Hawks win first title in 49 years in bizarre finish to Game 6

Hockey fans in the great city of Chicago had to wait 49 years to experience the moment again, but on Wednesday night it finally happened.

In a thrilling, yet completely bizarre finish to the title series, the Blackhawks hoisted the Stanley Cup with their 4-3 victory over the Flyers in overtime. Patrick Kane scored the game-winning goal 4:06 into OT, but nobody outside of him knew that the puck had slipped past Philly goalie Michael Leighton because the net indicator never went off. The announcers didn’t even know that the puck had got passed Leighton until they saw Kane skating down the ice with his arms up in the air and the rest of his teammates clear the bench to greet him at the other end.

In all honesty, the moment killed the excitement that had been building for over three periods. Chicago fans obviously don’t care how it ended because the Hawks won, but for casual fans, it was undoubtedly a lackluster finish. (Or at least, a lackluster finish for a game-winning, series-clinching overtime goal.) It was strange to watch the Hawks celebrate while the Flyers stood on the ice waiting for the referees to make an official announcement about whether or not the goal had counted.

Regardless, it was a thrilling moment for the Hawks and their fans. With four minutes remaining in the third period, it looked as though Chicago would win in regulation but then Scott Hartnell beat Antti Niemi to eventually force overtime. Of course, without Niemi, both teams would be heading back to Chicago for a Game 7 right now. He made a couple of key saves late in the game to keep the Hawks afloat. In fact, he saved a point-blank shot by Jeff Carter with less than two minutes to play in regulation, right in front of the Hawks’ net.

All in all, this was a great moment for hockey and for Chicago fans, who are extremely loyal and who cherish titles. It was an exciting series and the NHL can’t be upset about how this one turned out.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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USA forces OT, but eventually falls to Canada in gold medal finals

An impressive run for the USA hockey team fell short at this year’s Winter Olympics, as the Americans lost to Canada 3-2 in overtime in Sunday’s gold medal round. Sidney Crosby beat Ryan Miller 7:40 into overtime to allow the Canadians to become the first host nation in 30 years to win the gold medal in men’s hockey.

The win certainly didn’t come easy for Canada, however, which led 2-1 for most of the game.

After pulling goalie Ryan Miller late in the third period, Jamie Langenbrunner redirected a Patrick Kane wrister off Roberto Luongo’s body and Zach Parise gathered up the rebound and snuck it past Luongo to tie the game with just 24.4 seconds remaining. But after seizing the momentum thanks to the thrilling goal, USA couldn’t get the job done in overtime and the heavily favored Canadians (who were 1/2 to win the tournament at the start of the Winter Games) seized the gold.

Even though they lost, USA’s push for the gold was arguably the most exciting part of the Winter Olympics. It would have been nice to see them go undefeated and complete the underdog story, but there’s no shame in beating Canada once and nearly knocking them off on their home ice in the finals. Gold would have been fine, but there’s a lot of pride for USA in taking home the silver.

Blackhawks’ Kane arrested for robbery

Blackhawks’ winger Patrick Kane was arrested with his cousin in Buffalo over the weekend on charges of assault and robbery after giving a cab driver $15 for a $13.80 cab ride and then allegedly punching him in the face and head when he didn’t have change.

Per TSN.ca:

Buffalo police said the 20-year-old Kane and his 21-year-old cousin, James Kane, had apparently caught a cab from the city’s downtown nightclub district at about 4 a.m. ET. The cab driver suffered cuts to his face and his glasses were damaged, police spokesman Michael DeGeorge said.

Both men were charged with felony robbery and misdemeanour counts of theft of services and criminal mischief. Patrick Kane, who earned US$875,000 last season, pleaded not guilty in local court Sunday, WIVB-TV reported. It was not immediately clear when James Kane will appear in court.
The driver said he was punched and hit by both men because he did not have 20 cents in change to give them, according to the police report.

Average playing salary in the NHL: $3.725 million.
Cab ride in Buffalo: $13.80.
Putting your hockey career at risk by punching a cab driver in the head and face over not having the correct change: Priceless.

What a pathetic act by a professional athlete and an embarrassment to the Blackhawks organization. I’m sure EA Sports will be happy to hear about this, seeing as how Kane was supposed to grace the cover of NHL 10 this year.

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