What a ride it was.
The 2010 Stanley Cup Final goes down as one Chicago fans will never forget as the Blackhawks win their first championship since 1961. Here are the winners - and losers - of the Stanley Cup Final, noting the biggest winner of them all are of course, the Chicago Blackhawks.
Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. They delivered when it mattered most. Patrick "The Big Red Machine" Kane scored the winning goal in OT to clinch the cup and Toews was named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner and named Playoff MVP.
Dustin Byfugulien. A physical player scoring eleven goals in the post-season? Yep, he came though offensively and defensively. Dustin Byfugulien (produced Bufferin) delivered a headache to opposing players so big...
Rocky Wirtz. Give credit to the man who turned around this one-flailing franchise which went from one of the worst franchises in all of professional sports (as rated by ESPN in 2004) to one of the best - all in three years' time.
NBC, Versus, CBC, and the NHL. With the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup drought draped in the background, their quest to end it created a storyline that had viewers hooked and attracted even more of them as each game was played, similar to the New York Rangers' 1994 Cup run, which ended a 54-year drought. On NBC, ratings for the Cup Final were up from last year, with Game 6 the highest-rated hockey telecast in 36 years. In addition, the CBC and Versus also saw increased viewership for their coverage and the NHL clearly benefited with the nation's third and fourth-ranked markets in the Final.
And just important, the profile of the sport of hockey has been raised significantly in Chicago.
Chicago Tribune. For their rather tasteless photoshopped poster in their paper last week featuring the Philadelphia Flyers' Chris Pronger in a skirt and calling him "Chrissy Pronger". Only this would come from the infertile mind of Tribune CEO Randy "The Court Jester" Michaels.
Chris Pronger. And speaking of Pronger, he sure defined sportsmanship in this series by depositing the pucks from the first two games (in which the Hawks won) into the garbage. And he was still talking smack on Friday, when responding to the Hawks' Adam Burrish, he replied: "I could care less what somebody on another team says about me. I don't play this game to make friends. I play to win." While this is basically true of any competing player in sports, the way he said it was pretty crass. It's people like him is the reason what's wrong with professional sports, and personally, I don't give a damn what he's won the past.
Pronger the Prick sounds like a reality show contestant with his comments. During the summer, maybe he should appear on one - The Biggest Loser, perhaps?
Philly fans. Not sure if the fans were booing NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman or the Stanley Cup Trophy presentation, but either way, it was classless. But what you expect from a city whose fans boo Santa Claus, boo Density's Child performances, cheers injuries, vomit on kids, let kids suck on beer bottles, and run out on the field and get tasered?
Billy Bush. And just why did the Access: Hollywood host appear on one of WMAQ-TV's pre-game shows, which actually pre-empted an episode of Access: Hollywood? I guess the station figured Billy Bush fans needed their fix - all eleven of them.