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Blackhawks win first Stanley Cup since '61

Jonathan Toews

Patrick Kane scored on a bizarre goal four minutes into overtime to give the Chicago Blackhawks a 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers and the team's first Stanley Cup title since 1961. The Blackhawks won the thrilling series, 4-2, in which there were two overtime games.

Kane's goal was strange because he seemed to be the only person in the arena in Philadelphia who knew he had scored. NBC announcer Mike Emerick kept calling action and no red light went off as Kane flew down the ice in celebration (video here). It turned out the puck had gotten stuck in the upper corner of the net, and it took a few moments for the goal to be confirmed.

During the postgame celebration it was fun to hear Flyers fans boo Commissioner Gary Bettman every time he opened his mouth, but they were respectful as the Blackhawks got their due. One good thing is that the hideous playoff beards will be gone. The worst was Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, a great-looking guy who has maybe the worst beard-mullet I've ever seen.

Going into Game 6, the series had been the highest rated since 2002 (ratings were up 843% in Chicago and 457% in Philadelphia over last year, and 80% in non-hockey market Kansas City). It's a sign that non-NHL fans will tune in if there is a compelling series with two traditional hockey markets. I know I enjoyed it.

Bonus pic -- Patrick Kane shirtless in the back of a limo (for which he later apologized):