After blowing a two-goal lead and with the score tied 2-2 about halfway through the third period, the Chicago Blackhawks were reeling. Then the puck found its way onto Patrick Kane‘s stick and the magic began. Dancing with the puck and weaving through traffic, Kane threw the puck on net on a pinpoint backhand that found its way past Minnesota Wild goalie Ilya Bryzgalov and into the back of the net.
Even while being outplayed for most of the game, the Blackhawks found themselves up 3-2. Kane would add another goal and the Hawks would add an empty-netter before the final buzzer sounded with the score of 5-2. Just like that, the Hawks have a 1-0 series lead as a result of their star power. So many times before, the country and fans of Chicago have seen this team will their way to victories. For the majority of the night, they got outplayed, but they didn’t get outlasted.
Also playing terrifically was goalie Corey Crawford, who played some of the best hockey of his career through the first two periods. Essentially, both Wild goals were not savable as Crawford did his job and then some. However, the real story to come out of this game other than the 1-0 lead for the team with home ice was that Kane is emerging as an early Conn Smythe Trophy winner. Already winning one in his career, if Kane won another one, he would have two before his 25th birthday.
Playing the way he is, it’s really not out of the realm of possibility that Kane could win the honor again. Now all the Blackhawks have to do is repeat as Stanley Cup champions. That, of course, will be a tougher task than Kane doing his same old song and dance with the puck. Should he keep up his amazing scoring pace, Blackhawks fans will get used to hearing “Chelsea Dagger” all summer long once more.