The Chicago Blackhawks wrapped up a fantastic post-season with a Game 6 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning to capture the Stanley Cup.
Between the sensational crowd at the MTS Centre, a pair of scintillating last-second goals, and an epic Stanley Cup series, there was plenty of incredible memories during the run to the 2015 Cup.
Here are the 12 best moments from this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs:
First playoff game back in Winnipeg
The Winnipeg Jets didn’t win a single game throughout the 2015 post-season, but that didn’t make their first playoff appearance since 1996 any less meaningful. Truth be told, there weren’t many sights as memorable as the Jets crowd welcoming the Winnipeg players at the MTS Centre prior to the first home playoff game against Anaheim.
OK it may not have been a hockey play, but who could forget this?! Before Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final, Scott Oake interviewed an interesting Rangers fan, who had a surreal response when he was asked how much he paid for his first-row tickets.
Ward stuns Rangers with last-second goal
This one wasn’t so fun for the Rangers. During Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semi-final, Capitals forward Joel Ward beat the buzzer in regulation to give Washington an exhilarating Game 1 victory. Rangers coach Alain Vigneault was furious that a penalty wasn’t called on Nicklas Backstrom, who created the play with a huge hit from behind on defenceman Dan Boyle behind the net.
Dazzling display by Etem
Goal of the playoffs? Anaheim Ducks forward Emerson Etem walks through Jets defenceman Jacob Trouba with a ridiculous individual effort.
Johnson puts Canadiens on the brink
Lightning forward Tyler Johnson scored a number of crucial goals throughout the post-season, but the last-second goal against the Montreal Canadiens in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semi-final stood out in the bunch. Sorry, Habs fans.
The Darling of Round 1
Chicago might not have won the Stanley Cup without the heroics of unheralded goaltender Scott Darling early in Round 1 against the Nashville Predators. During an epic performance in relief of Corey Crawford, Darling’s incredible sliding save on defenceman Ryan Ellis was the highlight.
The best goal that never was
It won’t get talked about much anymore, considering they won the Cup, but it’s unfair to ignore Shaw’s incredible soccer-style header that went in the net before it was disallowed by the refs in overtime against the Anaheim Ducks in the West final. What an effort!
Bennett’s breakout party
The Flames didn’t get too deep in this year’s post-season, but the emergence of young forward Sam Bennett had to be one key development from a Calgary standpoint. After missing the majority of the regular season with an injury, Bennett surely didn’t look overwhelmed during his first-ever Stanley Cup playoffs appearance.
Ducks explode for three goals in 37 seconds
Anaheim came ever-so close to beating the eventual Stanley Cup Champions, but the offensive explosion between the two Western Conference powerhouses was a top playoff moment for sure. Here, Anaheim shows its potent attack with three goals in a mere 37 seconds. Incredible!
Wild third period helps Flames eliminate Canucks
Vancouver fans might want to ignore this one. Just when it looked like the Canucks were climbing back into the first-round series with Calgary, the Flames had a third-period to remember, rallying back from a early three-goal deficit to eliminate the Canucks,
Ovechkin scores from his knees
Ovechkin’s Messier-style guarantee never came true, but he was as dominant as ever in his two playoff rounds this season. Against the Rangers, the Capitals forward scored on a ridiculous individual play from his knees. Like he said to Henrik Lundqvist, All Series Long.
Keith comes through…again
Last but certainly not least, we have to give a shoutout to the Conn Smythe winner Duncan Keith, who scored the Stanley Cup-winning goal against the Lightning in Game 6.