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Former Blackhawks champion Dave Bolland: 17 Seconds feels ‘like yesterday'

Saturday marks the 10-year anniversary of the 2013 Stanley Cup-clinching win for the Blackhawks

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Saturday will mark the 10-year anniversary of the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup-clinching win over the Boston Bruins in Game 6 of the 2013 Final. Better known as: 17 Seconds.

Say what? Where has the time gone?

Dave Bolland, who scored the game-winning goal that night, joined the latest Blackhawks Talk Podcast to reminisce about the run, and even he couldn't believe it's been that long.

"My body feels like it's 10 years," Bolland laughed. "It does feel like it was yesterday. It's always fun. I know Instagram, it always pops up there, and it always pops up back home in Canada on TSN. ... It doesn't feel 10, but it's crazy."

At the time, it was the second Stanley Cup in four years for the Blackhawks, but it happened in a season that almost never happened. The 2012-13 lockout got dangerously close to a full cancellation.

"It was crazy," Bolland said. "It was like, we'd go to the rink, hang out, skate — you just had your crew of guys because the coaches, nobody else could come on the ice with you or nobody else could be there. It was weird. ... I didn't think we were getting back into it."

Once the lockout was lifted, the Blackhawks had a quick turnaround and opened the season with a 5-2 win over Los Angeles, which was the beginning of a 24-game point streak. They won 21 games and lost only three in overtime or a shootout. It was a ridiculous run.

The Blackhawks were coming off consecutive first-round exits, and Bolland didn't feel like the 2013 team was as strong as the 2010 one, at least going into the campaign. That changed once The Streak started.

"It wasn't kind of like our 2010 team, that 2010 team, we were pretty stacked and we kind of knew that we had something going there and that we had a good team," Bolland said. "The 2013 team was kind of like, we have a good team, but just didn't feel like the 2010 team, so for me, it was a surprise when we racked up the 21-0-3 record. So during that little run there, I was like, 'OK, we're feeling it. I think we got something going here.'"

The Blackhawks faced some serious adversity in the second round of the playoffs when they fell behind 3-1 to their division rival Detroit Red Wings. They overcame it after Brent Seabrook scored the overtime winner in Game 7, but it was Bolland who crunched Gustav Nyquist along the boards that immediately led to the goal.

"I was never one to shy away from hitting a guy or maybe jabbing a guy here and there," Bolland said. "I wouldn't say my record is clean, but I know when I was playing, when I had a chance to get someone, hey, these are big games, and if I've got to do something that's going to help us win or do whatever, I'll do it.

"Once I saw him get the puck, I don't think he knew, I don't think he saw me, but I was coming full force and I clocked him pretty good. I think the puck just popped right out to Seabs, just came right back out to him and he went down and scored. It was a good moment."

Fast forward to Game 6, the final chapter of the run. Bryan Bickell buried the game-tying goal with the extra attacker with 1:16 left, and Bolland scored the game-winner 17 seconds later in one of the most thrilling ends in a Stanley Cup clincher ever.

What's funny is, Joel Quenneville threw out Bolland's line to protect the lead and get the game to overtime. The Blackhawks weren't thinking about winning it in regulation at that point.

But early into the shift, the Blackhawks' checking line found themselves in the offensive zone and that's when they quickly took advantage.

"[The puck] went back to Johnny Oduya, and I was behind the net, I was actually going to wait thinking he was going to rim it back around and I'll get it behind the net. But he took that slapshot and Boychuk and — I forget who their other D was that was on — they went way in front of me and kind of left me behind and I was just like, 'OK.' And that puck just dropped right in front of me and I'm like, 'Oh boy. Can't miss this one.'

"And literally right there, it was so quick that it just happened like that and it was in the back of the net and I'm like, 'Oh.' So it was funny."

Because of 17 Seconds and the role he played during the 2010 Stanley Cup run — when he was nicknamed 'The Rat' — the city of Chicago will always hold a special place for Bolland in its heart. The feeling is mutual.

"I love coming back to Chicago," Bolland said. "That was my home. A lot of guys would leave during the summer and go back to their summer houses. I used to stay in Chicago all year around and got to know people outside the rink. I've known really great people and still friends today that live in Chicago. 

"The Chicago fans have always been the best. I know when you're down, they can get on you pretty good. But when you're up, they're your biggest fans. I love the Chicago fans. I love Chicago. I miss it all the time. ... Chicago fans were always great to me. They're the best fans ever."

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