Red Wings End Dream Season for Blackhawks

Chicago's title run ended with a 2-1 OT loss.

Chicago's dream season ended tonight, at the Red Wings bested the Blackhawks in overtime, 2-1, to take the conference finals and send the Red Wings to the Stanley Cup finals. Detroit won the series 4-1.

Wednesday night's game was a clinic in goaltending, as both Chris Osgood and Cristobal Huet were outstanding in the net, with Huet making 42 saves and Osgood stopping 30. The game was scoreless until the third period, when former Blackhawk Daniel Cleary broke the tie with a goal for the Red Wings. Cleary had an outstanding series, scoring five goals against Chicago. Patrick Kane soon followed with a backhand goal to even up the game. It looked like the Red Wings might win it in the final seconds, but Huet made an amazing save as the seconds waned, sending the game into OT. Darren Helm broke the tie, scoring with the help of Tomas Holmstrom and Brett Lebda.

Despite losing tonight, and getting knocked out in the series, the Blackhawks should not hang their head. They've done more than be the most successful Blackhawks team since 1995. With excellent play, fun, accessible athletes and smart marketing, the Blackhawks endeared themselves to a city that had all but forgotten them. With one strong season, they erased years of overpriced tickets, local television blackouts and letting go of every player that Chicago came to love. They not only lit a fire under Chicago's base of hockey fans, they attracted new fans, and packed the United Center for every game. They then rewarded Chicago's faith with a playoff run that was highly unlikely for such a young and inexperienced team.

That playoff run has set up the Blackhawks for nothing but success in the future. There have been many comparisions between the Blackhawks and the Bulls of the late 80s and 90s. The young Bulls had to get past the Bad Boy Detroit Pistons to win the title, and when they finally did, they won six championships in eight years. If the Blackhawks had to lose this series to set up a Bulls-like run, well, there isn't a fan out there who wouldn't take that trade.

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