CHICAGO – As champagne bottles popped, Blackhawks loyalists banged the glass and the shiniest mug in sports showed its best side for the cameras, Kimmo Timonen spilled over with relief and happiness.
“You can always dream about this, but you never know what can happen in hockey,” said the 40-year-old lifer.
If he wasn’t winning a championship this week, he was never winning one. So when Patrick Kane scored to put the dynasty up 2-0 with just 5:14 left in the veteran’s career, Timonen broke.
“There were tears coming out of my eyes because I knew that it was going to be,” Timonen said through the party music and the mayhem.
“I’m ready to go, and I leave this game a Stanley Cup champion. And I can’t ask for any more than that.”
Most of the players had exited to the dressing room, where the partying would continue away from the flashbulbs. The Cup was to join them, but a handler grabbed it and brought it over to Timonen’s family for one last moment.
The champion handed the Stanley Cup to his children, whose reactions say everything you need to know about the man.
You earned it, Kimmo.