When you take a look back on Stanley Cup runs, or title runs in any sport for that matter, you can usually point back to a single defining moment; a moment that made people think they were watching a team of destiny. For the 2010 Blackhawks, most fans point to Game 5 against the Predators as that moment. What we found out from our 2010 Blackhawks reunion, is most of the guys in that locker room point at that moment too.
“I remember that vividly, because that might have been the loudest I’ve ever heard the United Center,” said Joel Quenneville. “Kaner goes out there and makes a great play and scores a gigantic goal and the building erupts, and then Hoss’ coming out of the box and we go on to win it.”
High praise coming from “Coach Q,” who coached in Chicago for parts of 11 seasons and won a Stanley Cup on home ice.
“It was Kane,” said Kris Versteeg when recalling the top moment of that playoff run. “I remember looking on the ice, like ‘wow, this is our destiny.’ Like, this is crazy that this just happened. And it put us in a pretty good spot to win. And then [Brent] Seabrook shoots the puck off the banker and it goes past [Pekka] Rinne in Game 6. Just like crazy stuff. Like man, this is destiny almost.”
Troy Brouwer, similar to Versteeg, said it eliminated any doubt the group might have had going forward.
“I don’t think anyone really sat down between the end of the game and overtime and when Hoss scored the goal, everyone in there just knew that we were going to do something, that we were going to play for a long time,” said Brouwer. “So, for me, that was the turning point, when if there were any doubts in our mind going into the playoffs, they were gone right there.”
While Versteeg, Brouwer, and Coach Q recalled the moment, Dave Bolland looked at that series as a whole as their launching pad for the Cup run.
“I think Nashville gave us the hardest time I think out of anyone, maybe. I felt after Nashville, like hey this is special, we got something going, and we’re going to have a chance to win a Cup,” Bolland recalled.
There’s no doubt that Game 5 will hold a special spot in the hearts of all Blackhawks fans, and certainly served as that “team of destiny” moment for the 2010 Cup run. Who knows what goes on to happen if Martin Erat doesn’t throw a blind pass into the slot and Nashville ends up taking Game 5. But what makes that win even more significant is that not only did it serve as that one defining moment for the 2010 team, but potentially for the entire Blackhawks “dynasty” as well.