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Adam Burish Calls Pronger an ‘Idiot’

You just won the Stanley Cup on your opponent’s home ice. You: A) Celebrate the accomplishment with your teammates, B) Respectfully congratulate your opponents on a hard fought series, C) Thank your hometown fans for their unconditional love, or D) Pull an Adam Burish and take a cheap shot at Chris Pronger by calling him the “biggest idiot in the league.” Let’s go to the videotape of Adam Burish calling Chris Pronger the “biggest idiot in the league.”

This is a classless, unnecessary move by the Blackhawks winger, who hardly had nearly the impact on the series that Pronger did. For a player who spent the majority of the season inactive due to injury, these are some pretty bold words. Burish and the Blackhawks have every right to be upset with how Pronger carries himself on the ice — the guy is a choppy pest — but sometimes you just have to let it go, take the high road, and not throw a cheap shot at an opponent at the expense of your own dignity. Even with the NHL offseason upon us, I wouldn’t be surprised if Pronger keeps this one in mind the next time he skates past Burish on the ice.

Sources:
Video – Adam Burish: “Chris Pronger is the biggest idiot in the league.” [ProHockeyTalk]

Blackhawks Unite Chicago in Celebration

The Chicago Blackhawks won their first Stanley Cup in 49 years on Wednesday night at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia. From the start of these Stanley Cup playoffs (granted I’m no Barry Melrose who called it at the beginning of the season), I said that the Blackhawks would reign victorious — and they did. There was no looting last night (Yup, I’m looking at you Montreal), but there were tears shed by Jeremy Roenick and there was a whole lot of cheering in the streets of Chicago.

The last time Chicago had a reason to celebrate was when the White Sox won the World Series in 2005, but only half the baseball fans in the city were happy. Last night however was different; hockey truly unified the city. There was no gloating by Sox fans nor any jealousy by Cubs fans — it was just one huge crowd of happy hockey fans who couldn’t believe what had just happened. No one cared about bandwaggoners or hugging complete strangers. All in all it was a beautiful site.

This team has given Chicago a ray of hope in an otherwise disappointing sports season. There’s nothing to cheer about on either side of town baseball-wise, the Chicago Bears were a bust, and the Bulls …well you all know my feelings about that. I’m glad I don’t have to give a broadcast today because quite honestly I barely have a voice. There was nothing better than watching this team win last night even though there was some confusion over Patrick Kane’s overtime goal.

The Blackhawks’ slogan has been “One Goal” for quite a while. Who would have known that would be all it took to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup? Just one goal and it was all over for the Philadelphia Flyers. Just one goal and a team whose captain, Jonathan Toews, can barely get into a bar would win MVP and make the fans of the Indian head proud. Just one goal and a city became one. So I say thank you Chicago Blackhawks for an amazing season and for bringing hockey back to Chicago. Thank you for giving us a reason to smile and even cry like JR (I cried last night too, don’t feel so badly).

Jeremy Roenick Cries After Hawks Win

The Chicago Blackhawks won the 2010 Stanley Cup beating the Flyers 4-3 in overtime of Game 6 in Philadelphia on Patrick Kane’s game-winning goal. Jeremy Roenick was in a unique position to provide analysis for the Stanley Cup Final because he played for both the Blackhawks and Flyers. After the game ended, Roenick was sharing some thoughts with Dan Patrick and Mike Milbury on NBC. Roenick became extremely emotional seeing the Blackhawks celebrate their first Cup in almost 50 years because he had played his first eight seasons for Chicago. Despite making four straight All-Star games for the Hawks, Roenick only made the Stanley Cup Final once in 1992 and his team came up short against the Penguins. No doubt Roenick was overcome with emotion seeing those guys celebrate the win and it got to the point where he started to tear up. Here’s the Jeremy Roenick crying video after Game 6:

It bothers me that Milbury was giving Roenick so much crap for showing his emotion on the telecast. It’s not about how good of a career Roenick had, it’s about what it means to win the Cup. Roenick never got to celebrate like that, and although he’s proud, we were privileged to see the genuine emotion of how much winning that Cup means. I’m glad that Roenick shared with us his real feelings so we could truly understand what it meant for those players to win it and get to live their dream.

Patrick Kane on Game-Winner: Holy Crap!

Though only 21-years-old, winger Patrick Kane just cemented his status as a hero in Chicago. Kane scored the game-winning goal in overtime of Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final giving the Blackhawks a 4-3 win over the Flyers. Kane went five-hole on Michael Leighton and began celebrating immediately though the refs had a delayed goal call. Once the call was confirmed, it was official and the Blackhawks won the Cup for the first time since 1961. Here’s the video of Patrick Kane’s game-winning goal that provided Chicago with the Stanley Cup:

After scoring the game-winner, Kane told NBC that scoring the game-winning goal in the Stanley Cup Final was a dream come true. Then, Kane encapsulated the feelings of all Blackhawks fans saying “I can’t believe this just happened … holy crap!” The brash youngster who’s made his share of head-turning comments then was told to be on his best behavior for the parade. His response? “Not a chance, not a chance!” Somehow I’m guessing Chicago fans wouldn’t have wanted to hear anything else.

Stanley Cup Refs Missing Too Many Calls

Wednesday night, we not only had an MLB umpire blowing a perfect game for Tigers pitcher Armando Galarrgga, but apparently the NHL Stanley Cup referees were also out of it. The problem is the missed calls were not limited to Game 3 of the series — the referees have been missing calls against both the Chicago Blackhawks and the Philadelphia Flyers the entire series.

Now before you jump to conclusions that I’m angry because of some Blackhawks favoritism (and the fact that they lost), I want you to know that’s not the case; there are some plays that the Blackhawks got away with too. What stood out as the most egregious error was the refs missing a boarding call on this hit by Chris Pronger on Patrick Kane:

Kaner’s helmet was knocked off because of that hit from Pronger. What did the refs do? Well they didn’t call boarding like they should have. That was the second time that Pronger had gone after Kane and it was pretty obvious he had it out for him. But hey, that’s hockey.

I’m cool with players going after one another — that’s just adds to the competitive nature of the game. But when you have Pronger who is 6’6″ and 220 pounds targeting Kane who is 5’8″ and 178 pounds, there is something wrong with that. Flyers fans almost saw Kane’s bones break right in front of them. I guess that’s why they call them the “Orange Crush”.

The point of this is that NHL refs need to pay closer attention to some of these plays. Not just for the Blackhawks, but also for the Flyers too — this is the Stanley Cup Finals. The only positive I did see from Pronger going after Kane last night was that Kane wasn’t going to back down. It reminded me of the heart that he showed during the Gold Medal Game at the Vancover Olympics. The kid might actually be growing some cojones instead of shying away from every check that comes his way.

Mike Richards’ Determination Punches Philadelphia’s Ticket to Cup Finals

A lot of people don’t like the Flyers.  That comes with the territory of being a Philadelphia team, in the same way it does with Boston, New York and sometimes even Chicago teams.  People hate the teams where the fans are the craziest and most obnoxious.  Those four cities probably top that list.  However, you can’t discredit what the Philadelphia Flyers have been able to accomplish, regardless of your opinion of their team and/or fan base.  Any time a No. 7 seed is able to reach the Stanley Cup Finals — even if it meant only having to beat a No. 8 seed in the Conference Finals — you have to tip your hat to them and realize that they must have wanted it more than the other seven teams.

That certainly showed in their series with the Boston Bruins, when Philadelphia somehow managed to rally from three games down (and three goals down in Game 7) to defeat the Bruins, who were arguably the hottest team in the playoffs at the time.  Leadership takes on an enhanced role in postseason play in any sport, and Philly captain Mike Richards has shown he is more than willing to live up to the challenge.  Thanks in large part to his will to win, his Flyers are now headed to the Stanley Cup Finals to take on the Chicago Blackhawks.  Check out this video of Mike Richards laying it all on the line with a shorthanded goal and an assist in the clincher of the Eastern Conference Finals against Montreal, courtesy of The Sporting Blog.

Source:
Mike Richards’ Amazing Short-Handed Goal Propels Flyers To Finals, Likeability [The Sporting Blog]

Blackhawks Return to Stanley Cup Finals for First Time Since 1992

The Chicago Blackhawks wrapped up the Western Conference by sweeping the San Jose Sharks in their best of seven series, winning 4-2 on Sunday. The win sends Chicago to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1992.

Dustin Byfuglien became the game’s hero once again scoring on a power play in the third period to give the Blackhawks a 3-2 lead. Kris Versteeg scored the empty net goal with 42 seconds left to seal up the win for Chicago. Now that the Blackhawks have gotten past the Sharks, they await the winner of the Eastern Conference. The Flyers have a 3-1 series lead on the Canadiens with Game 5 set for Monday night.

If the Flyers advance the Blackhawks will face one of the toughest defenses in the NHL. If the Habs pull of the comeback, they will have a huge amount of momentum behind them heading into the finals. Plus, a Montreal win would produce a will be a true Original Six showdown — you can’t get much better than that.

Personally, I see the Flyers winning the East and going up against the Hawks for the Cup. As I said at the start of the playoffs, I see the Blackhawks taking the Stanley Cup back to Chicago because they are a young, hungry team. But for right now, Chicago is celebrating their sweep of the Sharks and a trip to the Cup.

Photo Credit: Maxx Wolfson/Getty Images