This year’s Stanley Cup Final between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Boston Bruins was an epic and tightly-fought affair, with the Bruins – including future hall-of famer Jaromír Jágr – needing to win on Monday to force a deciding Game 7. It didn’t happen: with less than two minutes remaining on the clock, the Blackhawks scored not once but twice – a one-two punch from which the Bruins couldn’t recover.
Michal Rozsival and David Krejci, photo: CTK
Just when it looked like the ‘Hawks and Bruins would be heading back to the Windy City for a final deciding game, things went south for Boston: with 76 seconds remaining on the clock, after an extra attacker had been sent on, Bickell scored and tied it up at two apiece. Bolland then struck a mere 17 seconds later to stun the Bruins – and their fans – at the TD Garden.
Announcer: “They scoooooore. Bolland. Three to two with less than a minute to go!”
That minute was not enough for the Bruins and the game ended 3:2 with Chicago being crowned this year’s Stanley Cup Champions.
Michael Frolík, photo: CTK
It could have been different: Boston coach Claude Julien said afterwards, if the Bruins had capitalised on chances earlier, including an opportunity by the post-season leading scorer David Krejčí, things might have worked out. Now, the question is moot. For the second time in four years, the Blackhawks, a tough, gritty, and dedicated team, sealed the deal. The celebrations by the team on the ice were understandably boisterous.
Two members of the Blackhawks are Michal Rozsíval and Michael Frolík; here’s how Frolík, who got an assist on the game-winner, summed things up:
“It was a crazy end to the game. We went on the ice with the intention of just keeping the score tied but then we got the deflection and the puck went in. I am really happy that I was able to be a part of it. It’s unbelievable!”
Jaromír Jágr, photo: CTK
Of course, Boston played well over the course of playoffs as well and it is almost easy to forget the team was left for dead in the first round against the Toronto Maple Leafs before they stormed back. But in Chicago they met their match. Boston’s David Krejčí was the post-season top scorer – that is some consolation - but for legendary winger Jaromír Jágr, who was gunning for his third Stanley Cup after last winning the trophy 21 years ago, things must be difficult. Jágr was injured early in the game on Monday and only spent six minutes on the ice, making it impossible to at last snap a scoring drought that plagued him in the post-season. No doubt it will take some time for the team to get over the sting of defeat, perhaps Jágr more than most. At 41, it is uncertain he’ll have another shot at the championship title.