The 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs were two months of stunning upsets, unexpected goaltending performances, constant surprises and shocking moments. Adam Gretz counts down his top 10 moments of this year's postseason.
10. Losing Teeth No Excuse to Miss a Shift
In case you had any doubt that hockey players are tougher than any other athlete on the planet, I present Eric Belanger of the Washington Capitals and Duncan Keith of the Chicago Blackhawks. Belanger performed an amateur tooth extraction on himself -- on the bench! -- during Washington's 2-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal. In the end, he would lose eight teeth, which was one more than Keith lost after taking a puck to the mouth during Chicago's Game 4 win against San Jose in the Western Conference final.
9. Ian Laperriere Returns From 'Brain Injury'
And you thought Belanger and Keith were tougher than nails? Philadelphia's Ian Laperriere blocked a shot with his head during the Flyers' opening round series against New Jersey and suffered what was later described as "a brain injury." And he still managed to return to the lineup to help the Flyers on their way to the Stanley Cup Finals. Insane? Perhaps. But still tough.
8. Craig Anderson Stops 51 Shots, Dan Boyle Scores Own Goal
One of the most fascinating games of this year's playoffs was Game 3 of the Western Conference quarterfinal between the Colorado Avalanche and San Jose Sharks. The Sharks dominated the game, out-shooting the Avs by a 51-17 margin, including an unthinkable 43-8 margin after the first period. And Craig Anderson was more than up to the challenge, stopping all 51 shots he faced in a 1-0 overtime win ... a game that was decided by an own-goal when San Jose's Dan Boyle accidentally shot the puck into his own net.
7. Stanley Cup Final Sees 47 Goals Scored
It was one of the highest-scoring Stanley Cup Final in recent memory, and it included a pair of 11-goal contests and only one game with fewer than seven goals. It was mostly frantic end-to-end action from the drop of the puck in the first game to the deciding goal in Game 6.
6. Ville Leino: From Afterthought to Playoff Star
It was a trade that was probably ignored when it happened, but Philadelphia's acquisition of Ville Leino in February proved to be one of the best in-season trades of the year. The 26-year-old forward became one of the Flyers' most consistent -- and dangerous -- offensive weapons in the playoffs, setting a franchise record for rookie points in the postseason. He finished with 21 points in 19 playoff games. Had the Flyers ended up winning the Stanley Cup, he might have received legitimate Conn Smythe consideration.
5. Previously 'Unknown' Goalies Rise to the Top
4. Jonathan Toews Wins Blackhawks' First Conn Smythe
The Blackhawks not only won their first Stanley Cup in 49 years, but they also took home their first Conn Smythe Trophy as their captain, Jonathan Toews, was named the playoff MVP. He finished as the second-leading scorer in the playoffs with 29 points, trailing only Philadelphia's Danny Briere (30).
3. Canadiens Eliminate Presidents Trophy Winners, Defending Champs
Riding the hot hand of Jaroslav Halak and the suddenly unbeatable shutdown defensive pairing of Hal Gill and Josh Gorges, the Montreal Canadiens went on a remarkable, unexpected run to the Eastern Conference final by eliminating the Presidents Trophy-winning Washington Capitals in the first round, and knocking out the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round. Both series were decided seven games, and both required the Canadiens to come from behind. Montreal trailed the Capitals 3-1 before winning three games in a row (and holding the high-scoring Capitals to just to just three goals in the process) to advance to the second round. After winning Game 6 against the Penguins to force a Game 7 in Pittsburgh, Montreal dominated the Penguins in the deciding game, chasing goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury early in the second period.
2. Flyers Overcome 3-0 Series Deficit Against Bruins
The Philadelphia Flyers weren't expected to do much in the postseason. They qualified on the last day of the regular season thanks to a shootout win against the New York Rangers, and were ready to roll with a two-headed monster of Brian Boucher and Michael Leighton in net. They not only dispatched the Atlantic Division champion New Jersey Devils in the opening round, but they also made history for their second-round triumph over the Boston Bruins by becoming only the third team in NHL history to advance after falling in a 3-0 series hole. And they did it by erasing a 3-0 deficit during the deciding Game 7.
1. Patrick Kane Ends 49-Year Drought
It wasn't the prettiest goal to clinch a Stanley Cup, but Patrick Kane will forever be a legend in Chicago Blackhawks history for his Game 6 overtime tally, beating Michael Leighton to the far side, sparking a somewhat delayed celebration. One of the most bizarre endings to a Stanley Cup Finals series, but, oddly enough, one of the most ... interesting.