The Blackhawks celebrated their second Stanley Cup title in four seasons Friday with a parade and rally through the streets of Chicago.
Four days after the Blackhawks won the NHL championship with a thrilling come- from-behind victory in Game 6 over Boston, fans lined the streets of downtown Chicago and cheered their heroes as they made their way from United Center to Grant Park in the open tops of double-decker buses.
The parade came two days after Chicago would have hosted a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Finals, but goals from Bryan Bickell and Dave Bolland just 17 seconds apart in the final two minutes of the third period vaulted the Blackhawks over the Bruins for the team's fifth title in team history.
Chicago's Patrick Kane was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP after posting nine goals and 10 assists along with a plus-seven to take home the honor that captain Jonathan Toews had won during the Blackhawks' triumph over Philadelphia in the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals.
Toews could be seen touting the Stanley Cup above his head throughout the parade until the buses finally stopped in Grant Park, where a video tribute highlighting Chicago's epic run preceded speeches by members of the Blackhawks organization.
"It was time for Lord Stanley to come home to Chicago, Ill.," Blackhawks President and CEO John McDonough remarked. "Today is a reward to our great fans that gave us a chance. We are very proud to represent the city of Chicago. We are Chicago proud."
After the introduction of the coaching and training staffs, Blackhawks bench boss Joel Quenneville walked to the podium holding the President's Trophy, which was awarded to Chicago for posting the best regular-season mark.
"These players should be commended on having a great season," Quenneville stated. "We're all very fortunate to play in a special place like Chicago. We're happy for everyone here today."
The players were introduced next, with forward Patrick Sharp carrying the Clarence Campbell Bowl, awarded to the Western Conference champions.
"You guys make the United Center the best place to play in all the NHL," Sharp said. "We're just so proud that we could bring this to the great city of Chicago."
Toews was the last player introduced and walked onto the stage with the Stanley Cup held high above his head.
"I can't think of a better team, a better bunch of guys to represent this city," Toews said. "Twice in four years is absolutely unbelievable."
Once Toews finished his brief speech, confetti reigned down on the stage as the Blackhawks' victory theme echoed through the frenzied throng.