Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

2010 Stanley Cup Finals: In the end, Patrick Kane was the difference

Image (1) Kane5-thumb-300x200-13284.jpg for post 2026

Patrick Kane had just one game-winning goal in the entire postseason for the Chicago Blackhawks, but that’s all they ever really needed from him anyway. Jonathan Toews may have won the Conn Smythe trophy as the Most Valuable Player of the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs, but in the end it was Patrick Kane that was the difference maker as he pushed his team the incredibly resilient Philadelphia Flyers.

Kane, like the rest of this top line of himself, Toews and Dustin Byfuglien, had struggled mightily against the speedy and physicial Flyers in the first four games of the series. He had just three points in those first four games, and was a minus-6 overall. He was practically invisible at times and rarely was the scoring threat that this team desperately needed him to be in order to finally hoist the Cup.

After a disastrous Game 4 performance, Kane turned a corner.

He had five points between Game 5 and 6 and along with Byfuglien was the catalyst for what the Hawks needed to get their skates back under them. The series against the Flyers had gone off the rails in Philly, and here they were headed back to the City of -- supposed -- Brotherly Love with a chance to clinch the Cup finals once and for all.

Kane had just two secondary assists before the overtime period started, but his presence had been felt all game long. It was the same determination you saw in him after the debacle in Game 4 and it showed once more in the biggest game of his incredibly young career; there should have been no doubting that Kane would factor into the winning goal for the Blackhawks.

For Kane, who at age 21 is just now starting an already incredible career, it was perhaps the highest moment he’ll ever reach during his time in the NHL. Skating with the puck in the offensive zone, he was pushed wide by the Flyers before whipping a hard wrist shot on net. Somehow, the puck found its way through Michael Leighton before lodging in the far side of the twine. Kane instantly screamed in joy as the arena went nearly silent.

No goal lights went off.

No referee signaled a good goal. In fact, there was no signal made.

Image (2) Kane6-thumb-250x190-13287.jpg for post 2026

Just the sight of a young kid with the world’s greatest mullet skating as hard as he could to the other end of the ice, gloves, sticks and other pieces of equipment falling to the ice in his wake. No one knew what had happened, but Patrick Kane knew right away: he had just scored the Cup-winning goal in overtime.

Of course, while talking about the goal, Kane was quick to ramble onto another subject.

“I knew it right away,” Kane said, a smile on his face as emotion started to wash over him. “It was stuck behind the meshing there. Got a shot out to my people back in Buffalo. My hometown. I have four buddies who drove all the way to come out here. My five family members. Three sisters, three beautiful sisters. My mom and dad. What a feeling. I can’t believe it.

“It’s unbelievable. We just won the Stanley Cup.”

Kane was emotional after the game, as many players are when the reality of their accomplishments start to sink in. Kane is just 21 and has plenty of hockey ahead of him, but after a long and grueling season with all of the uncertainty and all of the pressure that was heaped upon the Hawks, it’s a relief to realize you’ve just accomplished the ultimate goal.

“I can’t believe this just happened,” Kane said as tears started to show in his eyes. “It’s something you dream of as a kid. To score the winning goal in the Stanley Cup Finals. It was just -- it was unbelievable.”

There’s no doubting how important and how deserving Toews is for the Hawks, the quiet and serious captain who held this team together all season long. Yet it was Kane, the flashy one of the two, who was ultimately the difference maker in this series. It’s not how you start a series or a game, it’s how you finish it that matters. When the Blackhawks were locked in a must-win game, fighting to not have to head to a dangerous Game 7 and with the Flyers seizing momentum, he did exactly what all good hockey players know to do.

He threw the puck at the net and made something good happen.