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Stanley Cup final: 3 reasons why Chicago won the series

06/16/2015 12:34 EDT | Updated 06/15/2016 05:59 EDT
The Chicago Blackhawks are the Stanley Cup champions for the third time in six years after defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-0 in Game 6 on Monday night.

Here are three reasons why Chicago closed out the series:

Conn Smythe winner delivered

Much of the talk from the Chicago perspective over the last few days has been about the performance of defenceman Duncan Keith throughout the playoffs.

As the final series progressed, the general consensus had the Winnipeg-born Keith as the runaway favourite to be named playoff MVP in the event the Blackhawks went on to hoist the Cup.

Keith, who logged over 700 minutes of ice time and amassed three goals and 18 assists, hammered home his importance to the Blackhawks' run in Game 6 by netting a goal in the middle frame that would hold up as the game winner. 

It's fitting that all three of Keith's goals in this year's playoffs were game winners.

He was a unanimous pick for the Conn Smythe Trophy.

Corey Crawford flew under the radar

Another huge factor in this series was the health of Ben Bishop. He was forced out of Game 2 with an injury, returned for Game 3, but then sat out the following contest. 

Daily chatter and speculation about Bishop's status and the nature of his injury seemed to push Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford into the background where he quietly went about his business. 

Crawford allowed just two goals over the final three games of the series and was in fine form in his shutout performance in Game 6.

In 20 post-season appearances, Crawford .924 save percentage and posted a goals against average of 2.31, giving the team in front of him a chance to win pretty much every night. 

Steven Stamkos was out of sorts

​Lightning centre Steven Stamkos was a reliable option during the regular season, ranking second in the league with 43 goals. 

Stamkos also had his moments in the playoffs, but overall he found the net an underwhelming seven times in 26 games.

Unfortunately, he was not able to provide his team with much of a spark over the final six games. He put up a goose egg in the goals department, tallied just one assist and only fired 13 shots at Chicago's net. 

The 25-year-old from Markham, Ont., had a couple point-blank chances in Game 6 that he couldn't convert. 

On one play, Stamkos just couldn't lift the puck over Crawford's pad.

And in another frustrating sequence, he hit the post. 

In the end, it was an experienced, resilient Chicago side hoisting the cup once again. 

Are the Blackhawks a dynasty now, given what they have accomplished over the last six years?

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