An oral history of' “17 Seconds” from behind the scenes


An oral history of' “17 Seconds” from behind the scenes

June 24, 2013 – “17 Seconds” has become synonymous with this night in Chicago Blackhawks history. An improbable comeback late in Game 6 against the Boston Bruins earned the Blackhawks their second Stanley Cup in four seasons. Everyone remembers where they were at the moment, and everyone remembers how they celebrated. Here’s how it went down through the eyes of the people covering the game for (then) Comcast SportsNet.

David Kaplan (reporter): I traveled to Boston for Game 6 and covered the celebration as one of our on-ice reporters. I distinctly remember sitting in the press box at T.D. Garden Arena with Pat Boyle watching the game when we were told that the elevators were running very slow and that we should head downstairs before the start of the third period in case the Blackhawks won and we had to cover the celebration.

Pat Boyle (pre/postgame host): For the 3rd period of Game 6 in Boston, we moved to ice level where broadcast row was set up in the bowels of TD Garden.  

There were only a couple of TV monitors we could watch the game on.  So you had 40-50 media members staring up at a small flat-screen when Milan Lucic put the Bruins up 2-1 with 7 minutes to go in regulation.  A couple minutes later, the case carrying the Stanley Cup was wheeled by us…

Kaplan: The Stanley Cup was literally 10 feet away from us, ready to be brought onto the ice if the Blackhawks won the game. After Milan Lucic scored late in the third period to give Boston the lead, someone from the NHL came running down to the man guarding the Stanley Cup and said, "Pack that thing up and get it to the airport to get it to Chicago!"

Jeff Nelson (producer): I was producing the postgame show back in the Chicago newsroom for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final in Boston. With the Blackhawks down 2-1 with just under two minutes left, I sat in the control room getting ready to do a show that I thought would focus on how the Hawks could bounce back and win Game 7 at the United Center.

John Schippman (field producer): Members of the media were crowded around a few TVs spread out throughout the media holding area. I was standing next to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. We (the media) were lined up underneath the stands, on ice level, preparing to go onto the ice if the Blackhawks mounted a comeback and won the Stanley Cup that night.

With 1:29 left in the game and the Blackhawks trailing 2-1, Chicago pulls Corey Crawford out of the net for the extra attacker. The Hawks proceeded to flip the script entirely, as Bryan Bickell and Dave Bolland scored 17 seconds apart to give them a 3-2 lead. The goals were scored 17 seconds apart in game-time, but in REAL TIME, it all happened in under 90 seconds…causing chaos and confusion everywhere.

Nelson: In my headset I heard someone say "Hawks just scored!”  I looked up, but on the broadcast they were still trailing. Then Bickell put the puck in the back of the net, and I realized the network was on a 15 second delay and I was hearing one of our photographers over the phone from inside the arena.  Everyone started cheering and I took a breath thinking we had a few minutes to relax, since there would be a long intermission before overtime got underway.

Kaplan: Not long after the Blackhawks tied the game on Bryan Bickell's goal, the same gentleman (who was with the Stanley Cup) came running back into the tunnel and yelled "Get back here and get that thing out near the ice! The game is tied!"

Schippman: I turned to my left and there was Bettman standing next to me. I was so focused on the game and the Bickell goals that I didn’t even realize he was there.

He said “Wow, things have just gotten interesting.” I said I couldn’t believe it, and I think we both planned for an exciting overtime.

Ryan McGuffey (producer): I was working that night with Sarah Lauch and while in our Avid editing suite, I began prepping for what appeared to be a certain Game 7 against Boston. As I watched the seconds tick off the clock, boom, Bryan Bickell tied the game with a goal. In the midst of celebrating loudly, and hardly paying attention, the Blackhawks were celebrating again. I was confused. I asked Sarah what happened. Then, we realized the improbable…Dave Bolland had scored. The Blackhawks led 3-2. Twice in 17 seconds. The game clock hit 0.0 and pandemonium ensued….at work. 

Nelson: A few seconds later (someone said it was 17), I was just about to take my headset off when I heard "Hawks just scored again!" No one else in the control room was hearing what I heard, so I shouted out "Everyone…watch this!" Bolland scores, bedlam ensued, and less than a minute later we were on the air covering another Stanley Cup title. 

Schippman: We all know what happened next. 17 seconds later, Dave Bolland scored the game-winning goal, and the words out of my mouth were ‘Holy #&*^+=@ sh*t!’ (True story!)

Bettman turned towards me again and said, “That’s pretty amazing.”

Boyle: Just seconds after “17 Seconds”, the beat up case carrying the Cup was wheeled by us again and was getting polished up for its presentation to the Blackhawks.

The postgame show started in the bowels of the Garden and then my co-host Steve Konroyd and I were moved inside the bowl, just above ice level.

Mike Cappozzo (photographer): We lined up to go into the locker room. Bicks ties it and I had to run down the hall to get into the “on ice” line. I quickly detached my Dejero (portable satellite receiver) and ran over there. Bolly scores. We go nuts. In my haste, I plugged the video cable back into the Dejero power outlet by accident and created a huge spark. The Dejero goes dead. I send up a prayer, fire it back up and it worked

Kaplan: I hit the ice looking for interviews for our postgame show. I spotted Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford and I immediately made a beeline for him to try to interview him live on the show. He said yes and just before Pat threw it to me, Corey leaned over to me and said that he watched SportsTalk Live during the season. I had been very harsh on Crawford and now with him standing next to me as a Stanley Cup winning goalie, he firmly reminded me of how hard I had been on him. How would he handle it when we hit the air? Would he blast me? No, Crawford was the consummate professional and he could not have been more gracious during our interview.

Schippman: The game clock hit zero, the celebration began, and we headed to the ice to gather sound for the postgame show. Covering the second Cup run was just as good as the first. We were more organized the second time around, but you always prepare for the unexpected, and that included Jonathan Toews and a few of his teammates moonwalking across the ice in their suits puffing on cigars as they waited to continue their celebration on the buses and eventually the flight back to Chicago. A great memory for me was this picture in the locker room, with a few of the hardest working people I know, and the head coach of the Stanley Cup Champions.

Cappozzo: Me, John Schippman and David Kaplan get a postgame picture with Bolland and the Cup in the hallway of the Garden. I shot a great iPhone video of Pete Hassen (Blackhawks VP of Marketing) dumping beer on Ship. It became a tradition in 2010 and he did it again in 2013.

Nelson: The next couple hours is a blur, but the one thing I clearly remember is when Pat and Steve were on camera from inside the arena, Jonathan Toews started yelling to them from center ice, and as the camera zoomed in, the captain celebrated the victory by doing the moonwalk.

Boyle: While we chronicled the Blackhawks historic, wire to wire run, my lasting memory was seeing Jonathan Toews at center ice with a handful of friends and family. The Captain had a cigar in one hand and a beverage in the other. “Captain Serious” had left the building and Toews was moonwalking on the ice.  Our cameras caught this unlikely celebration and it put a bow on another unforgettable night in Chicago sports history.

Scott Changnon (digital producer/editor): June 2013 marked my first year working as an editor at NBC Sports Chicago (then Comcast SportsNet). Just like all fans watching in Chicago, I was in our downtown studios biting my nails during the final minutes, witnessing the miraculous 17 seconds that had me still pinching myself afterwards that it actually happened. The most memorable moment was seeing Jonathan Toews moonwalk on the ice during the postgame show. I ended up editing that moment and dozens of other videos for social media and our website until the sun rose at 7 a.m. when I was relieved by our morning editor.

McGuffey: We flipped the script into celebration mode and how we’d cover it. Because we had a blueprint of how this worked from 2010, we reverted back to the things that were successful. The Blackhawks would touch down at O’Hare in the middle of the night, and the party would begin at Haray Caray’s in Rosemont…just as it had in 2010. I left the office around 2:30 a.m. to meet our crew to capture the first images of the players, and as important, the Stanley Cup. Usually when a team wins, it’s ALL about the players. Where they are. Who they’re with. Where they’re going next. But, the Stanley Cup brings its own star power and the chase was on. Around 3:30 a.m., the buses pulled in and the players rolled off. I remember interviewing a handful of players, including our own Jamal Mayers, amongst a throng of news reporters who had a tough time recognizing players without their jerseys on. I’d get a “who’s that?” after interviewing a player about the highlight of their hockey career. 

Danni Wysocki (booker/field producer): My main job the night the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup was to meet the team at the airport and follow the Cup around as they bar hopped and interview players. The camera man and I didn’t go to sleep and left straight to O’Hare after the Blackhawks won and the on-ice celebrations were over. We followed the Cup from O’Hare to Harry Caray’s then to The Scout. There were hundreds of people outside every stop, including fans, media and police. I listened to a police scanner app on my phone to see if we would be tipped off by the police to what bar the team was headed to next. When the players left the bar, we TMZ styled interviewed them. We joked that we were like the SNL cheerleaders peeking into the windows of Stanley Cup parties.  

McGuffey: Because we had no way of feeding the sound and video to our station, I grabbed the disc and got back in the car. I raced down the Kennedy Expressway, passing my house as the sun was coming up and I got it back to the station and gave it to the same person I watched the final seconds tick down with, Sarah Lauch. We edited the video and inserted it into a morning show replays as an update. Eventually, I got back in the car and made it home…at 9:30 a.m., exhausted, knowing it was ALL WORTH IT.

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Patrick Kane believes there's 'chemistry to be built' with Kirby Dach and Dylan Strome

Patrick Kane believes there's 'chemistry to be built' with Kirby Dach and Dylan Strome

All eyes were on No. 3 overall pick Kirby Dach during Sunday's game as he made his NHL debut with the Blackhawks, but the story leading up to puck drop was where he was going to slot into the lineup.

Would he be broken in as a winger or were the Blackhawks going to slide him into his natural position at center? And if so, where? The answer to the first question was the latter and the second drew excitement among the fanbase when the team ran through line rushes during warmups.

Dach lined up as the second-line center with Patrick Kane at right wing and Dylan Strome moved over to left wing. That's a No. 3 overall pick (Dach) alongside another No. 3 overall pick (Strome) and a No. 1 overall pick (Kane), who's a three-time Stanley Cup champion and Hart Trophy winner.

When the three of them were on the ice together at 5-on-5 against Washington, they had eight shot attempts for and nine against and four scoring chances for and five against in 12:27 of ice time, according to Natural Stat Trick. Not great, but not terrible.

On paper, the trio has some real potential and it's enough for Kane to feel like this could be a line that sticks going forward.

"I thought he played well," Kane said of Dach's debut. "Did some noticeable things where he's hanging onto the puck, big body, he's obviously still a young kid. Pretty raw, but for his first game against a really good team, one of the better teams in the league, I thought he was noticeable, had some good shifts. I think there's some chemistry to be built there. I think we can even be better. Better with him, myself and Strome, we can be better for him." 

Dach said after morning skate that he wasn't sure where he was going to fit into the lineup. But he found out shortly after and spoke after the game about what it was like playing with Kane and Strome.

"It was pretty cool," Dach said. "Obviously grew up watching Kaner play and how successful he's been in his career and Stromer is coming into his own way and how good of a player he is. They made it easy to play with those guys. It was fun. I enjoyed playing with them."

The Blackhawks return to action on Tuesday against the Vegas Golden Knights, one of the top teams in the Western Conference, and expect the Strome-Dach-Kane line to get another crack together as they look to strengthen their on-ice rapport.

"I look at his game, he's pretty responsible," coach Jeremy Colliton said of Dach. "He doesn't look like a centerman who is going to struggle in his own end. He looks like he knows what he's doing down there. It's not going to be perfect, but there's the opportunity for him to get a lot better really quickly. We'll see how it plays out."

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Four takeaways: Kirby Dach holds his own in NHL debut but Blackhawks fall to Capitals

Four takeaways: Kirby Dach holds his own in NHL debut but Blackhawks fall to Capitals

Here are four takeaways from the Blackhawks' 5-3 loss to the Washington Capitals at the United Center on Sunday:

1. Blackhawks left wanting more

The Blackhawks were easily the better team at even strength against one of the deepest teams in the NHL. They led in total shot attempts (84-49), shots on goal (44-30), even-strength scoring chances (36-20) and even-strength high-danger chances (16-9), according to Natural Stat Trick, but couldn't pull out a win.

The Blackhawks put up 44 shots on goal against a Capitals team that allowed the second-fewest shots per game (27.8) going into the matchup. They deserved a better fate.

"I think we dictated most of the play tonight and we weren't rewarded for it, but that's the way hockey works sometimes," Drake Caggiula said. "You don't always get the bounces, you don't always get the results you're looking for, even if you play the prototypical game or the perfect game. We didn't get rewarded tonight but this is something we can build off of heading into the next one."

2. Kirby Dach's NHL debut

After being sidelined for the first week of training camp and working his way back from a concussion, the Blackhawks' No. 3 overall pick finally made his much-anticipated NHL debut. And he held his own.

Dach centered the second line with Dylan Strome playing left wing and Patrick Kane in his usual spot at right wing. He had one shot attempt, one takeaway and went 1-for-5 at the faceoff circle in 13:41 of ice time. His only noticeable blemish was not picking up Alex Ovechkin in time before he rifled a shot past Corey Crawford.

"Obviously you want to win in your first game in and help the team that way, but I felt good out there," Dach said. "But at the same time, there's things I can clean up in my game to kind of help the team moving forward."

3. Special teams is the difference

The reason the Blackhawks lost this game was their lack of success on special teams. The Capitals went 1-for-1 on the power play and scored a shorthanded goal while the Blackhawks went 0-for-5 on the power play, which included a four-minute double minor in the second period.

It was unfortunate because the Capitals entered Sunday's matchup with a +11 goal differential and +44 shot differential in the second period and a -5 goal differential and -13 shot differential in the first and third periods combined, but the Blackhawks couldn't capitalize in the middle frame even thought they outshot them 15-9. Caggiula's goal was negated just 1:28 after by Nic Down.

"You can look at in the second there, we had a lot of momentum, give up a shorthanded goal, so we gotta be better in that department," Kane said. "We also gotta be better on the power play. Comes down to things like that, but good team and I thought we had a pretty good effort overall tonight."

4. Third line stands out again

The third line of David Kampf, Dominik Kubalik and Brandon Saad continues to be the driving force on offense for the Blackhawks, especially when it comes to possession. They were on the ice for 22 shot attempts for and nine against, 14 scoring chances for and four against, six high-danger chances for and one against, and one goal for and zero against in 9:07 of 5-on-5 ice time. 

Kubalik led the charge with 14 shot attempts (10 on goal) and scored a greasy goal to pull the Blackhawks within one in the third period. Kane evened it up shortly after. 

"Turned the game for us," coach Jeremy Colliton said of Kubalik's goal. "I think we were playing well, but they just took it to another level. Not only did they score, but it was an explosive shift there. And it wasn't the only good shift they had, but it really gave us momentum. They've been good."

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