With the Blackhawks in Pittsburgh, it was a perfect chance to honor the 2009 Stanley Cup champions ahead of the 10-year anniversary.
Not because the Penguins and Blackhawks met in that final, because they didn't. Not because the Blackhawks have had the Penguins' number for years. Not because these are two of the most dominant teams over the last decade.
Because, once again, Chris Kunitz has returned to Pittsburgh. And, he, of course, was a 2009 Stanley Cup champion.
Members from the '09 team took the ice before the game as seen at the top of this story. Then, members of the team playing in different cities had messages play on the big screen throughout the game. The largest applause went to Marc-Andre Fleury with the biggest 'boo' going to Brooks Orpik.
Despite being in the house, Kunitz wasn't a part of the pre-game ceremony — he waited for the second period to make his mark in the celebration.
Kunitz hasn't been a mainstay in the Blackhawks' lineup — something Hawks coach Jeremy Colliton said is "unfair" to the four-time Cup winner. But, he got to play in Pittsburgh.
Kunitz, sitting on no goals on the season so far, netted his first in the second period when he beat Casey DeSmith from the slot. It was one of only three goals of the eight on the night that happened in front of me, but the only that created a really nice sequence from action through celly.
What better time than 2009 Stanley Cup celebration night than to honor Kunitz with some images from that sequence? Let's take a look:
2019 won't go down as Kunitz' best season, or his most memorable. But, I'm assuming he'll have a pretty great memory from an otherwise rather meaningless January game between cross-conference foes.
As always, the full collection of the game's best photos can be seen below, and I'll see you guys and gals in the comments.
MATT SUNDAY GALLERY
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