The Blackhawks' trio of Winnipeg-born Olympians—captain Jonathan Toews, along with alternate captains Duncan Keith and Patrick Sharp—made Chicago fans happy last Sunday by helping the team blow St. Louis' playoff hopes away in the crucial third period of Game 6 at the United Center.
Bolstering the solid goaltending of Corey Crawford, especially his play in the second period when the Blackhawks had to kill four consecutive minor penalties, the three Winnipeg natives contributed to the four-goal offensive explosion in the third period that broke open a 1-1 game.
Toews started it off with a power-play goal 44 seconds in to give Chicago the lead, finishing off a feed from Duncan Keith. Just 77 seconds later, Patrick Sharp made it 3-1 on a breakaway on the goal that Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock later said took the wind out of his team. Keith then set up Andrew Shaw for the third Chicago score of the period, and for good measure, added a goal of his own at the 17-minute mark.
Toews, Keith and Sharp were all born in Winnipeg and played together for the gold-medal Canadian Olympic team in Sochi this winter. Hitchcock was an assistant coach for the Canadian team and was well aware of the talented Blackhawk trio, but his St. Louis squad was ultimately unable to stop them in the First Round of the playoffs.
Toews has already been named a finalist for the 2014 Selke Trophy as one of the top defensive forwards in the league, while Keith is a finalist for this year's Norris Trophy as the NHL's best defenseman after putting up 55 assists and 61 points. Sharp finished the regular season as the Blackhawks' top goal-scorer with 34, and he also led the team with 78 points.
Now it's on to the next series battle for the trio from Winnipeg!