Monday, 15 June 2015

Sweet Home Chicago

It's hard to believe that it's been 77 years since the Stanley Cup was given to the Blackhawks in the city of Chicago. 77 years ago, the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup against the Toronto Maple Leafs in four games after winning the best-of-five series by a 3-1 count. It was their second Stanley Cup in franchise history after the Blackhawks had won in 1934, but this one had a little more drama than the first in 1934. A goaltending controversy surrounded the Blackhawks after starter Mike Karakas broke his toe, and there was a ton of doubt that the Blackhawks could even skate with the mighty Maple Leafs.

April 5 saw the start of the Stanley Cup Final as the Blackhawks visited Maple Leaf Gardens. Chicago skated to the 3-1 victory in Game One, shocking the Maple Leaf faithful to take a 1-0 series lead. Toronto responded in Game Two by pressuring the Blackhawks all night long in a 5-1 victory to even the series at 1-1. However, the shift to Chicago saw the Blackhawks play extremely well as they played a magnificent game in winning 2-1 to take a 2-1 series lead and pushing the Maple Leafs to the brink. And Game Four would see the Blackhawks close out the season by winning the Stanley Cup in a 4-1 victory to take the series 3-1.

The controversy surrounding the Blackhawks and their goaltending started when Alfie Moore took to the ice in Game One. Moore was a member of the Pittsburgh Hornets and donned the pads because replacement goalie Paul Goodman didn't arrive in Toronto in time for Game One. League President Frank Calder allowed the 3-1 victory to stand with Moore in net, but ruled Moore ineligible for the remainder of the series due to him not being affiliated with the Blackhawks in any way. Goodman finally arrived and lost Game Two in Toronto, but Chicago got Mike Karakas back in Games Three and Four as he played net with a steel toe covering his skate to protect his broken toe! The rest is history as Karakas gave up two goals in two games to help Chicago win!

The Blackhawks, however, recognized Alfie Moore's efforts in their win by giving him $300 and a gold watch after the series - a pretty awesome gesture by the Blackhawks for the one game of service Moore provided. Bill Stewart, a rookie head coach in the 1937-38 season, became the first American-born head coach to win the Stanley Cup, and he would be the only American-born winning coach for the next 53 years until "Badger" Bob Johnson won the Stanley Cup in 1991 with the Penguins! Forward Carl Voss became the second player in history to have his name added to both the Stanley Cup and the CFL's Grey Cup as he won the Grey Cup in 1924! The other person? The legendary Lionel Conacher whose brother, Charlie Conacher, was the captain of the Maple Leafs in 1938!

Here are a few pictures from the archives of the Chicago Tribune from that season.
Tonight, the Chicago Blackhawks won their second Stanley Cup on home ice with a 2-0 victory over another team in blue-and-white in the Tampa Bay Lightning! The Chicago Blackhawks are your 2015 Stanley Cup Champions!
More on this in the coming days, and the HBIC Playoff Pool will wrap up this weekend. Stay tuned, everyone! Prizes will be shown off when they arrive in my mailbox this week!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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