Champions Series: The 2010 Chicago Blackhawks
Antii Niemi lead all goalies in a number of stats for the 2010 postseason: Games Played (22), Wins (16), Saves (587), and Minutes: (1322). Niemi played out of his mind for the Hawks that postseason. He started every game the Hawks played and was solid every night. Niemi only faced defeat 6 times in the playoffs and was crucial to the Hawks’ Cup win. That postseason, the Finnish netminder became a brick wall reminiscent of a goalie in Wayne Gretzky’s 3D Hockey 98. He joined some elite company in Patrick Roy, Ken Dryden, and Cam Ward on the list of rookie goalies to carry their team to a Cup.
Big Buff was definitely a rock on the blue line, but he was also able to help power the Hawks offense. The Hawks transitioned the towering 6’5″ defenseman to offense and seemingly made the right choice that season. Buff was a brick wall even on offense. He netted 5 power play goals and 5 game winners that postseason to make him the leader in both categories. His defensive abilities enabled him to finish the postseason with 10 blocked shots and 8 takeaways. Though the Hawks couldn’t hold on to Byfuglien long after he helped them win a Cup, there’s not doubt he was instrumental in their run.
Patrick Kane, the guy who’s goal won it all in OT. Kane was the Blackhawks 1st overall selection in the 2007 draft, one year after they drafted their Captain in Jonathan Toews. With Kane nd Toews, the Hawks were starting to grow with talent. Having their eventual top 2 forwards grow with the franchise as rookies to playoff veterans is something every team envies. Paddy Kane had 10 goals and 18 assists in the 2010 postseason, making him a key player in the Hawks Cup run. Kane was and still is undoubtedly one of the Hawks’ best players. He’ll be another from this Hawks team to be named to their long list of greats.
The Hawks 3rd overall selection in the 2006 draft and their captain. Captain Serious is the name, and winning cups is his game. The 2010 Stanley Cup was Toews’ first of three with the franchise, going on to win again in 2013 and 2015. Toews’ skill and ability to see the game is phenomenal and is what helped him earn the Conn Smythe. He lead all players in the 2010 playoffs with 22 assists and also added 7 goals to end up one point behind Briere for most points in the postseason. Toews will go down in history with guys like Hull, Mikita, Esposito, and Lindsay just to name very few from the list of Hawks greats.
The 2010 Hawks had too many great players for us to rave about all of them so we’ll leave it at those four. The Blackhawks started their dynasty in 2010 and these are just a few of the names that helped them create it. We can’t even include an honorable mentions list because then we’d just be listing the entire roster. Seriously, everyone on that team was incredible and played a role one way or another.
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