When the day comes where Patrick Kane is no longer playing hockey and the Hawks are hoisting number 88 to the United Center rafters, they are going to have to allot plenty of time to read off his accomplishments. Patrick Kane has scored more big goals in his career than some NHL franchises have as a whole. His biggest may have come in 2010.
For a half-century, Hawks fans knew nothing but struggle. Most fans weren’t alive to see their last Cup win in 1961. They had success in the 90’s, even making the Cup final in 1992, but never winning it all. When Dale Tallon drafted Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane in consecutive years, this all changed.
The Hawks quickly found themselves competing for the Stanley Cup in 2010 against the Philadelphia Flyers. Just three years after selecting Patrick Kane number one overall in the NHL draft, the Hawks were on the verge of hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup.
After winning game five in Chicago and taking a 3-2 series lead, the Hawks entered Philadelphia with a chance to win it all. The Hawks opened the scoring late in the first period when Dustin Byfuglien cashed in on the powerplay. However, Scott Hartnell tied the game in the dying seconds of the first on the power play as well.
The Hawks found themselves trailing in the second period after Danny Briere gave the Flyers the lead, but Patrick Sharp was there to tie the game at two. Andrew Ladd then gave the Hawks the lead, as he deflected a Niklas Hjalmarsson shot into the net.
The lead carried itself late into the third period. It was so close, Chicago fans could almost taste it. The Hawks were going to win the Stanley Cup. Not so fast. Scott Hartnell beat Antti Niemi again and the game was going to overtime.
A moment any Blackhawks fan will never forget. Patrick Kane was skating down the ice with his hands in the air. His gloves were off. His stick was sent into orbit. His playoff mullet was flowing through the air as he flew down the ice to hug Niemi. But what the hell had happened? Where was the puck?
Just four minutes into overtime, Kane took a puck from Brian Campbell on the near boards, juked past Kimmo Timonen and threw a puck on net. Nobody on the ice knew where the puck had gone. Well, nobody other than Patrick Kane.
The game was over. The series was finished. That Cup drought, it didn’t exist anymore. The Blackhawks were Stanley Cup champions for the first time in 49 years. The Cup was filled and refilled with beer over and over again that night in Philadelphia.
There will never be a team quite like the 2010 Chicago Blackhawks. They were loaded with skill, grit and the ability to out-party any team assembled. After winning the Cup, the team famously went on the celebrate their win by partying for 16 consecutive days. Several beers were harmed in the making of this championship.
Chicago had its Cup. Patrick Kane had his signature moment. As for Blackhawks fans, they had one of the craziest memories to hold onto and one they would surely never forget. The drought was over and the party was on.
Featured Photo: NBC Sports