PHILADELPHIA - The last thing any of the Chicago Blackhawks wanted to do on Wednesday morning was make plans for something they hadn't won. Every good hockey player knows you don't taunt the gods by planning Stanley Cup celebrations.
But that's how much Marian Hossa means to Jonathan Toews and his teammates. Toews was willing to break tradition, even if just for a moment to let Hossa in on a plan.
Toews, the Blackhawks' captain, pulled Hossa aside and told him that, if they were to win Game 6, Toews would hand Hossa the Cup first.
"I said, 'It sounds great,' " he said.
It was even better when it happened.
Playing in his third consecutive Stanley Cup finals, Hossa finally won. He lost with Pittsburgh in 2008. He lost with Detroit in 2009. And after he finally won in 2010, he could admit he was nervous it would play out that way again.
"When we got to the finals again, I was so happy we were in the finals," he said. "But at the same time, it was a little scary."
And it got scary when a puck deflected off his skate right to Scott Hartnell for the game-tying goal. It continued to be scary when Hossa had a chance to win the game in regulation but fired a shot off Michael Leighton's chest.
If you didn't think Hossa was cursed after losing twice, you couldn't help but think it as the game went into overtime.
"To go to the three Stanley Cup finals and win on your third one, it's something to be said," teammate John Madden said. "I don't think it'll ever be done again. He deserves it."
Even when it looked like he might be closing in on another heartbreak.
"He never laid down," Madden said. "Never poor me, he just kept coming. He is the huge heart and soul."
In the midst of a Stanley Cup celebration, Kris Versteeg remembered Hossa's huge overtime goal in Game 5 of the opening round against Nashville.
The goal that changed everything for Chicago.
He's been so close to winning a Cup so often that it didn't take long for Hossa to determine exactly what he's going to do with it.
He's already making plans to take the Stanley Cup home to Slovakia and to set it near the apartment where he grew up.
Then, he's playing hockey right next to it.
"What a feeling," Hossa said, the smile never leaving his face. "I'm finally on the other side."
PHT: The Bruins try to complete their sweep tonight (7 p.m. ET; Live Extra, CNBC). On NBCSN, the Hawks and Wings play (7 ET; Live Extra), then the Sharks and Kings square off (10:30 ET; Live Extra).
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