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Posted by Ryan Porth Labels: Postseason Rewind
By Patrick Hoffman
The Champion: Chicago Blackhawks
Road to the Cup:
Round 1 – 4-2 over 7) Nashville
Round 2 – 4-2 over 3) Vancouver
Round 3 – 4-0 over 1) San Jose
Round 4 – 4-2 over 7) Philadelphia
In their own words: Tab Bamford, Committed Indians
“Looking up and down the roster of the 2009-10 Chicago Blackhawks, there may have never been a better group of players to represent the franchise’s history than the team that won the Stanley Cup.
Antti Niemi was too old to even be considered for the league’s top rookie honors; he was never drafted and signed with the Hawks as a free agent at 24 years old. Indeed, Dustin Byfuglien didn’t do much better with scouts; 244 players were drafted before him. Troy Brouwer was drafted after 213 other players. Niklas Hjalmarsson watched 107 other names get called before the Blackhawks tabbed him on draft day.
Andrew Ladd, once the fourth overall pick in the draft who won a ring with Flyers’ coach Pete Laviolette in Carolina, saw those same Hurricanes give up on him when they dealt him to Chicago. Kris Versteeg, a fifth round draft choice, didn’t factor into Boston’s long-term plans enough for the Bruins to keep him; they must be thrilled with the value they got in Brian Bochenski.
Patrick Sharp and Ben Eager kissed the Cup on the ice surface they weren’t good enough to play on full time; the Flyers dealt both to the Hawks for relatively little return. Tomas Kopecky was Detroit’s leading hitter the year before, but they didn’t think enough of him to bring him back. New Jersey didn’t invite John Madden back despite the two rings he won with the Devils.
With the rare exception of guys like Brent Seabrook, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane being high draft picks (Duncan Keith was a second round selection), or big-money free agents like Brian Campbell or Marian Hossa, most of the players on this Blackhawks roster are afterthoughts and castaways.
Which is perfect for this organization. After 49 years and a long list of Hall of Famers and All-Stars that weren’t good enough to bring the Stanley Cup back to Chicago, it was a roster full of misfits that finally got the job done.”
Conn Smythe winner: Jonathan Toews
At the end of the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Chicago Blackhawks’ forward Jonathan Toews was awarded the Conn Smythe as the league’s best player in the postseason.
Toews posted 29 points with 7 goals and 29 assists in helping the Blackhawks’ win a Cup for the first time since 1961. He particularly stood out in a 13-game stretch, spanning from Round 1 through Round 3, where he accumulated 25 points and was the most dominant player on the ice.
Chicago’s captain became the second youngest captain in NHL history to win the Cup and also was the youngest member to join the Triple Gold Cup, which includes the Olympic Gold Medal, Stanley Cup and World Championship.
The Runner-Up: Philadelphia Flyers
After making the postseason on the final day of the regular season, not many people were quite sure how the Philadelphia Flyers would do in a grinding Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Flyers surprised everyone – except themselves – by knocking out the Devils, Bruins and Canadiens en route to the Stanley Cup Finals, only to lose to the Hawks in a terrific six-game series.
However, the story of the postseason for the Flyers was overcoming a 3-0 series deficit against the Bruins to win in seven games. In Game 7, the Flyers overcame a Bruins’3-0 lead to score the next four goals and win the series.
The Upset: ECQF – 8) Montreal over 1) Washington
Heading into the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, many hockey fans and pundits alike figured that the easiest series to pick would be the Washington Capitals and Montreal Canadiens, since the Capitals had 33 more points than the Canadiens.
As it turned out, the Canadiens shocked everyone in the hockey world and beat the first place Washington Capitals in seven games. After being down three games to one, the Canadiens turned to timely goal scoring, solid special teams play, and the heroics of Jaroslav Halak to turn the series around and win three straight games en route to advancing to the second round.
Other notable upsets: ECQF: 7) Philadelphia over 2) New Jersey; ECSF: 8) Montreal over 4) Pittsburgh
Best series: WCF – 7) Philadelphia over 6) Boston
This was a series that both teams will always remember, whether it is for the right or wrong reason. In the first three games of the series, the Bruins could not do anything wrong. They had no trouble putting the puck in the net, were getting the goaltending they needed from Tuukka Rask and were just dominating the Flyers all over the ice.
However, things changed in Game 4. The Flyers won it in overtime and suddenly, they had new life. They rode that momentum to tie the series, and then to come back three goals down in Game 7 to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.
ECQF: Canadiens 2, Capitals 1
WCQF: Red Wings 6, Coyotes 1
ECSF: Canadiens 5, Penguins 2
ECSF: Flyers 4, Bruins 3
Photo credit: Getty Images
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