It’s probably the phrase that never needs explanation for Chicago Blackhawks fans. It’s probably one that sends Boston Bruins fans into the fetal position. It was also 10 years ago today:
On this day in 2013, 17 seconds made history 🏆 pic.twitter.com/zAYlX80YoE
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) June 24, 2023
The Blackhawks Twitter account set it to a 17-second countdown from Bryan Bickell’s goal to puck drop and then Dave Bolland’s clincher.
2013 Was the Culmination of a Wire-to-Wire Team
The 2013 version of the team was probably the finest of the three even though it was an abbreviated season due to the 2012 Lockout. The Blackhawks started the season out 21-0-3, and really had no issues until a harrowing seven-game series with the Detroit Red Wings, where they rallied from a 3-1 series deficit. It was the first of several major moments in that playoff run–with Brent Seabrook notching the game winner in overtime of Game 7–after a Niklas Hjalmarsson go-ahead goal was waived off in the third on a tick-tack call.
Chicago would bounce Los Angeles in five games during the Western Conference Final thanks to a Patrick Kane double overtime winner, which ended up giving him a hat trick for the game. It would also punch his ticket for the Conn Smythe, despite a strong playoff performance from Corey Crawford.
The Blackhawks actually trailed the Bruins in series 2-1 and nearly went down 3-1 but Seabrook again came to the rescue with an overtime winner that knotted the series at two.
From there, it was destiny. The 17 seconds was simply the cherry on top.
17 Seconds Symbolic of 2013 Blackhawks Tenacity
There was always a moment seemingly waiting for the team, a hero ready to emerge when their collective backs were against the wall. When the stopwatch started with those 17 seconds, it was Bickell and Bolland who answered the call.
Bickell’s goal started with Kane doing what he does best–drawing attention and then making something seemingly out of nothing. Crawford already skated to the bench and as they would do, Chicago got to work. After Kane was chased in the zone, he ripped a quick shot that ricocheted to the end boards. Jonathan Toews banged away to try and fish the puck out, and it would be Duncan Keith pinching in to snag the puck. A quick pass to Toews, who found Bickell in front of the net evened the game at three.
But they clearly weren’t done. In the immortal words of the great Doc Emrick, it would be “helter-skelter” before Bolland would deposit the puck into the back of the net. Again, it resulted out of a full team effort of Chicago getting it in deep and then of all people, the defensively sound Johnny Oduya flinging a puck to the net that was deflected by Michael Frolik at first before Bolland buried it.
58.3 seconds later, the Chicago Blackhawks were Stanley Cup Champions.
Say what you will of the three Cups won in six years, including an overtime game winner from Kane in 2010, but nothing prepared even the most diehard Blackhawks fan for a frantic finish like that.
But it sure as hell gave the memory of a lifetime.