(Reuters) – Young captain Jonathan Toews capped a dream season on Wednesday when he led the Chicago Blackhawks to a long-awaited Stanley Cup triumph and was named playoffs MVP to add to his Vancouver Olympic gold.
U.S. | Sports
The 22-year-old Toews said winning the fabled silver trophy as National Hockey League champions satisfied a dream he had held since he was four years old growing up in Winnipeg.
“I couldn’t get it out of my head the last couple of days,” he told reporters on the ice after Chicago’s 4-3 overtime win completed a 4-2 victory in the best-of-seven series.
“The last couple of nights have been torture, not being able to sleep and just being excited every moment of the day.”
Toews scored seven goals and registered 22 assists in the playoffs for the Blackhawks, who ended a 49-year Stanley Cup drought dating back to the glory days of Hall of Famers Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita.
“The spell, the number of years that this team has been close and never won a Stanley Cup,” said Toews. “You want to do it for every guy in your locker room and your fans but especially for guys like Bobby and Stan and the guys that came before you who made this team and this crest so special.
“It’s awesome. The Olympics is cool, but this is totally different,” he added as players, family, friends and club officials celebrated on the ice for about an hour.
“Look at the people on the ice — this is our Blackhawks family right here. It’s huge. We did it for each other.”
The winning goal was rifled in by 21-year-old Patrick Kane, a member of the U.S. Olympic silver medal team, who had come up the ranks of the young Blackhawks team along with Toews.
“You can’t plan anything like that,” Toews said about how the young lions came through in the clutch. “It just happens.
“We’re so happy to win and get a championship as a team. The individual stuff is just icing on the cake.”
(Editing by Editing by Alastair Himmer)