Yawn. Pulled back into my driveway at 3:02 a.m.
What a week. Saw all three games in Philly, wrote and revised thousands of words, including a short piece on Derek Stepan/Ryan McDonagh yesterday, which in restrospect, should've noted that Stepan will be in New York or Hartford this season, not junior.
But I’m still struck by an odd ending for a Flyers team that had been defying the odds and were dominated for most of the night then rose up one last time on Scott Hartnell's second goal with 3:59 left in regulation. OMG.
Had picked the Hawks, a pretty impressive bunch, in 7 and really thought it would go that way in OT. Dutifully revised yet another story for Newsday as silence and disbelief enveloped
There was Kane speeding down the ice toward Antti Niemi while no one else, including the broadcasters, was sure what happened and the puck stuck unseen in the net’s base.
Byfuglien with the Hawks banner fluttering off his shoulders. Sopel with his daughter in his arms. Keith, missing the front teeth and saying he would’ve lost all of them for the Cup. Quenneville talking about the upcoming party in
You know the save that may have kept the Hawks alive? Niemi’s late 3rd period dive on Jeff Carter that hit him in the shoulder/neck. Told ya yesterday that whoever came up with the timely stops would prevail. Leighton was up to the task in the first, but two softies, ugh.
"(Kane) walked out of the corner and there was a guy driving to the net," said Leighton. "I thought Kane was going to pass it. He threw it at my feet and it went underneath me."
Anyway, after the final NHL game of the season, here’s a bundle of post-series quotes. Enjoy. Hit the replay of yesterday's live chat, join the Mock Draft 2 on Monday, the real draft live from LA, and stay tuned here and on Twitter for surprises, news, commentary, analysis as the off-season really begins…..
Q. You've done so many things in your career. World Junior, Olympic gold, now this. What do you have to say?
JONATHAN TOEWS: Oh my God. It's like that commercial. I'm speechless. This team put on one heck of a run. We knew from day one of this season we had the potential to do it. And to realize our goal, it's an amazing feeling.
Q. To come back, they tie in the third period. Obviously, you have to go to the overtime. Have you ever seen a celebration after a goal that Patrick Kane just scored to end the series?
JONATHAN TOEWS: You don't predict something like that. It was just hoping to God it was an actual goal or we would be celebrating for nothing. That would take a lot of heart out of it, but they came back hard in the third and we stuck with it. An incredible feeling.
Q. What did you gentlemen say in the dressing room before you came out for overtime?
JONATHAN TOEWS: We just said someone has to get that feeling. Someone has to be the hero. Having it be Kaner he's been awesome all series. Didn't matter who got the goal.
Q. You haven't won the Stanley Cup in Chicago for 49 years. 1961. Can you imagine the parade?
JONATHAN TOEWS: There's so many great things about winning a Stanley Cup. This is it.
This is the best feeling you can ever get playing hockey, and I just can't believe it's happening.
Q. University of North Dakota. All kinds of fun when you were a kid growing up in Winnipeg. There's Minnesota. Did you ever think?
JONATHAN TOEWS: No idea. No idea. This is amazing. This group of guys makes it even more special. A city like Chicago. We would have liked to do it in front of our own fans. We'll take it anyway we can.
Q. Congratulations, Jonathan. Way to go.
Q. You gave your teeth to win the Stanley Cup.
DUNCAN KEITH: I always missed a lot of teeth. I just think everybody on our team sacrificed. A huge team effort, especially tonight.
Q. This is such a tough building to play in. When it was 2-2, how did you guys get the momentum going?
DUNCAN KEITH: I just thought we were skating the whole time. And I thought even from the start at first we were playing well. They had a power-play and they got kind of a good bounce there in the second goal.
I thought we were skating the whole time. Give them credit. They came hard in the third and tied it up.
Q. You are a kid from British Columbia. There are a lot of mountains there. You're on top of the mountain right now. What's the view like?
DUNCAN KEITH: It feels pretty good. I don't even know how to explain it. It gives me chills thinking about it with our fans up there.
Q. You're what's great about the National Hockey League, Duncan Keith. Thank you so much. Your career is going to be splendid.
DUNCAN KEITH: Thank you. Appreciate it.
Q. Are you the only person in this building that thought that puck went in?
PATRICK KANE: I knew it right away. It was stuck behind the meshing there. Got a shot out to my people back in Buffalo. My hometown. I have four buddies who drove all the way to come out here. My five family members. Three sisters, three beautiful sisters. My mom and dad. What a feeling. I can't believe it. It's unbelievable. We just won the Stanley Cup.
Q. The rebirth of the Chicago Blackhawks started with you and Jonathan Toews. Did you think you would get to the top of the mountain this quickly?
PATRICK KANE: I can't believe this just happened. It's something you dream of as a kid. To score the winning goal in the Stanley Cup Finals. It was just -- it was unbelievable.
Q. How heavy did the Cup feel?
MARIAN HOSSA: It feels pretty heavy, actually. I put it on my shoulder. What a relief. I'm so happy to finally do this.
Q. Were you concerned at all after they tied the game late in the third period that this wasn't going to end the way you wanted to tonight?
MARIAN HOSSA: It was a disappointing moment. But we knew it was 3-3. Lots of hockey left. We could have just put our heads down. We have to work and we knew we could do it.
Q. What‘s going on in Checkoslovakia?
MARIAN HOSSA: I'm sure everybody is celebrating. There's going to be a huge party.
Q. Did you make the right decision coming to Chicago?
MARIAN HOSSA: Definitely.
Q. Marian, congratulations. It's been an unbelievably difficult wait and you deserve it. Way to go.
MARIAN HOSSA: Thank you. Appreciate it.
Q: You did this as an assistant. You never did it as head coach. Any difference?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: It's a great feeling. Once you do it once you can't wait to do it again. Very comparable but this series was very competitive. My hats off to Philly. They were competitive. Giving up a late goal. Great going into overtime. Hey, the building is as good as it will ever get.
Q. The Patrick Kane goal, when did you know it was in?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: I heard the sound. It was a funny sound. Nobody knew where the puck was. Kaner thought it was in. Video guy came out, he knew it was in the net. And I think the guys knew. That's why they celebrated. I didn't know for sure when I saw the net lift and I saw the puck in the back, I said okay, the party is on.
Q. What did you say to the team to calm them down after the late goal in regulation to tie it up?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: You know what, Philly kept coming. The building was loud late in the game in the third. Trying to settle down, time out. These guys you don't have to say too much. The leadership in the goal, always wanted it and their focus was in the right place. Overtime was pretty hectic as well.
Q. What was the swing moment in the series for you and the coaching staff?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: I thought losing Game 3 in overtime got our attention. And Game 4 we gave up some uncharacteristic goals. Guys battled back. I thought the last two games were the two best games of the whole playoffs.
Q. People wondered about the goaltending going into the season. Any question about Antti Niemi?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: He's the real deal. Great save on Carter in the dying minutes of the third period. He played so many big games for us. What a big Game 2 in Chicago for us.
Q. What kind of parade will it be?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: The party is going to be unbelievable.
Q. Patrick, it seemed like you and Jonathan have only been in Chicago a very short time. Can you believe it's come together so quickly?
PATRICK KANE: It's pretty crazy. You know, I think you envision this and hope for the best when you first come in. But everything we've been through, it's been obviously an unbelievable year. Very exciting. It's fun to be a part of it right now. Crazy game tonight. Just unbelievable, the result, though.
Q. Patrick, a couple of guys said that you knew it was in as soon as it was in and they were all still kind of wondering what was going on. Can you tell us about what was going on?
PATRICK KANE: Yeah. I shot, I saw it go right through the legs. Sticking right under the pad in the net. I don't think anyone saw it in the net. I booked it to the other end. I knew it was in. I tried to sell the celebration a bit. Everyone came down, and I think some guys were still kind of a little iffy to see if the puck was in the net. I saw the coaches there pointing at the puck and jumping around. It's pretty surreal right now for sure.
Q. Can you talk just about the year that you've had? It's been so many games that you've played. So many big emotional highs and lows throughout the year. Can you just talk about the year as a whole?
PATRICK KANE: Yeah. It didn't start off very good back in August. But I think sometimes you know you go through those kind of things as a young kid. You can really learn from them and try to better yourself as a person and as an athlete too. Yeah, there was ups and downs.
As far as hockey-wise, I can be pretty satisfied. I thought I had a really good year as far as, you know, Olympics, obviously, you win the Stanley Cup, it's pretty special too. Just really unbelievable to see how things can go from so bad to so good.
Q. Pat, this could be the last night where the coaching staff remains intact. Can you just talk about the job that Havi and John have done and if they're NHL ready to be head copy?
PATRICK KANE: For sure they are. I think they're both really good coaches. We're lucky to have them. Hopefully they can stay aboard and be part of something special here. But I have a very good relationship with both of them. Very easy-going. A lot of fun around the rink. So I think that helps too.
Q. Pat, can you talk a little about Dustin Byfuglien and how he rebounded after those first three games? There was a lot of talk about it and how he rebounded these last few games here?
PATRICK KANE: Yeah. He was awesome. He's really good. As far as in the playoffs, he's probably our biggest force on the ice whenever he was out there. But it's really good to see him come out. He was from defense to forward, he's kind of mixed up in the regular season. He found a real nest with myself and Johnny on our line as far as in the last two series. And then this series you mix things up. He was pretty good on the power-play and got a couple of big goals.
Q. I know you're tired of talking about him, but he did win the Conn Smythe. Can you talk about your captain?
PATRICK KANE: Yeah. I like to joke with him a lot. We have pretty different personalities. I think one thing that remains the same with us is we both love hockey and we both love to compete and play the game.
Obviously, it's fun to be around a kid like that. He loves to win. He loves to play. He's a great player. And he's had a hell of a year. He's going to be a force to be reckoned with in the future as far as, I think, one of the greats of all time.
Q. What did you guys talk about between the third and overtime? Did you talk about winning it for Hossa at all?
PATRICK KANE: No, no, no. Just trying to rebound from that goal. It was tough. I think our bench deflated pretty good. Obviously we had to pick it up ourselves in the locker room there.
So I think we did that. It was -- we came out in overtime. A couple of bad shifts. Niemi made some big saves. Luckily enough we snuck one in there.
Q. What are you going to do with the Stanley Cup?
PATRICK KANE: I think probably bring it back home. A lot of friends and family back there. But I think it's something you probably think about a little more and try to have a great day with it. I'm sure it will be unbelievable having that thing for a full day.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about the Flyers and their resolve and how competitive they were in the series?
PATRICK KANE: They're a really good team. They're very well coached. A lot of offense. Ton of offense. That was probably the best we've seen all year where they had three really good lines that were pretty scary.
So I think we're pretty fortunate to come away with winning this series. But it's been a hell of a year for us. We just had to end it on this note.
Q. Mike, a roller coaster ride all the way through, wasn't it?
MIKE RICHARDS: It was. It was a tough game. We had a lot of opportunities. We missed the net on a lot of them. He made a bunch of big saves.
They threw everything at the net. At the end they got the last bounce.
Q. Was your approach to overtime as specific as it looked? Throw everything early? Press forward early on?
MIKE RICHARDS: Yeah, I think as the third period went on, that's when we had the most success. Just getting pucks to the net, creating scrambles and getting it back. That's what we did in overtime. It happens every time you seem to have control of the overtime. They go down and they capitalize on one of their chances.
Q. Mike, so close. How much does this hurt?
MIKE RICHARDS: It hurts a lot.
Q. Mike, when you talk about the roller coaster of the bigger picture of this season, this team predicted in October to make a Cup run, it didn't look like it was coming together for a while. How proud are you of what you were able to pull together as group and do?
MIKE RICHARDS: It was a good learning experience for us. I mean, you have to take out of it what it takes to win. It's the hardest thing I've ever had to go through. Unfortunately it wasn't enough.
Q. Do you believe most great players and most great teams have had to at least been hurt once and felt this kind of sting to make a push the next level? I know it's early to talk about the loss and the positives, but do you think this is a bit of a necessary step?
MIKE RICHARDS: I mean, I hope so. We went through a lot this year as a group. I can't analyze the season right now, but like I said, we went through a lot. We've gone through a lot together. When you go through stuff like that, I think it brings the group closer together.
Q. Coach, you took over this team when it was struggling back in December. It took about ten games for them to get playing the way you wanted to. You said they were one of the best teams through the middle of the season, and they got to this point. Can you talk about the pride you have in the team the way they played in this season and the way they rallied tonight. The fight they showed tonight.
COACH LAVIOLETTE: You know, it was -- I think when you go through something together as a group, you know, you learn a lot about your team, a lot about your players, what they're made of. I'm proud of the guys for giving themselves an opportunity to compete for the Cup. It's going to sting for a while. It hurts right now.
But they never quit. They are a resilient group. I think we grew through adversity. I think our team became a strength of ours. And I'm proud of the way they competed and the way they fought.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about your own personal odyssey? You mentioned before, you started the season on an island in Florida. You wound up here. Can you talk about your own faith in your coaching?
COACH LAVIOLETTE: Well, it's not really about me. I'm fortunate to be in such a great organization. I'm thankful for Paul Holmgren for giving me the opportunity to be able to coach the Philadelphia Flyers for Mr. Snider. I'm a fortunate person.
Q. Coach, can you tell us from your perspective with all the confusion at the end what you saw and when you realized what had happened?
COACH LAVIOLETTE: I haven't seen it yet. I didn't see the goal. Things happened quick. It came in off the angle. I saw one of their players skate across the ice like he had won something. I got a little pit in my stomach.
But I didn't know it went in. I haven't seen it.
Q. Peter, what was it at the beginning of the game -- it was so difficult to get shots through. I think it was like 17-3 at one point.
COACH LAVIOLETTE: I think the Chicago Blackhawks -- I would like to congratulate them. They had a terrific season. They had a terrific playoff run, and they played well in the Final. They're a strong offensive team. They're as fast defensively as they are offensively. And it was challenging.
I don't think they got to this point and went through the teams that they went through by chance. They have a good game. It's attacking offensively. It's tough defensively to penetrate. We didn't get as many looks as we would like. They're a tight defensive team. I mean, they're fast both ways. They deserve credit for their season, their playoffs and for being Stanley Cup champions.
Q. You just started to address this. Can you characterize the way Chicago seemed to come back with a goal right after you scored a goal? It happened in the second period tonight and a few other examples in the series.
COACH LAVIOLETTE: Well, you know, when you have a lead, there was an opportunity to go further, I felt like we had opportunities towards the end of the game to put things away, and we didn't. When we had momentum, we could have maybe jumped on it more. There's goals going back and forth the entire series. You can make as many cases the other way. So I haven't thought about that too much.
Q. Peter, after you get the late goal in regulation, did you feel confident in the overtime? Looked like you had the momentum going into the overtime.
COACH LAVIOLETTE: I thought down the stretch in regulation and overtime we played probably our best of the night. It seemed like we were attacking. Like maybe we had started to wear them down and we were able to get some looks offensively. We had some really good opportunities. We weren't able to cash in.
Q. Peter, what did they do to nullify Richards and his line to the point where you had to break it up? Richards was spectacular in the first three rounds.
COACH LAVIOLETTE: We were trying to -- you've got two centermen out there, and Jeff went over to play center. He really reads the middle of the ice well. We tried to put Richie over there to get Jeff back in the middle.
When the shots were low and the opportunities were low, we decided to split it up. We talked about that before the game, if we couldn't find the offensive punch that we were looking for, that we would split them up and put them back -- put Jeff back in the middle, keep Richie in the middle. We wanted to keep the Briere line together because they've been so dangerous.
Q. What did they do to nullify Richards to this degree?
COACH LAVIOLETTE: Well, I think just in general -- I'm not speaking about Richie -- defensively they played a tough game. Danny Briere's line seemed to find success.
But defensively they were fast. They're a fast-moving team. They're as fast defensively as they are offensively. They transition quick both ways.
Q. Coach, given the adversity you guys faced and the journey you took to this point, where does this group rank amongst the teams that you've coached?
COACH LAVIOLETTE: I'm very proud -- like I said before, I'm proud of our team and the way we compete. The way we played, the way we never quit. We never gave up. They kept fighting.
Q. Coach, before Game 3, you challenged your players to put more pressure on Antti Niemi, their rookie goalie in the Stanley Cup Final. Your players responded. Won an overtime game. Best offensive performance in Game 4. Niemi came back and played two strong games. Can you reflect on his character and the importance of his performance to the championship?
COACH LAVIOLETTE: He was very good. He's been good throughout the entire playoffs. For a young kid to come in and be able to do that, to grab hold -- I know there was -- I know it moved back and forth for Chicago through the regular season. He grabbed hold of it down the stretch. Very strong for them in the playoffs. He's quick low. He even, late in the game we had some opportunities. He's very quick side to side low. Those are opportunities you like to see go in the back of the net. He came up with big saves. So you have to give him credit.
Q. Probably the most interesting player late in the season and through these playoffs has been Hartnell. He's been up and down. He just seemed to play spectacularly tonight. Can you address how his playoff run has been and how he finished it off?
COACH LAVIOLETTE: I think it's really good for Scott to finish as strong as he did through the playoffs and have the playoffs -- to end on a positive note like that. His regular season was a tough year for him, I think on and off the ice. Everything seemed to kind of be put behind him. He focused just on hockey.
His playoffs were -- that line of Briere, Hartnell and Leino was dangerous. Every time they were on the ice they were the most productive, most dangerous line that we had on the ice. They bring different elements, Scott brings an element to the net and physical play. He had terrific playoffs. He had a very good series and he had an excellent game tonight. Thank you.
HISTORY OF STANLEY CUP WON ON OVERTIME GOAL
Tonight marked the 16th time that the Stanley Cup has been won on an overtime goal.
Year OT Goal-Scorer Club Game Result OT
1933 Bill Cook NY Rangers 4 NY Rangers 1 at Toronto 0 7:33
1934 Mush March Chicago 4 Detroit 0 at Chicago 1 30:05
1940 Bryan Hextall NY Rangers 6 NY Rangers 3 at Toronto 2 2:07
1944 Toe Blake Montreal 4 Chicago 4 at Montreal 5 9:12
1950 Pete Babando Detroit 7 NY Rangers 3 at Detroit 4 28:31
1951 Bill Barilko Toronto 5 Montreal 2 at Toronto 3 2:53
1953 Elmer Lach Montreal 5 Boston 0 at Montreal 1 1:22
1954 Tony Leswick Detroit 7 Montreal 1 at Detroit 2 4:29
1966 Henri Richard Montreal 6 Montreal 3 at Detroit 2 2:20
1970 Bobby Orr Boston 4 St. Louis 3 at Boston 4 0:40
1977 Jacques Lemaire Montreal 4 Montreal 2 at Boston 1 4:32
1980 Bob Nystrom NY Islanders 6 Philadelphia 4 at NY Islanders 5 7:11
1996 Uwe Krupp Colorado 4 Colorado 1 at Florida 0 44:31
1999 Brett Hull Dallas 6 Dallas 2 at Buffalo 1 54:51
2000 Jason Arnott New Jersey 6 New Jersey 2 at Dallas 1 28:20
2010 Patrick Kane Chicago 6 Chicago 4 at Philadelphia 3 4:06