Last night the Cup Finals started… and the first game ended in third OT.
In the end all it took was a soft puck flung from the point into a crowd that hit the right stick at the right angle to send it on a precise path to intersect just so, with the knee of Andrew Shaw, in motion. Shaw was just cruising by, skating from left to right, and the puck clipped him just enough to send the puck past Tuukka Rask on Chicago’s 63rd shot of the night, and the morning. It was like playing pool with planets, and the Blackhawks potted one.
This was only Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final, though it was something close to Games 1 and 2. The Boston Bruins had taken a 3-1 lead with 13:51 to go in the third, and that usually means you turn out the lights and try to beat the traffic. But nobody left, and the game went from a rolling joy to a sliding stalemate to a march into the night, into mystery, past the point where the city lights mark the edge of town. It took three overtimes, and countless near-finishes, until finally with 7:52 left in the third OT, a point shot from Michael Rozsival drifted off Dave Bolland’s stick first, then caught that tiny piece of Shaw to end it all. Chicago won 4-3, and leads the series 1-0. It was the fifth-longest game in Stanley Cup final history.
Bettman made his annual speech yesterday.
Every year, commissioner Gary Bettman delivers a state-of-the-union address before the Stanley Cup final opens and every year, it’s the same essential story – a litany of the NHL’s success stories.
Yes, even in a year almost cancelled by a lockout, at a time when goal-scoring in the last two rounds of the playoffs is averaging fewer than five per game, it was a good-news day.
And CBC has some Tweets from NHL'ers about the game yesterday.
I'm gonna take Chicago, the Madhouse on Madison is gonna be rockin and @88PKane is on fire right now! Gonna be a great game