Scott Niedermayer: Congratulations to the Chicago Blackhawks for winning the Stanley Cup
Four-time Stanley Cup winner Scott Niedermayer of the Ducks shares his unique perspective and thoughts with The Times' readers during the Stanley Cup finals. Here he reviews Chicago's Cup-clinching victory.
I’d like to thank the L.A. Times for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts on a great Stanley Cup Final. I hope you enjoyed it!
Game 6 certainly didn’t disappoint…to win the Stanley Cup in overtime is a feeling unlike any other. When a goal is a scored in overtime, all of a sudden, your season is over. You’ve won the Stanley Cup. In overtime, your focus is still on hockey and what your job is. But when that goal goes in, it’s a pretty special moment. It reminded me a lot of when Jason Arnott scored in OT in Dallas, 10 years ago today (6/10/00, NJ’s Cup-clinching Game 6) on a nice pass from Patrick Elias. You just erupt. Everybody’s over at the bench and the party is on!
I think I saw (Patrick) Kane’s goal like everyone else. You saw that it went in and you said, ‘yeah, it went in, but where is it? What happened?’ A lot of people weren’t reacting the way you’d expect after a goal like that. I think everyone was second guessing themselves a little bit. It was interesting, but it was good to have a nice hard-fought game. Philly tying the game up late made it very entertaining to watch.
Going into that overtime, it seemed that Philly had the momentum. They scored the late goal to tie it up which is always a huge lift for any team. They could have won that game…and in Game 7, I’m sure they would have taken their chances with a best-of-one in Chicago. It’s tough – the amount of effort that they put in is equal to what Chicago did – every practice, every road trip, every hotel room, but they came away short. It’s a pretty empty feeling when you’re standing there, watching the other team lift the Cup. I’ve experienced that once as well – losing in the Stanley Cup Final in a Game 7 (to Colorado in 2001). It’s a pretty disappointing feeling for the next few weeks. But I think Philly can use these emotions as extra motivation next year to try and get back there.
On the other side, Chicago has some great times ahead. The amount of effort, energy, commitment, sacrifice…all that it takes to win the Stanley Cup, and then to actually realize that is amazing. You don’t have a lot of energy after you win, but it doesn’t really matter. You go out, celebrate and have a blast. You’ve been with your teammates for a long time competing together. A lot of these guys have been together for years. To reach a goal like that is a pretty special bond between everyone. They’re going to have a great time together, a lot of great memories from the playoffs and from these next few weeks.
I thought Jonathan Toews had a great playoffs overall and was deserving of the Conn Smythe. There’s probably some talk in this series that he maybe didn’t play quite as well, but that’s the way it goes for any player throughout the playoffs. You need other guys to step up and contribute and Chicago had other guys do it in this round for sure. He had a great playoffs through the whole two months. He’s a great player…he’s a hard working guy, he knows what it takes, he plays for the team and does all the right things.
Congratulations to both teams on great seasons. Chicago deserved the Stanley Cup, they have a great hockey club and they earned it over the last few months for sure.
-- Scott Niedermayer
Photos: The Chicago Blackhawks celebrate winning the Stanley Cup. Credit: All Bello, Getty Images.