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Blackhawks' Keith unanimous Conn Smythe choice

Tuesday, 06.16.2015 / 1:59 AM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- At the end of the night, Duncan Keith was finally able to take a knee.

The Chicago Blackhawks defenseman was a unanimous choice for the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP after a 2-0 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final at United Center on Monday that gave the Blackhawks their third championship in six seasons.

Keith, who scored a goal and played 30:19, got on the ice with his 2-year-old son, Colton, and next to Colton was hockey's most cherished prize, the Stanley Cup. The Conn Smythe Trophy was somewhere else while Keith finally caught his breath and helped Colton hoist the Cup.

He is the ninth defenseman to win the award, and is the first player to win the Conn Smythe and score the Stanley Cup-clinching goal since Henrik Zetterberg did so in 2008 with the Detroit Red Wings against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"It feels so great," Keith said. "You want to keep being a part of these things. You don't get these awards without being on great teams with great players, and I'm just proud to be a part of this group of guys who cares so much and do whatever it takes."

This time, Blackhawks celebrate Cup with their fans

Tuesday, 06.16.2015 / 1:48 AM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

CHICAGO -- There was a moment in the pause before the Stanley Cup arrived on the ice when Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews skated away from his teammates, looked up to the roaring, raucous crowd, and started applauding.

Cameras followed him, showing him on the scoreboard.

"Unbelievable," Toews said with his arms raised, hands clapping. "Unbelievable."

The 22,424 standing, hugging, cheering, selfie-taking, red-clad and relieved fans applauded back at their captain, loudly. Toews smiled and pumped his fists.

Bishop, Johnson injuries hurt Lightning in Final

Tuesday, 06.16.2015 / 1:45 AM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

CHICAGO -- The Tampa Bay Lightning team that finished the Stanley Cup Final was not the same team that started it almost two weeks ago.

Goalie Ben Bishop played through a painful tear in his right groin, top scorer Tyler Johnson broke his right wrist early in the series, and Nikita Kucherov, who finished second on the Lightning in scoring, sustained an undisclosed injury in Game 5 that impacted him in Game 6, a 2-0 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks that ended Tampa Bay's season two wins short of the Stanley Cup.

"I think anybody will tell you that [if] you want to make a run like we made, the run Chicago made, you have to stay healthy," Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "That is the key. The margin of teams is so close. It's the healthy ones that seem to advance.

"I think we stayed somewhat healthy. Then down the stretch things started not going our way in that department. But we'll be the last team ever to say that's an excuse why we lost."

Kimmo Timonen caps career with first championship

Tuesday, 06.16.2015 / 1:14 AM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

CHICAGO -- Kimmo Timonen's past opportunities to experience the thrill of winning a championship didn't turn out the way he wanted. This one erased all the disappointments.

When Patrick Kane scored to give the Chicago Blackhawks a 2-0 lead in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday, it became clear Timonen was going to win the first championship of his career.

The weight of the moment caused Timonen to break down on the bench.

"I was crying a little bit," Timonen said moments after raising the Stanley Cup for the first time. "There were tears coming out of my eyes because I knew that it was going to be … two goals against this team, it was going to be hard to score. I knew we had a really good chance to win it."

The veteran defenseman previously played in the Stanley Cup Final with the Philadelphia Flyers against the Blackhawks, the Olympic final, the IIHF World Championship final, and the World Cup of Hockey final. He lost them all.

Timonen was a key piece of each of those teams that came as close to victory as possible without winning. On the Blackhawks, Timonen was a role player, getting limited minutes on defense and serving more as a morale booster on the bench and in the dressing room.

Marian Hossa's Hall candidacy bolstered by third Cup

Monday, 06.15.2015 / 10:57 PM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

CHICAGO -- Patrick Kane picked three ways to describe Chicago Blackhawks teammate Marian Hossa.

"The ultimate hockey player, the ultimate teammate, the ultimate human being," Kane said between games of the Stanley Cup Final. "He's got everything."

Hossa will soon be given his third championship ring after helping the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup for the third time since 2010 on Monday at United Center, defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-0 in Game 6.

The forward's credentials are enough to earn him the distinction as one of the greatest players in Blackhawks history. They're also enough to crown him the unquestioned king of hockey in Slovakia, according to fellow Slovak and Los Angeles Kings forward Marian Gaborik.

"I think so, definitely," Gaborik told "It means more for us, for fans and for the city [of Trencin, Slovakia], for his close people, but it obviously means a lot as well for Slovakia. Now he's got a third [Stanley Cup]. It's huge, definitely.

"People are big fans of his. Everybody roots for him."

Blackhawks built through draft, smart signings

Monday, 06.15.2015 / 10:56 PM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks long ago built the foundation for a roster capable of winning the Stanley Cup three times in six seasons.

Eight players won the Cup for a third time with the Blackhawks when they defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-0 in Game 6 of the Final at United Center on Monday. Five of those players were drafted by Chicago and six have been with the Blackhawks for at least seven seasons.

Through the roster upheavals the Blackhawks have endured, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa, Patrick Sharp, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Niklas Hjalmarsson have remained, considered the core of the closest thing the NHL has seen to a modern dynasty.

The NHL Draft has been critical to Chicago's success. Twelve of the 25 players who appeared in at least one 2015 Stanley Cup Playoff game were drafted and developed by the Blackhawks.

Joel Quenneville adds to legacy with latest Cup win

Monday, 06.15.2015 / 10:54 PM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Joel Quenneville isn't always the first name mentioned among the NHL's best coaches, but the coach of the Chicago Blackhawks bolstered his case after winning the Stanley Cup for the third time Monday.

After 18 seasons, Quenneville has an NHL coaching legacy few of his peers can match.

The 2-0 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final at United Center is the latest jewel, but his collection of coaching gems is gaudy to say the least.

Quenneville is third in NHL regular-season wins (754) and Stanley Cup Playoff wins (115), trailing Scotty Bowman and Al Arbour in each category.

Nearly a month ago, the Toronto Maple Leafs signed Mike Babcock to an eight-year contract reportedly worth $50 million, which made some wonder what Quenneville might be worth on the open market.

Blackhawks have strong case to be called 'dynasty'

Monday, 06.15.2015 / 10:53 PM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

CHICAGO -- With no official guidelines for what a dynasty is, the debate about which teams belong in that category are often the topic of intense debate among fans.

"It's one of those things that makes great conversation," Hockey Hall of Fame center Bryan Trottier told

Trottier should know; he was a key player on one of the NHL teams universally called a dynasty. His New York Islanders won Stanley Cup four straight years, from 1980-83.

Those Islanders are joined by the Montreal Canadiens of 1970s, with four championships from 1976-79; and the Edmonton Oilers, with five championships from 1984-90. The Detroit Red Wings won three championships in six seasons (1997-98, 2002) and are labeled a dynasty in many hockey circles.

Where do these Chicago Blackhawks fit among hockey's greatest teams?

They have won the 2010, 2013 and the 2015 Stanley Cup. They clinched their third championship in the past six seasons with a Game 6 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning at United Center on Monday.

President Obama tweets support for Blackhawks

Monday, 06.15.2015 / 6:58 PM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

President Barack Obama used his Twitter account to show support for his hometown Chicago Blackhawks on Monday.

Obama took to @BarackObama about an hour before Game 6 on Monday to tweet, "Let's. Go. Hawks," accompanied by a picture of First Lady Michelle Obama prior to the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic between the Blackhawks and Washington Capitals.

PHOTO: Stanley Cup goes through airport security

Monday, 06.15.2015 / 5:20 PM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

The Stanley Cup made it through airport security this morning on its way to Chicago and United Center, where the Chicago Blackhawks can win it against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6 of the Final (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).

The Blackhawks are trying to win the Cup at home for the first time since 1938, against the Toronto Maple Leafs.


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We've got to find a way to win a game. He's played well in the minors, now he gets his opportunity. We tried [with Jonathan Bernier]. The way I look at it, you get opportunities and you make the most of it. That's what [James Reimer] did. Now another opportunity is here and Sparks ... you gotta grab it. Is he ready? We'll find out.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock to the Toronto Star on recalling goalie Garret Sparks from the AHL to start Monday in his NHL debut
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