Sorry for the long wait, the start of college football season had me preoccupied. But we are back for our final three goals of our Top 25 countdown of the biggest Blackhawks goals of all time. No. 3 on our list is actually two goals, but they combine to be one of the most important in Hawks’ history.
In the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, the Blackhawks led the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 going into Game 6 at the United Center in Chicago. The Hawks had a chance to seal their third Stanley Cup in six years, and win The Cup at home for the first time in 77 years. After being down 2-1 after Game 3, the Blackhawks had battled back with two straight gritty 2-1 wins to put them on the verge of another championship. In front of a raucous and rabid Hawks crowd, the Blackhawks and Lightning remained scoreless through the first period and much of the second. That was until Conn Smythe winner Duncan Keith broke the ice with an incredible effort following his own shot.
Bedlam. Keith’s goal gave the Hawks a little breathing room with a 1-0 lead at intermission. It would go on to be the game-winner. The play was set up nicely by Saad and Richards in the neutral zone, and a beautiful pass by Kane right on Keith’s tape. Duncan did exactly what all young hockey players are taught: follow your shot. He did, and he was rewarded.
The 1-0 score held through the third period. The Lightning kept pushing for an equalizer, but the Hawks and Crawford kept pushing back. It just felt like there was no way they were going to be denied on this night. With just over five minutes left in the game, the Hawks broke out on an odd man rush after Tampa pinched. Saad, Richards and Kane broke away on a 3-on-2 to seal it. Saad made a crafty drop pass to Richards who waltzed into the slot wide open. I think all Hawks fans (maybe just me) were screaming “SHOOT IT YOU IDIOT!!!”
To be completely honest, I didn’t even see Kane on the right wing until Richards passed it across to him. Kaner made no mistake, and buried the dagger to give the Hawks a 2-0 lead, and send the UC into a frenzy. Something about that spot on the ice works for Kaner. He scored this goal on a one-timer from that spot, and scored the OT winner vs. LA in 2013 from near that exact same spot too on a one-timer.
The Hawks would hold onto the 2-0 lead for the rest of regulation. Like in Game 5, the Lightning were barely able to generate any chances with the net empty. The Hawks were in lockdown mode, and were not going to be denied. The clock ran down, and in front of 22,000+ screaming fans, the Blackhawks won their sixth Stanley Cup, and third in the last six seasons.
No. 2 coming tomorrow…
KANE INVESTIGATION UPDATE: Different law enforcement sources Tuesday said that Kane’s grand jury investigation has been “abruptly postponed” The Buffalo News reported. Sources have said the reason for the delay seems to be that there are possibly ongoing settlement talks between Kane and the victim’s attorney.