The Chicago Blackhawks stunned the Boston Bruins with two goals in 17 seconds late in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final. Perhaps the amazing finish will finally set in by the time the team begins its championship parade on Friday morning.
Just when it looked like Chicago would be hosting Game 7, the tide turned. Bryan Bickell scored with just over a minute remaining to tie the game, and a few heartbeats later, Dave Bolland silenced the Boston crowd with the game-winning goal.
Now the newly crowned champions get to enjoy a trip through Chicago to celebrate their second Stanley Cup triumph in four years. Let's take a look at all the key information for the event and look back at how the Blackhawks earned it.
Where: United Center to Hutchinson Field in Grant Park
When: Friday, June 28 at 11:30 a.m. ET
Watch: CSN Chicago
Live Stream: CSNChicago.com
A look at the complete parade route:
Sometimes the playoffs can serve as a great equalizer. The Los Angeles Kings proved that last season. They entered the postseason as the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference but still managed to raise the Stanley Cup in the end.
That wasn't the case in the lockout-shortened campaign. The Blackhawks were the best team from start to finish. They started the season on a 24-game point streak and ended it with a thrilling six-game series victory over the battle-tested Bruins.
All told, Chicago's dominance doesn't come as a major surprise. A forward group led by Patrick Kane, who won the Conn Smythe Trophy for his playoff performance; Jonathan Toews; Marian Hossa; and a host of secondary scorers was always going to be dangerous.
The defense was also rock solid. Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook were the spotlight blueliners, but no matter what combination of the six were on the ice, the Blackhawks could feel comfortable.
When the playoffs began, Corey Crawford was the only major question mark. After a 23-game journey to the Stanley Cup, he could have easily edged out Kane for Conn Smythe honors. He elevated his game and helped secure the title.
So now the Blackhawks get to celebrate. The parade will start at the United Center and finish with a rally in Grant Park, according to the Chicago Tribune. The report states an estimated 2 million people attended the last Blackhawks championship parade.
Parades are a great sports tradition. A chance for fans and players to connect after a long journey to a championship. And it also allows for the players to get a closer look at the impact they made on the city as a whole.
It's important to enjoy the moment, because once the parade ends, the offseason begins. Moves will be made, other teams will get better and the focus will shift to the Blackhawks' title defense. The spotlight moves on to the next big hockey story.
But first, the Blackhawks get one last moment to enjoy it. They earned it after a season in which they were the best team throughout.