeer and a 2nd. rd. pick in 2004 (Bryan Bickell), for Alexei Zhamnov and a 4th rd. pick (R.J. Anderson).


Scott Cullen can be reached at and followed on Twitter at


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